After only four days, I can honestly say that my new weekly and daily goal sheets have saved me. I've written more in the past week than I have in the last two or three, plus worked on editing and research. I've kept up with my outside obligations and was able to add in a couple more. I pulled off one small birthday party, and I'm about to finish prepping for a larger one. And I've managed to blog twice in one week and had time to read to the kids last night (for the first night in awhile)!
The trick for me has been the list. I always work better with a list, and I know this. From daily chores to grocery shopping to packing for a trip--lists save me. I operate well with them. I can add to them as I remember items. I can check completed items off the list. I can adapt them to just about every need.
And the trick with using the list has been finding ways to fill in gaps that I was wasting. Instead of checking email for the umpteenth time, I did the dishes. Instead of languishing on Facebook, I wrote my daily words. Yesterday, I had 50 minutes after completing volunteer work at school before I needed to pick up my son from preschool, and rather than going home where I might be tempted to waste the time on something unnecessary, I went to the library. I took my laptop, wrote the words I needed to do for the day, requested a book for research through I.L.L. and checked out a book that I had on hold. Three tasks, done done done, and all with just a little planning to make sure I'd packed up my laptop before I'd left early in the day. I even scheduled in lunch by having it with my daughter at school (okay, it wasn't the greatest lunch ever, but it was cheap, fast, and I got to spend time with my daughter, which made us both happy).
Other ways I've been able to fill in gaps:
I set the alarm for a bit earlier. That is how I'm writing this now, before the kids wake. As soon as I finish this, I'll write my daily words, then get them up and start our morning routines.
But not too early. If I'm too tired, everything is a chore and by evening, I'm a monster. I've learned this. So I have a set bedtime, too, that I try to make.
I keep in mind things I can do in twenty minutes or less. I can wash a load of dishes in 20 minutes, and it takes about that long for my son's favorite breakfast to cook. He gets a decent meal before school, I get an empty sink. Done and done.
I schedule both the BIG tasks and the small tasks on my daily list and try to double them up as I can. It only took me five minutes to run in to pick up the ink cartridges I'd left to be refilled, but it took putting it on my list in connection with another errand (swim lessons--during the trip home) to get it done after they'd sat for almost two weeks.
I'm eager to see if I can keep this going. It's been a heady week--and a busy week, but the busy isn't going to slow down anytime soon. What I'm hoping is that by using this system, by adding in both the things I HAVE to do along with the things I WANT to do, I won't get as frustrated watching my time dissolve and having little left to show for it but chores and running kids back and forth and wishing I'd done more. It is awesome to see my daily word counts adding up again. It is equally awesome to sit and watch a show while I crochet, because I have to sit down and crochet because "it's on the list."