Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Time Management

(Click on the thumbnail for the bigger, better version)

The harder I work the behinder I get. What’s with this? I know that many of our faculties begin to fail as we age, but I seem to be less and less efficient at keeping up with my self-assigned chores.

My to-do list never shrinks. It just keeps growing longer and longer. Believe me, this isn’t happening because I spend my time doing admirable things such as keeping a pristine house and cooking three meals a day for The Husband. By the way, I love him enough to cook for him, but we both have rather strange eating habits. Because of my pesky digestive problems, I am forced to graze throughout the day eating tiny, strange meals that are the mostly the antithesis of what average folks would consume. The Husband is all about quick, easy and he, too, eats light. One advantage is that we don’t have weight problems; but our refrigerator and pantry certainly don’t look anything like those of the typical family, or even couple.

Furthermore, I don’t spend much time on the cliché girlie stuff. I hate shopping, don’t like spending time in that female haven, the beauty salon, and can’t think of anything more boring than spending a day at a day spa.

While I have been adding new projects, I think I just am less efficient. Part of the problem is that I have made an effort lately to stop working at around 8:30 or 9:00 PM. The Husband and I typically take about forty-five minutes to sit together and watch one of the recorded episodes of the few television shows that we can get through. The distraction is welcome and it allows me to decompress so I stand a chance of being asleep by about 10:30 or 11:00. In this environment, I find I rarely sleep past 6:30 AM (all too frequently, my eyes pop open at 6:00). These days, being in bed until 7:00 qualifies serious sleeping in.

Of course, I am spending more time currently on printing, framing, and publicity plans than I have in the recent past. (Here I have never posted my business cards, and now I’m spilling the beans that I prepared a postcard for the owner of the shop in Tehachapi. Shame on me.)

Whatever all the causes for the behinder syndrome, I post here about half to one-third as often as I would like. Moreover, I never have as much time as I would like to read other wonderful blogs. It goes without saying that I haven’t done my practice book for SoFoBoMo, and I still haven’t a clue what my project will be for 2009.

Enough. I’ll wrap up this whine and get on with today’s share of my to-do list. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just send brain waves to our blogs and skip the sit down at the keyboard part?


  1. I've been going through a similar frustration, partly because I spend most of my weeks at work, not doing what I know that I need to.

    Part of it is that I have too many things to do.

    Another part is that I don't know to do some of those things (scanning, color correcting, optimizing for printing, printing) well enough to be even slightly efficient at them yet.

    Sooner or later, as you get better, you'll get faster, and at some point there will be a lull in new projects so that you can get caught up before the next wave :)

  2. I think that as we get older, our priorities change. Those lists of 'must do' things don't seem so important and get replaced by those things that we would prefer to do. We've already put in a lot of work in our lives doing what we 'must' do.

    I am curious about what you eat during the day that is so strange? I think that this evening I will have some Talapi, a sweet potato, and for desert, some strawberries. I'm feeling all healthy and whatnot because I worked out for a whole 30 minutes! :-) It is the ultimate in mood elevating things to do. I don't really like doing it, but the euphoria after it is worth it, sometimes.

    Regarding SoFoBoMo, I'm torn between a couple of ideas. One, you read on my blog, the other one has to do with Haiku. I want to put together 35 photos and 35 original Haiku poems that I wrote during that same time. I would call it Viaual Haiku, but have no idea of what the content would be, nor how to put it together.

    Good luck in keeping up! :-)

  3. Rakesh - I can't complain about spending time at work, but you hit the nail on the head with not being effecient. I have to laugh at myself and my habit of getting involved in things that I'm not very good at. That results in my creeping slowly and awkwardly toward my goals. I know you are right. As I get a little better at matting and framing, for example, that will take less time.

  4. I can't wait to see your SoFoBoMo, Anita. And the image above is just stunning. Right now, I'm think of no words at all in my book. Just images. Maybe even no titles. I don't know, maybe I'm just feeling a bit lazy today.

