A stitch in time

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Six. That is the maximum number of tasks that I can accomplish realistically within a day. I know this because I recently conducted a study of sorts in which my purpose was to answer one question: “Where did the day go?”

For three weeks, I chronicled my activities. Not what I wanted to do; but what I actually did. My findings surprised me. A self-confessed type-A personality, I love to make lists, especially to do lists. The longer the list, the better, I used to think. It wasn’t until I began tracking my activities, that I grasped the straightforward concept that there really are only so many hours in the day.

In addition to analyzing my actions, I kept a simple log of my feelings or mood throughout the day. What I learned, was on those days that I overscheduled myself, I consequently had more stress and that in turn negatively impacted my attitude. Likewise, those days that were loosely structured with little or no direction produced a similar feeling.

The ideal situation, I deduced, is a daily plan with clear limits. While I do have a Blackberry that affords me access to a variety of scheduling applications, it does not allow me the ability to impose clear limits; but instead, fuels my desire to over schedule every aspect of my life.

Because I do take pleasure in writing, particularly the handwritten word, I developed a one page template that allows me just enough space to set realistic expectations. I keep the completed pages organized in a pretty fabric covered three ring binder that is divided by month. A memento of sorts, I think it may be interesting to save the binder for my girls to look back on someday when they have a family of their own. There is space for me to note my general demeanor and share what the favorite part of my day was.

Of course, the reporter in me is indeed curious, how you keep from over scheduling your life? Feel free to post your thoughts below and you will be entered in a random drawing to win a Watermelon Wishes 1” fabric 3-ring binder cover made in your choice of my stock fabrics (the actual binder is not included, just the cover). The winner will be selected February 15, 2010 and announced on the front page of my blog. Be sure to include your name and city as to keep someone else from claiming your prize. (Ex: Andrea Chapman, Haymarket) There is no charge for shipping and international readers are welcome to enter. The only requirement is the cover must be shipped to the destination listed in the original comment.

Until next time,



Amanda said...

I love the idea of keeping track of your moods and thoughts for the day!

My children keep me from overscheduling! Raising two boys under the age of 5 has taught me to take life one mess at a time! Their never ending energy makes me keep going even when I'm ready to quit!

Amanda Ebright,

PicassoCreations said...

As a fellow Etsian, I just love your fabric covered 3-ring binder!!!!

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