525,000 minutes: how do you measure your life?

In ALL, MY LISTS by Stephanie Klein34 Comments

How can a person, each week, live all the sections of a women’s magazine? Spirit, Health, Beauty, Relationships, Style, Home + Garden, Food, Entertainment, Money, World. Not to mention, you know, a career. I feel like “Money” is about managing it, investments, watching stocks and portfolios, putting enough away into your 401k. And I’m guessing Parenting belongs on the list, too.

ducks in a row
Making time to take photos, color correct, file, print, share and, of course, caption

This isn’t new—this “balance is bullshit” struggle of mine. Most of the time, I feel like I’m doing what brings me joy, instead of the shoulds. Except a lot of those shoulds actually do bring me joy I want to do so many things, things about which I’m genuinely passionate, but I still struggle with scheduling it all.

This isn’t a rhetorical question. I know these women exist and it’s not a Betty Draper façade. There are women out there who get things done. I know how it’s possible because I passed eighth grade, where I was responsible for juggling subjects, with deadlines in each; there was soccer practice, friendship locker time, and when I came home, I cooked, watch television, listened to Love Lines at night and carped to a radio DJ about unrequited love. There was time for all of it because so much of it was scheduled. So I know it can be done. I just forget how.

During the week, after school let out for us, my mother managed to take me to piano lessons, nutrition with Fran Levine, drama class, art class, tennis lessons, then she’d attend soccer games, pick up dry cleaning, go to the bank, and make two dinners (something separate for my vegetarian self). While we were at school she had her own tennis matches, shopping for everyone, friend time, grooming time, hand washing her intimates time. I’m not really sure, but I know, all too well, how fast that time goes and how little ever feels accomplished. And on the whole, I’m actually okay with that, knowing it can’t all get done, and that’s okay. But I also wish I could create a schedule like the one we followed in school, complete with bells and breaks, where my brain was ready, and expecting, to jump from one subject to another, without fear. And I think that’s what’s at play. Fear. Fear that if I stop working on this one task, it won’t get done properly. I feel like I need to go straight through or it won’t get done.

So, I ask you, how do you get things done? I genuinely want to know what your schedule looks like, just a day. How do you manage to find time to:

• Do cardio and weights
• Look up recipes for the ingredients you already have in your fridge so they don’t spoil (ricotta, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, jicama), then actually make them
• Conduct research for your job (for me it’s everything from handwritten daily morning pages to reading other authors to doing random writing exercises, reading scripts upon scripts, analyzing movies, and then the actual work part of writing, the hardest of which (for me) is plot, coming up with story lines, then focusing on whichever project has the nearest deadline). This bullet, all to itself, needs its own schedule and often takes up my entire day, leaving little time for anything else. Currently, I’m working on:

o The outline for Moose as a feature film (producers attached)
o Tightening the scripted TV pitch happening in June (producers attached)
o Book proposal for my next memoir (I have the idea just need to start the proposal already)
o Casting/Researching two unscripted TV series (producers attached)
o An essay for an anthology (I haven’t started, and it’s due next month)
o Blogging

• Marinate meats, follow recipes with the instructions “leave overnight”

hydrangea
Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, how often do you sleep with your gardener?

• Water your plants or herb garden, figuring out how to keep hydrangeas sunlit until midday, then shaded, with well-draining soil (HOW IN THE HELL do I figure this out, other than sitting all day and inspecting the sun and how it hits my home? Must I research this? Or must I drive around until I find a house I like, begging them for the name of their landscaper? How do I know if the soil drains well? I desperately want hydrangeas, but don’t want the deer to get at them).
• Organize your everything: pantry, inbox, blog reader, crafts, kids play room
• Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Email, Return phone calls
• Plan weeknight dinners for the family

spring egg whites
Planning, shopping, prepping, cooking healthy spring egg white meals

• Make time for company at your home (which for me involves menu planning, grocery shopping, trying a new cocktail recipe, because otherwise, it’s not having company over; it’s “someone stopped by” which is welcomed, but it’s entirely different)
• Make a casserole to bring to a grieving friend, or just pick up flowers and make time to stop over
• Plan a date night, sit on your husband’s lap, give him a lap dance, anything involving doing something fun, new, different to keep things from feeling ho to the hum
• Shave your legs, hair blown, makeup applied, brows groomed, sunscreen slathered
• Find new summer sandals, that pair of leggings you need for that dress turning top on you, a fun trendy dress to wear for your friend’s upcoming wedding (something that actually fits)
• Take the kids swimming, get them swimming lessons, read to them and find new age appropriate books, plan activities
• Figure out what in the hell to do with your IRA (manage the balance of stocks, bonds, and whatever else makes up those pie charts you keep ignoring)
• Make a doctor’s appointment to have them look at your moles, your vag, your blood, your teeth, your marriage
• Buy new bras and underwear, more hangers, order monogrammed aprons for the kids

What’s your daily schedule?

