This week, I feel like I’ve just been puttering around, completely unproductive. Part of the problem is that I arrived home Tuesday night, so on Wednesday morning I was sleepy, unpacking, and in need of a grocery run. On Thursday morning I had an appointment that got cancelled, but instead of just moving on to the next item on the agenda, I sort of floundered. Like, all morning. So I’ve been pondering why  this week has been such a waste, and I came up with a whole list of excuses reasons.

I really need a list. For me, there’s nothing like a good To Do list to keep me on track. If I begin to slow down, I look at my list and it jolts me into action. Or if I want to take a break or eat lunch, I tell myself that I have to check something off the list first. Sometimes I’ll make a list of things I enjoy doing and things I hate doing, and I have to do something I hate (like making phone calls) before I’m “allowed” something I enjoy (like working out or folding laundry with a tv show on). I’m so obsessive-compulsive about my lists that if I find myself doing something productive that wasn’t on the list, I add it to the list just so that I can cross it out immediately and feel proud. I often make a list for the week on Sunday night, and I didn’t this time because we were skiing. Yeah, I know I should make a list now. Absolutely: you’re right. But I’m afraid I’ll freak out over everything that I haven’t accomplished all week. So I’ll continue to write this post. Then, at least, I’ll have something to cross off my list right away.

I need to do a calendar review, which I didn’t do this week, either. I’m terrible with schedules. I don’t know why, but I’ll do crazy, stupid stuff like, for example, forget the time of a lesson that my kids have been attending every week all school year. Suddenly instead of thinking, “We need to leave at 4 for 4:30 gymnastics,” I’ll think, “We need to leave at 4:30 for gymnastics.” I don’t know why I do this, but it’s like my sense of direction issue. If I just make sure to review everything two or three times, I’m usually okay. Also, a calendar review at the beginning of the week throws up red flags, like with last night’s concert, in which: 1) I received two different fliers telling us to arrive at two different times, 2) I realized that M was planning to wear something way too casual and made an emergency shopping trip for slacks, and 3) I thought that I could just blow off the request for reception treats just this once until M arrived home hours before asking, “What are you making for tonight? I hope it’s something good because we all worked really hard.” Dang. I made chocolate chip cookies. Which we couldn’t eat due to the fire alarm. Yet when I retrieved the plate this morning, only smears of chocolate were left.

I need to step away from technology. I have three different emails (personal, Capital District Fun, and Kids Out and About), a Google reader, Twitter, and the comments here on the blog and via Facebook to check. Any one of these  is fraught with peril, because there are invariably fascinating links that lead to items to read that lead to further links to videos I simply must watch. The challenging part, here, is that keeping up with all of that stuff is part of doing Capital District Fun and Kids Out and About. But it can get ridiculous: there are times when by the time I’ve checked the last item on the list above, my emails have been pinging at me for attention again.

I need to set a timer. Actually, I use a timer often already. Right now I have it set to remind me when to start the slow cooker. I often set it to remind us all when we have to leave for whatever class or activity is coming up. I do timed writing and timed workouts pretty regularly.  And when I’m doing something that I hate, I’ll sometimes set the timer for, say, 10 or 15 minutes, and I lie to myself that as soon as the timer goes off I can stop. It’s a lie because once I’m 10 or 15 minutes into something it’s easier just to finish whatever it is (like, say, cleaning the bathrooms or filing). But now I’m thinking that I need to set a time limit on the technology stuff. I have other time-sucks that I need to limit, like when I’m fed up with all of our meals, and I’ll while away a very long time searching for recipes.


Books in the return bin at school

You know what? I didn’t do so badly this week. I grocery shopped, I worked out on Wednesday & Thursday (we’ll see about today), I came up with two pretty good new recipes, those chorus slacks were on clearance for $6, and I’ve kept up with the blog. Plus, I volunteered at the school library, and I chauffered my friends’ cat.

So, anyone got organizational tips to share?

Poor Kitty! He deeply resents his bath and subsequent jail time.

Okay. There’s no avoiding it anymore. Time to go make that To Do List. Well, maybe lunch first.


  1. Mary Ellen

    You make me want to use my kitchen timer more frequently and creatively. Sam has a hint for remembering stuff. He suggests moving notes around and writing them on different paper. He thinks he gets used to seeing the same note saying the same thing in the same old place and so he just ignores it.

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