I’m the coffee-cup wielding nut-job at the school gates, because the truth is I am particularly bad at managing my time. This is a problem when parenting, but especially when running a small business.
When the neighbour isn’t picking my eldest up from school, I’m flapping about, trying to get out of the house with my youngest. Dinner probably hasn’t been made, I’ve decided it would be an email/marketing day but, the bulk of it has been spent on social media. It’s a groundhog thing, it happens more than I care to admit.
It’s unproductive, and pretty toxic. I don’t get out as often as I should, afternoon school runs shouldn’t count as ‘going out’. Various friends have recommended a wide assortment of clever life-managing apps and sites. Hootsuite for social media usage, Gotomeetings for webinars, Woocommerce for my online shop . My phone has become an almanac of ‘potentially useful stuff’ – none of which ever gets a look in.
There is a key to effective time management. I’m yet to find out what it is. Replicating that method used by your super-mum friend who has 6 kids (all in matching, ironed slacks) may be tricky. Some folks can run a profitable on-line Etsy shop while owning a printing business, and still find time to groom a large dog while you struggle to water your house plant. Don’t measure yourself against other people’s standards, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Identify your own particular style of ‘order’ (or lack thereof), and build up slowly, fixing the broken stuff step-by-step. Praise yourself when you get it right. Make getting organised a labour of love and self-preservation, it’s not an exact science.
See my previous ‘lists’ blog, it’s one of the many ways I’m trying my hand at self-love.
Lists; because no human ever, except for probably Stephen Hawking, and those bizarre children joining Mensa, can actually remember every relevant and semi-significant detail.
I got into an early list habit, jotting down homework that needed completion, and housework that wanted doing in exchange for pocket money. I have never weighted completion of listed tasks with any real importance, acknowledgment was, for the best part half the labour.
Lists of clothes, shopping lists, lists I showed my friends, lists I didn’t show anybody. Lists I couldn’t stomach reading again myself (nobody should ever make that list, you were young and single, sometimes not. We all make mistakes). I kept some, I threw others away. I probably have a list of all of them somewhere.
For the best part they get completed. The devil is in the detail… The pen you write with, the medium you write on, envelopes, business cards, bananas. Some you keep and use time and again, others you’ll scrap instantly. They’re a brain bin, they remedy a distracted mind.
I’d leave the house with no shoes.
I haven’t written in ages, because, and I’m probably hasty in saying this, I have had no major recent misadventures!
Exceptions to this are the ‘not bothered’ plumber after the epic flooding in the property downstairs, the apparent complete success of the ladies circuit training class (and my own diet), then the weekend’s undoing of said diet… Then there was rejecting the troupe who wanted to use a 40m sq. space with a 6ft ceiling for a trampolining class… Also, cutting my own hair.
Between those things, half term, Valentines day, the search for a new vehicle that won’t leave us unable to feed ourselves, and re-doing my driving lessons – nothing much has really happened.
You’ll get to read about my wing-mirror culling antics soon, which I’m sure you will find enthralling.