Comments

  1. My time savers.
    Wake up and go to work. – no shower, just put on clothes and grab bag.

    Studio apartment just needs to be cleaned about once a month – never there anyway.

    Drop off laundary. Wash undriables at laundrymat once a month and hang dry (second laundarymat in neighborhood burned down and no longer doing that now – nothing I can do).

    Say no to guests – people just don’t ask anymore.

    I stopped cooking – mostly so I don’t have to do dishes.

    And, I still forget to pay my rent, renew my birth control, make doctor’s appointments, etc.
    Also, I still dissapoint friends and family and can’t please everyone.
    And, I don’t watch TV.

  2. I had to laugh at the hydrangeas. I sorely want blue-tinted hydrangeas in red pots on my back porch, flanking the door to the bedroom, to match my (work-in-progress) couches recovered in rouge fabric from Les Toiles du Soleil. I’m on my second set now, which I thought were going to flop over, but due to the cloudy weather, they seem like they might live another week or so. I’ve noticed some neighbors make a half-tent, sort of like a sunshade, for theirs (which doesn’t really look nice, but hey, theirs are still living).

    I too wonder how it was all done in college. Three jobs and a full load of courses, and there was still time for fun and the gym. Now I have a tough time juggling dinner, downtime, full-time job, trying to get my art career on its feet, and small house renovations. Forget learning Italian, daily yoga, blogs, etc. I haven’t discovered the secret; hopefully someone else here has. Instead, I follow my procrastinator-style tendencies, doing whatever needs to be done just this minute, which isn’t ideal, but it gets the jobs done.

    Well-draining soil: when you plant your hydrangeas, dig the hole a bit deeper than needed and toss a layer of rocks or styrofoam (great way to re-use and it won’t degrade) in the bottom, then cover with the dirt and plant. I’ve used this method in my herb containers and my raised garden beds, and they drain well. I assume it would work in the ground too.

  3. Here’s my ideal daily schedule (that only happens like once every two or three weeks).

    7-9 AM: coffee, food, read (and participate in) websites: NYT, blogs, twitter, etc.

    9-Noon: Current writing project. I am working on a novel so it is a little easier to focus on one thing.

    Noon-1: Food, random stuff around the house, e-mails, etc.

    1-4 PM: Consulting hours

    4-6PM: Work out and rotate though a selection of all those things you mentioned (recipes, doctors, friends, clothes, etc.)

    And as for blogging, I generally write my post when I am procrastinating on something else.

    What do my days actually look like? Nothing like the above. More like 10% of the above and tears and too much TV.

  4. My days vary a bit because I’m a professor and some days classes start at 10am and other days at 12pm. But generally it looks like this:

    *Wake at 7
    *Go for an hour walk with the hubby and possibly grab coffee
    *Eat breakfast
    *Shower and get ready for work
    *Work (during office hours I grade, prep, and write)
    *Come home, chillax for half an hour watching Say Yes to the Dress and playing with the cats
    *Go for a shorter walk with hubs
    *Eat dinner
    *Hobby/Write (or if it’s insane, grade and prep)

    It’s pretty mundane, but I like it!

  5. I love this post and find it especially fitting right after Mother’s Day. We are all ‘super moms’ at times, and ‘super women’ the rest of the time. There is so much to do, so little time to do it in, and even less time to attempt to look sane while doing it! I take it step by step and try to procrastinate a little less each time!

  6. I’m in the middle of a Bikram Yoga challenge and won’t finish until early June, so right now my life is structured around yoga and my dog. During the week I get up and walk my dog for 2 miles then come home to make myself breakfast and lunch. I then get ready for work. I come home from work and quickly change for my Bikram Yoga class. I come home from yoga, make a protein shake, walk my dog and then take a shower. I relax and then go to bed. My weekend schedule is not much different, but I work in errands and time with friends.

