It’s back to school for everyone next week in Florida. Along with adjusting to new schedules-everyone is at risk sharing germs with people they come into contact with. Getting sick is a big concern for teachers. I always preferred teaching lessons myself if at all possible. I never knew who I would get for a sub. Sub plans took hours to write even though I had a template and then subs would tell me-they did not like the book or lesson so did something different.
Originally published on blogger 6/9/12
I was reading a new book on my kindle today. One of my favorite bloggers did a compilation of her blogs. Her book, Willa’s Journal: A Box of Stars is delightful because it is really makes you think about everyday ordinary things. In one of her posts, she says she writes-because she can-realizing that other people may or may not be interested in what she has to say. I always was.
This made me wonder why I write. Actually, there are so many reasons I may not get them all down.
I started keeping a journal before I was a teenager and still keep one today. I am constantly jotting or recording stories I want to get done. I have several tiny notebooks with notes, scraps of sentences, and many journals. My writings are mostly about my life and other amazing things. I am a thinker and spend a lot of time thinking in my head about why things happened a certain way and how I could do it differently. I also am amazed at the not so accidental timing and connections of things that happen in my life. I learn from everything-good or bad and I am amazed at how intricate people and life are and how it all works together. There’s a lot going on in my head….who knew? I think these words are what keep me up at night.
I write to…
Dump: Life is hard and painful and most of the time people don’t have time for your hurts because they are nursing their own. I can dump every ugly piece and get it off my mind. I will not be judged or have to worry about my secret getting out. Many times I have written things on paper that are-well; they are just too painful to say. I will never be able to say them but at least I can write them. I am entitled to my feelings and they need a voice.
Tell Someone Off: I have never done this in real life, only on paper. It is not in my nature but some people need it! I do not like conflict but again, I am entitled to my feelings. Let’s face it-most of the time when you tell someone something they are not likely to listen. It is not worth stirring things up. Megan and I have been talking about things like this a lot lately. It is hard to find a balance between having respect for yourself and just walking away from it.
Try and understand: Often by mulling over something that has happened and how I feel about it puts everything in place. I get a clearer sense of it. In the midst of events we often can only see what is right in front of us.
To Remember: There are so many stories from my life I do not want to forget. There are people I don’t want to forget. I can see how people have been placed in my life at a specific time for a specific reason. I consider many things that have happened in my life to be near miracles-there is no reason why it should have miraculously worked out as it did. I do not want to forget the wonder of it all. I tell my students-you and your life are important. Write it down.
To be amazed and thankful: Have you ever listed the things you yearn for the most? Have you ever written your prayers? I have. Then years later I am looking at old writings and I amazed at the prayers that have been answered and the absolute perfect timing. Looking back it becomes so clear as to why things had to play out the way they did-pain and all.
To remember to pray: I care about people and so many people are hurting. I am also very busy. I like to write the names of people that have asked for prayer. I keep it on my desk near my computer. Usually in email or on Facebook people will ask for help. I say I will pray and I need to write it so I will. This also allows me to check back and see how people are doing.
To Heal: I tell anyone that will listen-writing saved my life more than once. It helped me process things that I had stuffed. It helped me dig out of things I was buried under and as much of a cliché as it is-I found myself and pulled myself out-one page at a time. Consider this-some of the most famous songs and poems were written when dealing with pain.
Last but not least, I write because practice makes perfect. Well, not really. For me writing is an extension of me and my mind as well as my emotions. As none of those are perfect, my writing is not either. However, when I write consistently, my voice is truer. I become braver and less critical. My vocabulary improves, becomes more embellished, and flows easily.
I wrote a book (the one that saved my life) and it is not yet published. My dear friend/editor Robin asked me how I would feel if I did all the work of compiling it and then it never got published. I told her I was ok with that because this was a huge part of my life and I liked having it put together. Maybe one day I can share it with my daughter.
April 16, 2014
Your turn: Do you write? Why? Why not? What do you write in? When do you write and what do you write in?
Originally posted on blogger 6/8/12
Who doesn’t struggle with time management? My friends always act like I am superwoman because I get so many things done. Obviously, I only share what I do get done-not what I don’t. They don’t know how many times I start one project switch to another and another. I plan to go to the computer for one minute and end up spending thirty. I’m very organized-that’s not the issue. I have so many interests and so many things I love doing it’s hard to find time to do them all. I’m never late for work, I always meet my deadlines or appointments but the things I want to do always come last.
I have to pull out all the stops in the summer to stay on track because I have a hard time staying on track with large open blocks of time-just my luck. There are a few tricks I do use that help me. Maybe they’ll help someone and I hope others will share some of their tricks.
Working Backwards: This sounds strange but I came up with this because of work. After students went home – I’d settle in to do my paperwork and such knowing that I have to leave at a particular time. Then I would get so involved in what I was doing, totally immersed, all of a sudden I am grabbing my purse and keys and running out the door. Then I find out I’ve left without my shopping list, my journal, or the project I had planned to take home. So I started working backwards. As soon as students leave, I put everything that is going home in one area. Then when I am ready to go, I have everything. I do this on my big errand days in the summer as well. I put all my lists, coupons, cooler, and other items together first-with a plan of attack, before I start doing anything else. Working backwards has saved me so many times because I am constantly trying to do just one more thing!
