As the title indicates, I’d love to blame someone else for the issues I’m having managing my time lately. I call them “issues” because “challenges” implies that I’ve been struggling, working on my time management. They won’t be challenges until I actually begin trying to correct the problems. Right after I write this post, I plan on doing just that. Yes, I do.
It’s a Dedicated Server Problem
If I could narrow down my issues, I’d call it a dedicated server problem. Isn’t that a technology thing? A dedicated server, used to accomplish only one goal? Not a multitasking server used for many purposes? You’ll see where I’m going with this. I get so focused on a topic that, before I know it, hours have passed and I’m still on the same subject. So focused am I that if someone comes into the room where I’m working, I won’t notice them until they say something. Then all hell breaks loose. I toss my laptop or soap pan or wine with the fright such interruption gives me. Fortunately, I settle down quickly realizing I actually know the person standing in front of me, actually live with them. I address whatever they need and put my nose back into my work.
I’ve always been a good multi-tasker; I could manage a lot of details at once. So, what happened to me? I think it has a lot to do with how important any one thing is to me. I have many interests, big interests, important interests. To me anyway. If you read the About Me page, you’ll see that I like to write, I coach, I edit, I’m creating this website and I like to make soap. I also like wine. Fortunately, I can do all the above things while sipping a good wine. So, that’s a multitasking skill I’ve hung onto very well. I don’t have to worry about leaving time for wine or wining between the lines.
Great Writing and the Don’t Do it Now Approach
My other interests take up huge amounts of time. I’m a recovering perfectionist, so part of how much time everything takes is my fault. I admit it. When I write, particularly on a novel, I look at what I’ve written and ask myself, “Is that good writing?” But “good writing” is not what I aspire to. So, if it’s good, I ask myself, “Yeah, but is it great writing?”
If it’s not great writing, well I need to keep working at it. Sometimes I work on it right then and there. But, if I would do what I often coach other writers to do, I would move on from it, put a note in the comments section of the document and work on it during editing. That’s what I advise doing. It’s the most time-saving, efficient way to write. It is. I can usually move on, but sometimes it just can’t be left to later. Well, it could be, but … See my issue?
I really enjoy working on this website and it is nowhere near done. You probably can tell that by clicking on the top menu and finding nothing on the page in question. I’ve put those tabs on the menu to give you some idea of where I’m going with this website. It probably would be easier on me to leave the tabs off the menu until I have content for them. Knowing they are there gives me a sense of urgency. As one post says, “I’m working on it!”, and I am. I don’t have to say much more about this because anyone who has worked on a website knows how time-consuming it can be.
To Swirl or Not to Swirl
If I’m making soap, it’s hard for me to get anything else done. It’s a three- to four-hour event any way you look at it. It goes longer when I do it. I tweak my recipe, research new essential oils and fragrance oils, wonder about which mold I should use this time, go back to the web to answer some question that’s been niggling at me. I ask myself things like: do I want to swirl it with color, make it one color, for whom am I making this soap? I can’t just make the soap in the recipe I’ve recreated. No, I have to tweak. Maybe I’m not the recovering perfectionist I thought I was. Hmmm.
Time Management Recap
So, there you have it. My issue is that I have to divide up my time to work on all of the things I love to do. To be effective in anything, I need to start this right away. I’m going to put together a work schedule and will try to stick to it (I’m a flexible kind of person). My coaching, writing and this website get first dibs on my time. Right after I post this piece, I’m going to work on my novel. I have the soap and a couple other ventures that will come next.
My dog, Bailey, is lying next to me taking a nap. It doesn’t seem fair. I want a nap too. But, a nap could take hours and I have work to do. 😉
Tell me, how do you manage your time between work and the things you love to do? Are you as obsessed as I am? I’d love to hear from you!