    My long-term ex-boyfriend sent me a text in February with these two words “It’s Over”, so I took all of the time and energy I had spent on that relationship and redirected it to myself and my dog. I couldn’t do this schedule forever, but right now I’m enjoying the simplicity of my life and focusing on myself and my dog. Not to mention that I’ve lost 22 lbs and am in the best physical, emotional and mental shape of my life.

  7. I don’t , I really don’t do it all. My e-mail to my husband this morning started off with.. I am so overwhelmed. This week it’s the 40hr week job, 504 plans for the middle son, self tanning and trying not to streak (dear god the streaks), baseball practice and games, fundraisers and teacher appreciation week. Plus planning a mini getaway and making sure the grandparents have everything they need to keep the 20month old alive for the 3 days we are gone. Mix in the house full of couches, new delivered before old were sold, an ex-husband who takes no co-parenting responsibility with our 2 children and I am living a recipe for disaster. Oh and wait I forgot to mail out the mom’s club check for my membership, yes I pay to be part of a club of mom’s…..that I have no time for!!

    I do not have the answer, I am the problem…. But I did find the perfect vaca shoes and swimsuit, it only took 3 online orders and bags full of returns but so help me I look 10lbs lighter when I have them on. We create our own insane tortured world. One to do list at a time.

  8. I wonder if my drive to execute is too strong for my capabilities. Talk about humbling.

  9. I’m a long-time lurker around here, and something about this post inspired me to finally leave my (first!) comment. I struggle so much with feeling like I “should” do this or that.

    My ideal day (encompassing all the “shoulds”) would go something like: awake with the sunrise, practice yoga, drink tea and eat a light breakfast, spend time writing or working with clients (in my “dream day,” I’m self-employed), meet up with a friend for lunch at nearby cafe, go home and work on my business (business development, update website, etc.), prepare gourmet organic feast with fiance, run 5 miles as sun sets, tidy up the house, take relaxing bath, one hour of meditation, and get to bed early.

    My actual day goes more like this: wake up at a painfully early hour, throw on clothes and pull hair back into a sloppy-chic bun, gulp down breakfast, commute one hour to work, work eight hours (including a little bit of “goof off” time in which I look up recipes, shop online, answer personal emails, etc.), commute home, go to gym and do some type of cardio for 45-60 minutes, cook quick but healthy dinner with fiance, maybe do a little yoga or reading, and then go to bed.

    Just writing this down is helping me to see where the discrepancies are between my ideal day and my real day. I’m resolving to bring reality closer to the ideal.

  10. If the kids aren’t sick, the dog has eaten and I have on clean underwear, then I declare SUCCESS!

    Ease up a little….maybe don’t worry so much about “how to keep hydrangeas.” But aren’t hydrangeas gorgeous!?!

  11. Hi.
    Whats the important things for today. ? Thats what I do. A mental list..and have a plan..but know that its not my time.

    What is important is the memories. What will you want to remember when you look back? The dishes done or the fun had?

    Know its not your time. Be prepared to be flexible.

    And always remember to keep constant time for HIM (to thank) who keeps us going.

    Never be too busy for someone in your life, that grieving friend is more important than the shaved leg. Your doctor appt is more important also, so that you can be around for the tots.

    Whats your stance? Making the hydrangeas prosper or having them? If its prosper- then you find time to research. If its just to have them- then get them and learn by doing! :)

    by the way- I think you do remarkably, and make the family top priority and thats why there are so many memories- and so many smiles! :)

    Sarah G

  12. I make my to-do lists before I fall asleep at night, leave them on the bedside table, so when I wake up, I can look it over, fresh. I then put numbers beside each task, ordering them. I never get it all done. My husband always does dinner. I don’t shower enough. I think that’s why I relate so well to what you write.

    Also, unrelated note: I LOVE LOVE LOVE the audio clip you posted of Lucas and Abigail singing!!! I’ve listened to it at least 5 times. And you’re right, THAT is what it’s all about.

  13. Love the clip of your kids singing, so no, it’s not just for parents.

    AND I’m loving that egg whites photo you have here. How do you get your eggs to look like that? All restaurant looking?

  14. -wake up,contemplate calling in dead

    -dress for company perverts

    -apply layers of Mexican whore paint, loop earrings, chewing gum included

    – race to subway, pretend not to notice a.m. Asian anal penetration

    -hop off subway, 0 to 60 seconds into my play station, and turn on company big boys

    -shred incoming mail, and hold all calls, internet surfs up…

    go home turn in, tune out, do over

    1. Utterly hilarious! Enjoyed the read while I procrastinate going to bed, because going to bed means I’m closer to waking up, and waking up means I’m already falling behind and having to go to bed all the later.

