Posts Tagged ‘time management’

There’s Not Enough Time!

This has been our tag-line around here lately.  The dh and I have been repeatedly yelling this out throughout the day at various intervals.  Perhaps it’s a stress-reliever because it’s usually followed by a chuckle or two-or perhaps it’s a little tribute to Jack Bauer…

We’re heading down to the beach this week for some rest and relaxation…um, er, is that possible with 2 young kids?  Let me reprhase that…we’re heading down to the beach for fun and a change of scenery before things get really busy.  We’ll spend some time with my parents, who are already there, and then we’ll have the place to ourselves for the rest of the week.  The DH and I will both be bringing our laptops even though wireless down there is almost nonexistent.

I’ll be blogging over at The Hot Pink Tyepwriter on Friday, so be sure to stop by!

Hope your summer is going well…

 

What a ride this week has been…

This past week has been filled with ups and downs.

The week started with a bang, as DS was officially on summer vacation.  It was slightly-no-extremely-louder than usual around the house.  So loud and disruptive in fact, that DH who works from home is now looking for an office outside the home.  Seriously.  This was only Monday.

I took the kids to our favourite farm, where they got to feed the animals, eat freshly-picked strawberries, strawberry muffins (well, DD chucked her strawberry muffin at unsuspecting passerby) and I got to browse the charming little store.

DS is officially registered in his new “big-boy” school for September where he’ll be entering grade one.

Wednesday night, I received a phone call from my agent.  We touched base on what I was working on and I was able to ask her about a long-term project that I’ve had on the back of my mind (I’ll fill you in on that later).  And then she also gave me some really exciting news from my editor at Entangled, which I can’t share just yet.  That news totally made my night and I can’t wait to share the details when I get them!

And then Thursday happened, and that’s when everything got derailed.  I took my parents to meet with my father’s oncologist.  My father has been dealing with prostate cancer, and while his prognosis is excellent, the doctor is recommending a round of radiation therapy.  This news kind of took us by surprise.  But it’s something that was looming on the horizon, and now we have to deal with it.  Sooner rather than later.  So the next day, it was back to the hospital to start the ball rolling.  Radiation will start in July and it’s 5 days a week for almost 8 weeks.  We do have a lot to be thankful for, the doctor is very certain that this course of treatment will be able to eradicate the cancer.

DH and are I trying to figure out the logistics.  While we both have flexible work schedules, if we take time off during our work day, it just bleeds into all other part of our downtime.  I think I will end up taking one kid with me to the hospital to drive my parents.  Time at the hospital should be around 40 mins total we’re told.  So, all in all it will probably eat up about 2 hours of every weekday for the 8 weeks.  And while this is going to be a crazy summer, it feels so good knowing that we can  help my parents, and that my father’s prognosis is so good.  Hopefully the side effects will be minimal and we can keep him positive and happy.

Saturday was spent trying to get a handle on the house that once looked like a house, but has now succumbed to the chaos that has become our lives.  By the end of the day though, it was looking like a home again. Then DH got my shiny new blog up and running-what a guy!

The week didn’t end there, of course.  Today I was supposed to go to a bridal shower for a dear friend of mine and as I was getting ready, DH came down with a horrible, horrible migraine.  He lost sight and everything.  So, as badly as I felt for cancelling last minute, I had to.  I stayed home with the kids while DH crashed upstairs.  DS and I ended up baking some chocolate chip cookies together.

And well, speaking of roller coasters, tomorrow we’re heading out to Canada’s Wonderland…let’s hope that’s the biggest ride we’ll have to deal with this week.

Summer is almost here!

As excited as I am about summer’s imminent arrival, I am *slightly* terrified over the lack of writing-time I’m going to have!

We have some fun stuff planned-trips to Canada’s Wonderland, a few weeks/weekends at the beach, a couple of birthdays, a Cuban festival, (no, we’re not from Cuba, but friends of ours and us are obssessed about a little Cuban restaurant in the neighborhood and we have now decided to do a yearly Cuba-fest.  And well, I guess it’s not technically a ‘festival’ but, have enough to drink and heck, it certainly feels like a festival!) We plan on having some time to just relax and enjoy each other’s company and the lack of routine that summer brings…

I’ll be busy working on my next book for Indulgence, the third book in my series.  And I’ll also be blogging a lot over at The Hot Pink Typewriter.  We’ve got some great interviews and posts coming up this summer!