Outlook Calendar: I use Outlook email and calendar at work and home. I put as much as I can on there. When I add a doctor appointment, I put it on my work calendar (if within the school year), my home calendar, and my husband’s work calendar. I do the same for husband’s appointments. This way if one doesn’t look at their calendar, we can remind the other. We know what the other is doing on a given day in case we need to schedule something. I also sync this to my iPhone.
Yahoo Groups: Years ago I set up a yahoo groups for coffee club- my girlfriend group. I set it up because we were always planning activities together. When I sat down to e-mail everybody, I had to make sure I didn’t forget someone. I love the group because when I send an e-mail out saying I want to go see a movie -everybody sees it. When someone responds with the time they can meet, everybody sees it. Everybody knows what’s going on. There is also a calendar included. I can put birthday and other reminders on there for everyone.
I also have yahoo groups for my book club group. There are only seven of us and we rarely e-mail each other within the group (totally opposite of coffee club). The calendar feature for us is invaluable. We often choose our books six months in advance. I take that information home and put it all on the calendar. I can include the book title, the hostess, and hostess contact info. I set it up to remind people two weeks ahead of time and three days ahead of time. I can set up six months of info in just a few minutes and never have to think about it again. This has made my life easier. No more worries about forgetting to send a reminder.
Dragon Dictation: This is a free app on the iPhone. Right now I’m sitting in the parking lot waiting for my husband and I am speaking into my phone using the app ( I just had to close the window so a passerby didn’t think I was crazy). When I’m done I can e-mail it, send it as a text, post to FB, or twitter. You can also copy the text and paste into any application. I most always email it to myself at home. I put Dragon Dictation e-mails in one folder until I need them. This is a great app for me as I don’t write longhand because I’ve had carpal tunnel surgery. After a few sentences my handwriting is messy and my hand cramps. Even if I am sitting at home with other options, this is my best way to get a lot of writing down. Once on the way to school, I composed an email to teachers and sent it to myself. When I got to work, I pulled it up, did very little editing and sent it out. What a timesaver! The only downfall to the app is that it does not save your information. It only records for a short time. This blog was done in twelve sections. I just numbered each one as I sent it. Note: Sending an email while driving is as bad as texting. Obviously, I only do this if I am sitting in traffic.
Pampered Chef Timer: I know there are other timers out there but I like this one best. I can clip it on to go with me. If I set it for thirty minutes and it beeps-I press stop. The thirty is still there for me to press start again. I use this at home as I’m constantly getting off track-especially in the summer or when I have a huge block of time to manipulate. For all the people that say I’m amazing- if you spent one day with me I could burst your bubble quickly. I am fragmented as I go from one thing to the other. At the end of the day, a lot of great things get done but I often feel like I’ve failed because they weren’t the things I had planned on. I may get ten things started but none of them got finished. I use the timer a couple ways.
- To keep from being overwhelmed: I have always found that I put things off because I think I can’t do it or it will take too long or because I don’t know where to start. When I came home from vacation I dumped everything on the dining room table-brochures, maps, my activity totes. Every time I saw the pile I put it off but it bothered me. I set the timer for 30 minutes and it was done! Sometimes a daunting task is completely finished because I’m trying to beat the clock. If it’s not completely finished it is a lot less intimidating. This is a great thingsto do with kids when cleaning their room or dividing the day into work and fun.
- To Stay On Task: In one day, as all women know, there are too many tasks. You could spend all day on the computer doing different things and they would all be important but there are other things that need to be done. I set the timer and switch tasks: cleaning a room, answering email, cooking, doing work for my business.
- To have Fun: I am a workaholic in many ways. I love organizing , cleaning, and purging. It may take me a while to get to it but when I do I am relentless and I get so involved I do not stop. I actually schedule fun time to break away. I may take the dog for a walk, play on the computer or read (other than walking the dog I have done nothing else yet).
- To eat: I admit I set the timer today so I would eat breakfast and after that set it for lunch. I get so immersed in what I am doing I could go from 6am to 5pm on nothing but a cup of coffee. This is not good for me. I should be having small meals and drinking water all day.
Monday I was home all day and I did not use the timer. I spent all day on the computer-no games. I was cleaning emails, cleaning files, doing work related to many jobs that I do-all important things but there was so much more that needed done. I knew I worked hard all day but it did not look like it and in many ways I felt like I failed. Thursday I was home all day and did use the timer and accomplished more than I thought I could. I was excited and felt like I had accomplished something and it looked like I had as well.
NOTE: I believe I first heard about using a timer through Flylady.
These tricks that work for me. I’d love to hear your comments and any tricks that you use.
Another thing I have always wanted to do is to schedule a block of time for myself that I would use differently every day-Monday writing, Tuesday beading, etc. But I have not gotten that far yet. Has anyone done this?
April 16, 2015
Your Turn: What are the favorite things you use to help with time management? Please share-as I know many struggle with this!