  15. I make a lot of to do lists…but here’s an example of a smooth day.

    4:30 – 6:30: wake up, body pump class, shower/get ready
    7:00 – wake up and ready the Girl (Husband takes her to school)
    8-12 – work from home (i’m a researcher), tend to the Boy, change laundry in btw work projects
    12-2 – furiously clean the house, do laundry, sneak a quick lunch while the Boy is napping
    2-3:30 – play with the Boy, pick up the Girl, errands, grocery run if needed
    3:30-6 – do cooking prep work, clean the kitchen as I go, vacuum ground up goldfish, cheerios, etc from living room rug, dust mop all floors
    6-7 pm – cook while Husband plays with kids
    7-8 pm – dinner, clean up while kids play with the last bits of food
    8-9 pm – bathe children, myself, put kids to bed with Husband’s assistance
    9-11:30 – last pick up of house, list making, recipe hunting, knitting or other project
    pass out, then repeat…

  16. I think about this A LOT. I spend my working hours researching and writing on the topic and then the rest of the time trying to figure it all out for myself. I think we’re in a similar situation because our work is SO flexible that how we spend our days is entirely up to us. This is an amazing blessing, but also can be a curse. We continually have to decide what gets our attention. To counteract this flexibility:

    I create a fake work schedule that I try to stick with even though I don’t have to.

    I have started making “meetings” with myself to work on specific projects that are important to me but don’t have pending deadlines.

    I pick just a few just-for-fun things that are important to me (starting a blog, Real Simple magazine, Thursday night television, manicures) and cut out the rest. I’d rather do those things with a sense of relaxation than try to have a ton of hobbies/interests that don’t get my full attention.

    I don’t multi-task when I’m spending time with my 8-month-old son. He gets my full attention when we’re together.

    So far, these simple things make me less frazzled and more purposeful with my time.

  17. Today:
    Got up at 5am.
    Did emails, edited some blog posts. Looked at a draft of an essay
    I’m writing and decided I wasn’t ready to edit it
    8am Went to grocery, came home, unpacked it all an dput away
    930am took dog to groomer
    Waited.
    10am came home
    Did two loads of laundry.
    Watched Celeb Apprentice on Huli in etween
    Made lunch for me and hubby
    1:30pm left for trainer
    3pm home
    3:30pm watched Army Wives online with husband
    5pm started early dinner for husband –easy: heated leftover ahi tuna, vegetables
    6:16 upstairs with dog for reading time

    My life is fairly easy now that I’ve retired.

  18. Yes, when will I ever find time to order monogrammed aprons for the kids?

    No disrespect to you at all, but I think keeping things in perspective might help. Some people can’t afford aprons yet alone monogrammed, and their struggles are different.

    My days currently consist of going from one doctor/therapist to the next in my recovery from cancer (which by the way, I am winning). How do I have the energy to get from one appointment to the next, the cash to keep myself going (while unable to work), and the emotional wherewithall to get through another day oh and plan for (and get excited about?) the next surgery or surgeries? A few years ago it was career, personal trainer and dating that I was juggling.

    I still have to walk the dog, grocery shop, cook, clean, etc. And I know there are people out there who have it 100x worse.

    This wasn’t meant to make you feel bad, but feel good about what you can do and cut yourself some slack if the kids are cooking without aprons. My point is, we all juggle, be thankful you’re in control of which balls you’re using.

    1. Author

      It doesn’t make me feel bad. We all have issues, periods where things are easier to manage than others. I’ve been through my fair share of medical situations between twins who came early, a son with emergency brain surgery, a husband with emergency heart surgery, and even during those times, when I was overwhelmed, when I was in a moment, trying to just breathe through it, I still gave myself permission to complain about the weather. Having perspective doesn’t change everything you want to get done. It can shift the order of your priorities, rearrange a to-do list, but at the end of the day, if there are things you want to accomplish, you want to accomplish them. Order monogrammed aprons for the kids is at the bottom of my list, but it’s still there because the thought of it makes me happy. And when I get to ordering those suckers, I’ll thrill at their arrival, and then their faces as they light up to be mama’s “little chef.” I call them Little Chef, after Ratatouille. They call me Ego. Okay, they don’t. But they should.

  19. I’m a grad student and work full time so my days are a blur of work and schoolwork. Im proud to say my work is mostly completed on time, meticulously, and successfully.