DS finishes his final year at his little preschool tomorrow, and next year will be attending grade one!  He’s a busy little guy so I have enrolled him in a few 3 hour camps, 2-3 days a week.  My plan is to drop him off on those afternoons, and run to the closest coffee shop with my laptop.  At least I know that will be ‘my’ time.  Now, I just need to figure out what to do with DD during that time…any volunteers? :-)

 

Bribery isn’t always wrong…is it?

My plan for getting writing done while away this week is to put DD down for a nap, and then take DS out to the little coffee shop in town.  The coffee shop is also a bakery, which all plays into my plan…

I have purchased a stack of colouring/activity books, a Cars 2 sticker book, new markers, new pencil crayons…all in the hopes that DS can entertain himself for at least one hour while I try and get some writing done.  I have also promised him a yummy treat every day at the coffee shop as well.  We’ll see if he can remain silent for longer than 5 minutes…

Progress!

So last week, I plunged into revising my first book in a connected series.  The second book is finished and sent to my agent.  But the first book in this series had been written 2 years ago so it needs some serious TLC.  I’m still cringing at some of the things I’m finding in this manuscript LOL…

But, the good news is that progress is being made.  I’m still challenged time-wise, but I’m making the most of any free time I’m given.  Every Monday DS has a sports class that he goes to after school for one hour.  Usually, I pick him up from school, bring him home to change, he eats his snacks in the car, and then DD and I drop him off.  Then DD and I go and walk around the mall for 45 minutes, and then go back and pick him up.  BUT, last week, DD decided to keep sleeping and since DH was home…I left her sleeping.

BLISS.  So what did I do with a whole 45 minutes to myself?

Drove to the nearest Timmy’s (hey, it’s Roll up the Rim, remember?) and then drove back to the ugly parking lot outside his sports class and pulled out a notepad and pen, and did an outline for  the current book in the car.  I was able to jot down some scenes I wanted to add, some funny dialogue, and drink my coffee…in peace.

So it wasn’t a pretty little coffee shop, but it got the job done!

 

Pass the coffee, please.

Yawn…so how do you function when your sleep is cut up into small portions because your children (ages 5 and 16mos) should be sleeping through the night, and yet for one reason or another are up?

Our first child, started sleeping through the night more often than not by the age of 2 months-WOW.  We were spoiled and didn’t even know it because we were busy adjusting to life as new parents lol.  DD, our second child, has still not mastered the art of sleeping through the night and it’s slowly killing me…

Now, they have started taking turns.  One night it’s DD.  The next night it’s DS.

And then this morning, as I was pressing snooze on my alarm, wondering why I came up with the ‘brilliant’ idea of waking up early to write in the morning, I heard the pitter-pattering…actually no, more like the loud thumping of my son’s feet (I don’t know how someone who weighs like 45lbs could be so loud, but anyway…) in the hallway.  I ask him what he’s doing awake at this time of the morning (this is 5:15 am-remember).  So he says, “well, you wake up at this time, why can’t I?”  So I, of course tell him to go back to bed, using the “I’m a grown-up,” line.  I need to guard this time like a precious gem.  Seriously, now even my obscene waking hours are being threatened?

Ahhh!!!!

Well, it’s a good thing it’s one of my favourite times of year in Canada…Roll up the Rim!  I will be frequenting Timmy’s this morning…

 

 

When do you write?

I always used to write in the evenings and nap time (when DS was small).  Then he outgrew the nap and I would wait until his bedtime and work until the wee hours of the night.  I would have to divide up this time with our business obligations as well, but somehow I was able to do it.

Then DD came along.  And even though I still write in the evenings I find I’m struggling with word count.  By the time I shower (I’ve started doing this after kids go to bed b/c I have an urge to wash myself of the kid-induced mess that somehow always gets all over me + I feel like it mentally prepares me to start the second part of my day) get settled at my computer, clean up the kitchen (and by clean I mean things hastily put away, not sparkling)throw in a load of laundry, feed the cat, brew some coffee, it’s usually 8pm.  So I’ll work from eight to midnight.  But from around ten o’clock productivity starts waning.

So, my new plan is to try and wake up early in the morning…I’ve tried it for two days…and it’s AMAZING.

Word count up.

Energy up.

Mood up.