  5. Paul - You are so right. For example, I used to never stop work until I dropped. I am finally accepting the fact that that isn't healthy. I still fill my time, but more than ever before with things that I choose to do. Since I was my own boss for almost thirty years, I always worked at things I wanted to do and as hard as I chose (I pushed myself); but I did have to do some business stuff that I didn't enjoy. Now I just love getting into trouble with more projects only because I want to.

    Your idea for a haiku project sounds fabulous. That is my favorite so far of the ones that you have mentioned. Please, please that's my request. My, you have enough project ideas to last you all the SoFoBoMo's to come.

    Okay, I take it back. Some people wouldn't find my diet at all weird. Your dinnner sounds fabulous to me and right up there with my for out of the norm. My diet is about restrictions: extremely low fat, low sodium, zero acids (no tomatoes, no fruits, boo hoo), gluten-free, and dairy free. I eat a dab of poultry (white meat and skinless-yuck), fish, and buffalo(!); brown rice, home-baked goodies, soy milk, and all these with no condiments and very few seasonings, as spicy is off the list. Mostly I have to eat little snacks frequently and never large meals. I eat well, but it isn't much fun and the adventure of food exploration is over. As losses in life go, it's pretty far down on the scale, mostly inconvenient.

  6. Chris - I like your idea. I think I may be more intimidated by the idea of the text than the photgraphs. It doesn't sound lazy to me. Maybe we will start a movement.

  7. Chris - Thanks for the comment on the photo. That one is from one of my favorite haunts, Cub Lake, which is just about a mile down the road. A wonderful little place to be lost for a while.

  8. I know the feeling... And beyond priorities and todo lists, spring time usually means 'very, very tired' times to me. Not a good combo, resulting in I haven't done a test book yet and that I haven't decided on what story to tell with my pictures. I guess it will be as usual, learning while practicing. Not to mention what the power of a short deadline makes to me. Hopefully that goes for you, too. :)

  9. Anita: I just wanted to jump in here again. That photo is fantastic. I can see myself lying under there, enjoying the breeze, and getting ... getting ... getting ... sleepy! :-)

    In regards to your diet, that certainly is restricted. I think that what I would miss most are spices and diary. I've had buffalo meat before and it is delicious!

    As for the photo/haiku, thanks for the compliment. It's certainly in the top two to select, but I am seriously intrigued about my other idea as well. I guess that I'll have to make a decision because I don't think that I have the energy to pursue both and to do them well.

    Next year, I'm sure that I'll have a batch of other ideas and they will be totally different based on where I am in life. This year, in life, I am extremely unsettled, so I want to do projects that are calm, perhaps even romantic.

    Who knows what next year will bring. :-)

  10. Ove - Welcome! I am glad you dropped in and hope you will come by often.

    I suppose I can take comfort in the news that someone else hasn't chosen a theme for SoFoBoMo and responds to the high pressure of a "short deadline". Although spring usually fills me with the false illusion that I can do anything—rather as many things as I can dream up. This new-to-me version of spring in the mountains has me a tad disoriented.

  11. Paul - Thank you for that lovely comment on the photo. Cub Lake fills me with peace. Between the trees, the water, the ducks, and now flowers, it's a very special place.

    Spicy is one of the things I miss the most. I was always a chili, enchalida,and barbeque kinda gal. (That Texas thing for starters.) I was surprised when I tried buffalo meat (added to the diet because it's so much lower in fat than beef, which I'm crazy for).

    I've been thinking about both your latest photobook ideas and I think I like them equally well. So, I'll be a happy camper whichever you choose. Actually, I know I will enjoy your book no matter what you decide to do. I am interested in your observation that you are thinking about a project that will balance where you are in life. I suppose either way works: explore where we are, or make a choice that promotes balance. Either way we are using the fodder of our lives and that's what makes the participation so satisfying, isn't it?


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