    So what doesn’t get done? Cooking 30+ minute meals, running, cleaning in any variety, any bills that aren’t automatic, and at least half of my schoolwork is on extension or just plain late.

    My best advice is: take advantage of “dead time”–if you are on the train, waiting in line, or sitting around at an appointment–to do all necessary reading or paperwork. I have stopped feeling uncomfortable reading or doing work in odd places. Yesterday, while waiting in line at the bank, I read 6 pages, brushed my hair, filled out a routine monthly report and re-organized my to-do/shopping list. Everyone else just stood there. Perhaps it may invite strange looks, but you do save time.

    Or, when walking, make phone calls for appts and so on (if can be done in a socially acceptable manner). If driving, use speaker phone.

    Also:

    -Write regular to-do lists on notepads so they are portable. And always have a pen handy to jot down ideas. I value my pen more than my lip gloss.
    -That being said, keep master copies of generic to-do/shopping/recipe/packing lists on the computer. People don’t believe I can pack for a trip in less than an hour, but I can because my basic packing lists are all saved on my computer.
    -Write your to-do lists in order of priority, with estimated time needed for the activity.
    -Make one day of the weekend “commercial” (for shopping/errands) and one for “business” (work) and don’t let the two mix–in theory you shouldn’t do this on the wknd in the first place, but I find it inevitable.

    I also don’t shower in the mornings. I shower when I have time. I don’t eat breakfast at a specific time, nor do I have any TV show that is a must-watch. Nor do I “need” to read the paper after breakfast or watch the news before bed. Don’t be bound by unnecessary routines as they are bigger time wasters than you think. Routines are good, but only for that which is both genuinely important and time-sensitive.

    Also, perhaps it’s because I live in Europe, where people still eat cakes and carbs on a regular basis and obsessively working out has not quite become en vogue, but why take time away from one’s family/life by isolated exercise where little multitasking is possible? You can go on walks with friends, swim with children, run in the park, join an exercise group with friends you want to see more, dance around the house as you clean, bike as often as you can with the family or while doing errands, or play tennis with family friends.

    Anyway, just ideas…also, it helps to do more productive work in the morning (when you are most alert), and leave the social/grunt work for later, when you are more relaxed and less mentally alert. But I am interested in what others do as I never have enough time in the day.

  20. Maintaining work life balance is an art becoming increasingly difficult to master.

  21. You arent going to like this advice…but aside from work, your kids are all that matters. They dont care if the food is elaborate, if your hair always looks amazing…but on your long list, I would push those kids up and some other things aside. And add some more exercise.

  22. Making a list is the most important start to any day – so you did that! Kudos! My day/week/year/life has been in flux for so long I just wake up and try to hang on until bedtime. Right now, in no particular order, my TO DO list today is: Finish another chapter of my first book, build my brand (whatever that means!), blog, finish two stories for other ladyblogs/sites I work for, sell our condo, stage our condo, try to figure out where to move next (I hear Austin is nice, maybe Florida, maybe back to L.A.), walk the dog, babysit another dog twice a week, get my kinky hair Brazillioned, make a 600 picture 3D slideshow for a 60th wedding anniversary party (another side business I run), get a mani-pedi for a friends book party tonight, meditate, cook meals for my husband, clean, floss and try and stick to the 7 day detox I stupidly decided to start this week. I love my life, but I could use a little simple quiet in my life and that doesn’t happen much in Manhattan.

  23. I’m exhausted after reading this post and everyone’s responses. It honestly made me not want to have kids.
    I feel like my days are already stretched, and I just balance working full-time, cooking, exercising and a significant other.

  24. You sound like an overachiever. If you are feeling overwhelmed, maybe you have to two options: outsource or reduce expectations.

    My To Do list is sooo mundane in comparison. If I had known when I was going through Baby Fever that having a family meant inordinate amounts of laundry, trash, food and feces, I would’ve thought twice.

    Yes, it’s the moments that make it worth it, like when my 3 yr old, Sophia says, “Pssst, Mama, I can tell you a secret….I love you.”

    One thing at a time, right?

  25. I take a shower daily, but I only wash my hair twice a week. I cleanse my face in the morning, moisturize, and then I use a toner at night, moisturizing again. Creme De La Mer.
    I exfoliate 3X/ week. I shave my legs once a week.
    I don’t mask as often as I should, but I’m religious about my brows, and use a hair mask every Sunday.