There is something so exhilarating about waking up to a silent house (when you are used to waking up to chaos) and brewing a cup of coffee and drinking it in silence, in front of my computer.  And I’m actually still able to use my evening writing time, but I’m going to go to bed earlier so I’m not exhausted when my alarm goes off at 5:00am.  It’s also great starting the day feeling that I’ve already accomplished something by the time I drive DS to school.

I think I’m onto a good thing…this was the year I said I’d come back with a bang.

And I intend on following through.

How do you get everything done?

So, in the last year, we listed and sold our house (when our daughter was 4 mos old and our son was 4), bought a house that needed a complete renovation, moved in with my parents, gutted our new house (in 6 wks did a new kitchen, 3 new bathrooms, new floors…etc.)  and then moved in.  It’s been quite the year.  Then throw in some scary health stuff, that thankfully resolved itself, and I’m happy 2011 is gone.

I’ve put my writing back as priority Number 1 career-wise.  My only problem? Everything else is caving down around me.

Here’s the problem: We also have our own business, and I’m a big part of it=significant chunk of my time gone.  Son is gone to school during the day-unless he’s caught the latest plague from school.  DD is 15 months old, and with me all day.  So, that leaves nap-time to oh, cram in a thousand things into a 2-hour time-slot.

Eating wholesome food is a real priority for us.  No processed foods, take-out, all that is avoided as much as possible.  So by the time I cook dinner from scratch, clean, blah blah blah, all the other usual boring stuff there is very little time left-as I’m sure you can all relate.

So I’ve come up with a few things to take some of the pressure off:

1) Have freezer-food night 1x/wk.  A girlfriend of mine and I do a “Cook-a-thon” once a year in the fall and basically make a bunch of homemade pizza and Bolognese sauce and pack it up in the freezer for winter.  This has been a life-saver for me.  I’ve also started doubling up a lot of dinners and freezing them so I can add to my stash.

2) 1x/wk, throw myself and my children upon my parents and demand they feed us.  This works.  Grandparents can’t refuse darling, hungry grandchildren.

3) Saturday Nights-Whole Foods Night Takeout.  OMG, I love this store.  This is my favourite store in the whole world, and if it didn’t cost a BAZILLION dollars to do my groceries there, I would do them all there, every week.  So, I only do their takeout once a week and it’s great.

4) Take any help anyone is willing to offer.  My parents mean well and try to help, but they are aging and have their own health issues to deal with, and more often than not I get involved in their issues to try and help them out.  So, whenever they offer to help with the kids, I take it.  Even if it’s last minute (my parents have somehow managed to get through life without any sort of advanced scheduling).

5)Mess?  What mess?  Let some areas of the house go.  Yes, my mother would gasp, but it has to be done.  If you live in something larger than a shoebox, have kids and a bunch of other stuff going on, this is the only way.

6) Don’t iron.  Seriously.  I don’t believe in it, never have.  lol.

7) Coffee.  The picture says it all.

Alright, that’s all I got.  I should get back to writing.  If anyone has any other good time-saver tips, I’d love to hear them!

Starting the week with a messy house…

As much as I say “I don’t care about housework,” I kinda do.  I am one of those people who cannot function in a disorganized environment.  Sure, I can let things go for a ‘bit’.  But not long.  I mean, when laundry starts piling up and not getting put away…I start panicking.  Seriously.  It’s pathetic I know.  I think part of the problem is that I feel like I’ve got so much ‘stuff’ on my plate right now that a chaotic home is just too much to take too.  I already have issues with thinking clearly with kids in the room, lol, a messy house and loud kids and husband just make it all feel out of control.  So neat means,’ in control’.

And I especially like to start off Monday morning with a nice clean house.  Well, let me rephrase that: a nice, organized house.  I can overlook a couple dust-bunnies (or quite a few thanks to our furball cat who literally walks around in a constant state of shedding).  But, I have to have a clean and tidy main floor.  Laundry needs to be put away.  Kitchen has to be clean.  Entrance clutter free.  It’s a good way to start the week.  But I’ve learned to let go of a lot of the other stuff.  When I look back on my life I’d rather say, wow, “I’m so glad I’m a published author,” rather than “I’m so happy my house was always shiny and clean and that I never pursued publication!”

There’s only so much me to go around.  I’ve made being at home with my kids a priority.  But I’ve also sacrificed because I do still have a day job-we have our own business, so that means me being with the kids and fitting in business stuff during evenings, which leaves precious little time to pursue writing.  So if something’s gotta give this year, it’s gonna be the housework :)