Before I start, I want to thank those that commented on my previous post. I appreciate all comments because they make this blog into a two-sided conversation, and this was no exception.
The two comments were a response to my problem: how can I manage my time better? (Using a budget was a bad idea, it turned out.) Duth Olec talked about his experience working from home, concluding:
At this point I just make a list of all the things I want to get done today. Then I fail that list. Still, I try to keep the same rate of work on the list for each day and get stuff I’m behind on done, and on days when I happen to be more productive I can get it done.
Crystal Colwell, interestingly, said something similar:
Now I basically start my day by doing what I know needs done. Through the week that would be making something to eat for me and the man, spending time with him, and getting him off to work. After that I make a simple list of things I want/need to get done (usually before he gets home from work). I schedule in anything that *has* to be done at a certain time and the rest gets done as I get to it.
What these two comments had in common was making a short list for the day and just trying their best to get it done. Coincidence? Probably not. I have a lot of respect for both of these people, and if they both do this, I’m sure it’s worth a shot. I plan to try this short list approach next.
Crystal also had a question for me, though:
I do wonder what the biggest issue was that made you want to tryout this time budget? Is there a particular area of your life that you feel you are not spending enough time on?
My answer is absolutely yes. Although I have a full-time job, I believe that my greatest moments will not be in the workplace. It’s easier for me to get excited about my favorite things–writing, game design, Japanese, music–when I treat them as hobbies. In fact, I feel that my greatest mistake in life has been assuming that I’d want a career in one of those areas.
That means that if I ever want to do the things that really matter to me, it has to be in my free time–after I get home, or on a day off. Since moving in with my fiance, though, that’s been really hard. The apartment has chores that need doing, and she (along with my family and friends) wants a share of my attention for herself. By the time I do all that and then let myself relax a bit, the day is usually over.
After that, I go to bed and look back on my day… and I feel terrible. Where did my day go? Why couldn’t I get to anything–just one thing–that I actually wanted to do? I realize that if I chose what I was going to do that day, it would have turned out completely different. But for whatever reason, I’m not choosing what I do with my time. That’s ridiculous. Doesn’t everyone have that right?
When I sort through it like that, the question is not really how I manage my time. It’s more like, how do I take back my time? How do I take back control of my life? That’s a much more complicated issue, and I suspect it would keep me in a therapist’s office for weeks, so I don’t expect you guys to have a real answer. But if you have any experience like this, or little suggestions about it, I’d love to hear about it in the comments. Thank you.