The Honest Mommy

Uncensored thoughts on parenting & more

Making the most of my time-chunks July 8, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 8:25 pm
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After my second child was born, and especially after he started crawling a few weeks ago, I have found myself re-evaluating the various chunks of time that I have in my day. The answer to the question, “What can or should I be doing RIGHT NOW?” depends largely on what type of time-chunk I am currently in.

Sometimes what I should be doing at a given moment is obvious, like if Kid_2 needs a diaper change, Kid_1 needs to be bathed, or Kid_2 needs to have a bottle. These are those immediate, mundane things that every parent churns through on a daily basis.

The real challenge, I find, is to be appropriately productive (and not frustrated!) during all of those other kinds of time-chunks that I am faced with:

  1. Kid_1 and Kid_2 are content and, usually, busy playing with one another
  2. Kid_1 and/or Kid_2 need to eat
  3. Kid_2 is awake but not content.
  4. Kid_2 is awake and content, but Kid_1 is generally underfoot (asking lots of questions, pushing boundaries, and so on)
  5. Kid_1 is asleep but Kid_2 is awake, or, Kid_2 is asleep but Kid_1 is awake
  6. (Praise to the heavens above) Both kids are asleep, either for naptime or for the night

Obviously, these types of time-chunks have various levels of potential for me to be productive. If Kid_2 is awake but not content (for no reason that I can find or remedy), the productivity potential is practically zero. If both kids are asleep, especially for naptime, I try to do things that I cannot do at any other time (for example, take off my shoes, lie down, and read/rest/nap). Ironically, it can take a lot of self-discipline to simply rest and not try to get caught up on other things.

Errands need to occur at a time when both kids are awake, (relatively) content, and are not hungry. Meeting all of these criteria is quite a challenge, especially lately when Kid_2 has reverted to taking three naps per day instead of just two. The same goes for something as simple as a quick outing to a park.

Safe to say, I don’t know any other moms who (to my knowledge) analyze things like this. But, it is my hope that in taking the time to analyze these things, I will be able to make the most of my time, therefore being able to find time to do things I really enjoy, therefore being a happier wife and mother. Sort of along the lines of a heading in Ready for Anything by David Allen:

Making it easy to take it easy.

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A SAHM ponders FlyLady and “Getting Things Done”

Filed under: Uncategorized — lotsofopinions @ 6:45 pm
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Over the past few days, I have had a little more time than usual to enjoy some quiet and to gather my thoughts. On a whim, I pulled out Ready for Anything by David Allen, creator of the Getting Things Done (GTD) system. In the past, I have used GTD in various forms (electronic, paper), but haven’t used that system for several months.

Reading bits of Ready for Anything has gotten me thinking about what my responsibilities are and how I use my time. I am also a follower of FlyLady, though I must say some of my routines have gotten rather loosey-goosey as of late.

It occurred to me that FlyLady doesn’t necessarily help you capture and process all of the “stuff” of your life, like GTD does. But FlyLady does create a system where the really mundane details of your life (which I personally sum up as kitchen-bathroom-laundry-floors) are taken care of in the form of daily or weekly routines, so that you can “get out and play” as FlyLady says.

Both FlyLady and GTD have the goal of allowing you as an individual to feel at peace with your house and all of your various  commitments (commitments to your work, your spouse, your kids, your health, your finances, and so on).

It occurs to me that if I could/would do the following things, my life could be both more calm and more productive:

1) Use a simple notecard system(aka The Hipster PDA) for GTD. Notecards aren’t perfect, but they are SOMETHING. The main point is to have a central respository for Next Actions, Project List, and so on.

2) Implement areas of FlyLady that I have never really implemented in the past (getting up before the kids do, choosing a day for grocery shopping, etc.).

Item 1 seems very do-able; once I slip back into GTD thinking, it’s fairly smooth sailing (although I never was very consistent about the Weekly Review component).

Item 2 seems…. daunting. Kid_2 gets up as early as 6 a.m., and I loathe the thought of getting up BEFORE then. Also, I’ve always had a hang-up about committing to a certain day of the week for grocery shopping.

Clearly, I have a lot more thinking to do about getting my life in order. More posts about GTD and productivity will follow, I’m sure!