Well, this whole blogging thing takes alot of effort, doesn’t it? Lately my brain has been so consumed with so many other things that putting together a blog was more like a heartfelt wish than a reality.
Lately I’ve been feeling like I’m going around in circles. What to do first and when? My immediate solution for Sunday has been to spend most of the day “hibernating”, just me, my laptop and the bed. It’s been quasi-productive, but there is still so much more to do. My papers are screaming, “Grade me!” My kitchen beckons, “Clean me!” Food from the frige calls, “Cook me!” The collection of items that has been collecting on the cedar chest at the foot of my bed says “Tidy me!”, I could go on and on.
I used to experience a similar feeling when I was working on my thesis at Iowa State. At the time, I worked full time while going to school part-time and I was also an active member of the campus community. I would often feel overwhelmed. Sometimes I’d solve it with what I called “sleep avoidance” and burrow into the covers of my comfy bed and sleep my problems away. That didn’t really solve the problems, I still had the responsibilities; some with deadlines. What would often happen is that I’d then be forced to prioritize using the time I had left.
Nowadays I don’t use “sleep avoidance” as much as I use “regular avoidance”. But as with sleep avoidance, the responsibilites don’t go away and still need to be completed, some of them with deadlines.
Today I did burrow into my covers, thinking “what to do first?” A voice whispered, probably my own, “Begin with the end in mind” and then I remembered Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Successful People, a training workshop I participated in while attending UNCC and one of my favorite “life management” philosophies.
One of Covey’s tools was to plan your week before the week occurs. When I do this and do this consistently it allows me to feel more “in control” of my week and what’s going on. The schedule and the commitments I’ve already made for the week become my “big rocks” (another Stephen Covey tenet) and I can then spread my “little rocks” that is, my new appointments and spontaneous events, around the big rocks.
The only thing is that I haven’t had (or taken the time) to plan my week. Part of it is because I have been without a pda for more than a year. Anybody who really knows me knows that I am the Queen of the Calendar and the Czar of the Schedule so being without my pda has been really hard. I’m in the market for the perfect and economical smartphone, but until then, to plan my week I have to log onto my computer and look at my outlook calendar in order to gain some order in my life.
Not as convenient as pulling out my trusty pda no matter where I am, but my voice reminded me that I really needed to take the effort to examine the week because when I examine the week it helps me feel peaceful and settled. That probably won’t mean that I’ll immediately get to the pile on the cedar chest or to the clutter in the kitchen, but at least I can assign a priority level to these neccessary tasks based on the other “rocks” in my life and maybe I can put them on the calendar and get them done.