Archive for the ‘managing time’ Category

Just a quick note to say – I did it! And not just for ten minutes, but a whole 30 minutes.

Even better still, I plugged my ipod in and listened to a podcast of Radio National’s, The Book Show at the same time.

How ridiculous is that?

And the lesson – ridiculously small goal setting. (Or, give yourself an even chance and you’ll probably get there.)


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There was a time when I was the queen of routine (some less kind people might refer to it as being anal retentive, but I prefer my description). I got up at the same time, I exercised every day, I got to work on time (I left late every day), and I got stuff done.

That has not been the case of late (by ‘of late’, I am of course referring to the better part of the previous ten years). And it’s hard to get things done when you’re constantly pinballing from one thing to another.

I’ve decided it’s time to reclaim at least some of my routines and get more of things I want done, done. But there is no easy way to do this. It’s sheer will power all the way. But I think the key to actually making changes and achieving routines is to only think of the one tiny task you absolutely need to do and get that thing done.

For instance, if morning is the only time I can exercise then that’s when I’m going to have to do it. I need to set the alarm clock at an appropriate time. I need to get up, not doze, when the alarm clock goes off. Then I need to concentrate on actually getting myself up and doing that 10 mins on the treadmill.

Yes, that’s it. Ten minutes. I’m making a goal so ridiculously small that it would seem stupid of me not to complete it.

So tomorrow morning is the morning. I’m starting with the ten minute treadmill challenge that will lead me into an eventual routine of daily writing, staying on top of the washing pile and getting more of what I want done.

What’s the first ridiculously small thing you need to do to get some routines into your life? Think small people. We don’t want to burn ourselves out before we even start.

Let me know how you go.


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Today has been set aside for me. For me to write some profoundly academic things for my masters thesis, which is due        in like a nano-second (well it feels that way, ok?).

Did someone forget to send the memo?

So far I have taken calls about work, about Christmas parties (yes you do have to organise these things, this early), about a conference on the weekend. All things, that really couldn’t be left any later than tomorrow, and tomorrow is no better than today. Then I have spent my afternoon making phone calls and attempting to find somebody to remove the microbat from my kitchen light. There are very few such people – apparently.

Someone suggested I take the cover off the kitchen light and see if it ‘just flies away’. Yeah right. Or see if gnaws my fingers to bleeding stumps before I can run to the computer and google Hendra virus. (Actually I’ve already done that and apparently you can’t, but who wants to be the first?)

But what does it all mean, you ask? It means you really should pull the phone out at the wall in the morning, and you should never eat, lest you find bats in your kitchen – if you ever want to get anything done.


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I’m not talking about the call of nature or anything. That’s obvious. But why do big, fat, healthy cats who can barely move for all the money they’re costing you in chowing down premium cat food eat birds?

Instinct? Okay, I can accept that. So now I need to buy a collar with the biggest bell I can find on it. If the birds aren’t confused by thinking his approaching girth is a mere earthquake, at least they might hear the ringing bell and take flight.

But what’s all this got to do with taking back your life? Nothing really, but then if I buy the bell I might spend a whole lot less time cleaning up bird corpses and take back a little time for the things I actually want to do. (There is an Australian artist, Julia Deville, who is into picking up dead anything corpses and making jewellery from them, but it’s just not my thing.)

So let’s get rid of the excuses, from the sublime of the housework to the ridiculous of chubby killer cats, and get on with achieving our goals.


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… or, my friend just ate my weekend.

I’m going to keep it short because, as I’ve just pointed out, there’s not much weekend left. What I’m wondering, is how do we go about managing our friends in a world where friendships have become so important but don’t always have the same resilience that being family (and therefore stuck with each other) can have.

And it’s not that I have a problem with my friend eating my weekend. It’s more about, what do you do when other people’s problems are beyond you? When you don’t know what advice to give, or sometimes even what to say?

I have a friend who takes on too many of her friends’ problems – she manages it by staying single and therefore able to give them her all. Not a great long term solution for her.

I have another friend who shuts herself off from other people on a day to day basis – she manages it by being absorbed by her own family. Not many of her friendships endure.

My own tactic? I hadn’t thought about until now. Until deciding that my life had to take priority, sometimes. Previously I’d manage it by taking it all on, and trying desperately (not always successfully) to keep too many balls in the air. Not something I can survive long term.

So what do you? What are you tactics? Suggestions?

Perhaps it’s time to apply a touch of that family-type honesty to our family of friends. If they can handle it, I guess you’re stuck together forever.

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Right now, I’m feeling totally strung out and overwhelmed. Deadlines whooshing past, contracts falling over, sick kids, renovations in progress (including moving office), bills making ugly piles around me.

I’m so crazy, I even sprayed Rescue Remedy on my cheeks instead of my tongue, because I was in too much of a hurry to aim straight. It’s okay though. I have really relaxed cheeks now.

So I decided to take five – but here I am, still multi-tasking (I should pay more attention to Dean Jackson’s 50-minute focus finder!). Why can’t I ever just stop multi-tasking? Why can’t I learn to sit? Hmmm, let me try that…

Uh oh. Just glanced at the sun sliding out of sight – which makes me think about washing on the line. Which reminds me I’ve got another load to hang out.  Perhaps I should have a windowless office?

I leap to my feet, then pause. Plant my butt back down. I’m taking five, remember? So far, I’ve made it to 1 minute 45 seconds – and I’ve already planned my next 15 moves.

Wait. My daughter races in, terrified by the huge lump in her throat. I investigate, only to discover it’s her voice box. Emergency Response Vehicle temporarily parked.

A reminder pops up. Meeting in town to get to. When did I decide I didn’t have enough to do and should agree to join the Board of my professional association.

I’m over the rushing and the madness, so I’m going to sort my life out. Again.

Either that or buy shares in herbal calming potions.

I’ll keep you posted.

cheers and beers


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Okay, so I decided it was time to get my act together. Time to evict some long time residents from my to do list.

I’d listened to my Wayne Dyer Excuses Begone! audiobook on the ipod the previous evening. I was pumped. I was ready to go.

I flicked on the mac, opened up word, and checked my email so I wouldn’t be sitting there wondering if anyone was desperately trying to contact me (they weren’t).

Then it happened.

‘Updates available’

It didn’t worry me. I was pumped. I was ready to go. Remember? I stupidly hit okay, and kept hitting okay to all its requests, thinking that going with the flow would be the speediest course of action.


What began then, was the motherload of uploads.

Do I not use this computer everyday? Is it not set to check for uploads more regularly than the coming of each winter equinox?

Apparently not.

I plugged the ipod back in. There was at least another three hours of Dr Wayne to go. He was talking about ‘will the changes I need to make take a long time, or a short time?’. This time I had the answer… a little longer than expected.


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