Finding Time to Get Things Done

31 Jan

Trying to get things done can feel like a race against time.

“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.”  Remember that line?  For those not familiar, it’s the opening line from the ever popular “Days of our Lives” soap opera.  And it has been in my head all morning.  On repeat.  Most likely it is related to the fact that I feel like there is just not enough time to get things done.  I’ve been sort of obsessing about the idea of being more balanced and making better use of my time without getting too stressed out.

Today is one of those days where I feel like I am sand in a very small hourglass.  As I was preparing breakfast  this morning, I began to run through the list of errands for the day.  Just as I figured out the timing of things, I suddenly realized that today is a shower day.  A shower, ugh.  It’s not that I’m not into hygiene by any means, it’s just that showers have become inconvenient and unenjoyable since I had my daughter.  The horror, right?!  That’s supposed to be a safe place!  A haven!  When I was pregnant, a friend of mine who had just had her first child said “make sure you make time for showers in the morning.  It’s like your coffee and it will help you get through your day.  It will help you feel more like a person.  Trust me.”  When someone says “trust me” I now take it seriously.  But, at the time I was cool and was always going to have time for a shower.  Why wouldn’t I?  But, I digress.

Fast forward to after having a child and I now have “shower days.” But, I was up late last night and extra groggy this morning so I forgot that today is a shower day.  So, when my inner hygienic clock suddenly rang I started to panic because I had to redo my entire formula for the day.  But, this is pretty much how I operate on a regular basis.  It’s like a jigsaw puzzle or a never ending math class and I hate math.

So, today’s basic formula goes like this:

Getting dressed: 5 minutes
Exercise: 1.5 hours
Driving to grocery store: 10 minutes
Groceries: 1 hour
Driving home: 10 minutes
Unpacking groceries: 10 minutes
Shower + hair: 20 minutes
————————————–
3 hours 45 minutes
+ oh no I need gas!: 20 minutes
————————————-
4 hours 5 minutes

Time available while daughter is in school = 3 hours

So, I begin the process of subtraction and jigsawing (a fun term I substitute for multi-tasking sometimes).  It basically means figuring out what I can either remove and/or fit in while I’m doing something else.

Just writing this out makes my head spin.  Maybe I should be taking a shower or doing some laundry instead?

And even though that formula is based on being childless for a few hours, there are times where I play the same game with myself while I’m with my daughter except I feel like I am working on “borrowed time.”  Which means I am borrowing time out of my very active toddler’s day to make her do things that don’t always include a giant plastic car to ride around in while mommy does her thing (like at the grocery store).  I do try to work with her schedule and incorporate some fun time beforehand but fun time is never fun when it has to be interrupted for a ridiculous reason like mommy needs to pick up a few things.  And tantrums somehow seem longer and way more dramatic when you are trying to achieve even the tiniest goal for the day.

I could probably be more relaxed in terms of how I think about my day or my week but it still feels like a science.  I would love to hear thoughts and feedback on how other moms balance time.  Do you break up little tasks throughout your week or play catch up on the weekend?  Do you use any organizational tools/planners to help keep you on top of things?

Disclaimer: I’m not completely anti-shower and do occasionally take one on an off shower day.  It’s especially nice when I am surrendering to a burning hot shower with the lights off after a long day of tantrums.  It’s happened and believe me, it’s bliss.  I’m talking pitch black, no candles, no aromatherapy, just me and a gloriously steam filled room.
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