    Then again, no desire for a committed relationship and doubt I’ll ever want babies. Though, without question, I do love your blog, as different as we are.

  26. Simplify, woman! Knowing that balance is over-rated and impossible. It shouldn’t even be desirable. Your creativity requires tension that can’t exist in balance. I’d sooner be creative than balanced.

  27. I have so many lists that my husband actually said to me during an argument “I’m sure you have a list somewhere of examples of that behavior, you have lists for everything else.”

    Kidding aside though- lists are what get me through my days and I have realized that it’s better to not schedule out things like cleaning, errands, stuff that doesn’t HAVE to be done on a particular day by day because that’s just more stressful and then I get caught up in “being behind.” Instead I just have a weekly master list and rotate though it as I have time. Anything I don’t get to that week is top priority the next week.

    I have to have 8 hours of sleep a night or I cannot function and get migraines. I’d have so much more time if I could just sleep 4 or 5 hours. That fact is my single biggest aggravation in life.

    Anyone who says, just lower your expectations of yourself clearly does not have a type A, perfectionist personality. For some of us that is like telling us to stop breathing.

  28. A respected academic colleague and former mentor had a little sign on his wall reading “Do a few things well.”

    It wasn’t that he did only a few things — it’s that he was careful not to do too much, and he prioritized each project (many running simultaneously) so that it received the attention it deserved.

    When I read the post and many of the comments here, it seems to me that there is a lot of “doing” without necessarily a clear sense of priority. When do any of these things get finished? When is there room for a sense of accomplishment? Isn’t there a risk that the bigger objectives and meanings get lost in a sea of circumstance and urgency? How do they fit into the ‘big picture’ of where you/anybody want(s) your or their life to go?

    To me, the goal isn’t to do more things more efficiently. It’s simply unsustainable over the long term. In recent years I’ve started doing less, and tackling projects (where possible) one at a time. I don’t chase ambition. I’m not out to ‘prove’ anything to an invisible audience or voices from my past. And curiously enough, I’ve found the things I do turn out better and are more successful. People chase me instead, and I turn down projects that don’t work or don’t suit this new schedule. I’m a writer, too, with a toddler, a forthcoming book, a regular magazine-writing schedule, a faculty position and ongoing scholarly publishing record, not to mention a wide variety of other ongoing responsibilities.

    I’m all for monogrammed aprons (not literally, but for what they are meant to represent). I like to fuss with linens and dishware, too. But it seems to me that these things should be fun, not part of a to-do list, not an added burden.

  29. Ah yes, the struggle to get it all done in our short days. Its tough. Sometimes, I just pray I could survive on less sleep! That would be the answer.

    But in response to your query…

    I work outside the home so things are a bit different for me and only have one young child, however some things that help me/might help you steamline your work load are:

    – I exercise, but don’t spend tons of time on it. I bought an exercise bike, put it in front of the TV and use it for 30 mins while I’m watching one of my shows. I don’t have time for weights at this moment so I don’t do them and, yes, the bike looks bad with the decor of living room, but it’ll do for now!

    – I use http://www.allrecipes.com which has fields for multiple ingredient searches.

    – I rarely cook anything that has over 7 ingredients and can’t be prepped in less than 20 minutes. I make several casseroles on Sunday and then reheat them for meals throughout the week. Plus if you eat the same things for several different meals you have a lot less meal planning to do!

    – Devote entire work days to one task at a time. Monday: screenplay, Tuesday: book, Wednesday: essay, etc…

    – I’d hire a gardener for the hydrangeas. He/she can get them going and teach you how to maintain them.

    – Devote 45 mins to your personal beauty needs each morning before kids are up or once they are at school. I’m a much happier person if I’m clean and feel good about myself. I’m also much more motivated and a better “lover” to my husband.

    – I keep a list of the “business” stuff that needs attention – making doctor’s appointments, paying bills, finding recipes, shopping lists, etc. Then I spend the first 30 min – 1 hour of each work day taking care of said business. Then what doesn’t get done that day, will get done the next day (hopefully).

    Something you might want to consider doing is focusing on less for one month or one week or whatever. Say “no” to having any company over – invited or otherwise. Perhaps make it known to your friends that this month, you are focusing on finishing all those nagging projects and you will be too overwhelmed to entertain. Put off all the organizing for that month, too. When those projects are completed, you can move on to organizing your everything.

    Well, those are my thoughts about it. I, too, have more to do than I have time so I’m sympathetic to your struggle!

    Good luck…

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