Sunday, October 16, 2011

Time Wasted Is Time Lost

So since my last ROW80 update, I’ve come to an important realization about myself.

I am the most unorganized person I know.

This was kind of a shock, because I really thought I was more organized than I, in fact, actually am.  Since Wednesday, I’ve been updating my calendar, keeping tabs on how I spend my time, and yeah…I waste a lot of time.  Take for example, yesterday. I woke  up at 730 am, which is crazy early considering I was up until like 230am the night before (an anomaly in and of itself!).  But when I woke up, I could have gotten things done…but I didn’t. Instead I lazed around in bed, watching a little TV, and then fell back to sleep until a little after 9.  It wasn’t a good sleep since it was only for a short period of time.  It was, well, I guess I would call it more of a “waste of time” sleep.  And wasting time isn’t an option.  I mean how the hell I am going to get crap done on my list if I’m sleeping for no apparent reason!  I was wide awake at 730.  I could have gotten my butt up and used that time to write or workout a little longer. Or get some homework done.  But, in the end that  was an hour and a half wasted.  When I pondered that for a bit, that was when the second realization hit me. 

I don’t get to rewind the clock.  I will never get that time back.

I mean, I knew that, but I don’t think I really ever understood that.  Guess I must be a little behind when it comes to learning life lessons.  In looking over all my goals, and all the other work I have to do, and my desire to still have some semblance of a life, I realized that I don’t have the luxury to waste time.  But then, none of us do, do we? 

I mean, there are a lot of things I want to do in the short term and in the long term; in both my career(s) and my personal life.  For example, I just got back from Hawaii—one place crossed off my list—but there are also a lot of other places I want to go to (England and Ireland—you are next!).  There are many people I want to see and visit and I want to finish my master’s.  I want to accomplish the first goal on my bucket list, and that is, publish (or rather and more likely, self-publish) a book.  Looking over the journal I keep of things “to do”, I really need to get started because I am woefully behind.  I need to find time to accomplish these goals the way I want to, and with the people I want to. In order to do this, I can’t let things like clutter and my inability to utilize time management skills properly be a roadblock to experiencing life the way I want to experience it.  Bottom line is, I, like everyone else, have a finite amount of time to live, and I am not going to waste it anymore. 

I think that now I am on the right track, or at least I hope so.  I've been planning out my calendar, inserting my ROW80 goals where I can and actually doing them.  Working out, even for just a half hour, has helped me to start building up my energy levels again, it has helped to sleep better too, all helping me get through the tedious parts of work, which eventually get me to the fun part of my day—writing.  This slow and steady organizational binge I'm on has also helped me see things around me, i.e. in my house, that need to get done.  I live in an almost one hundred year old house—there are a lot of things that need to be done to update it and to make it reflect who I am.  I've lived here four years, but it used to be I was too busy to work on it or would leave things to the last possible minute.  But with the holidays around the corner, I’ve decided that this year I don’t want to be rushed, like I usually am.  I want to enjoy them, and that means starting early on things like painting the living and dining room, reorganizing my kitchen, getting rid of old, unwanted and unneeded furniture and other junk, and starting to plan for the annual holiday party I throw for my immediate and extended family every year (as opposed to waiting until one week before!) And the list unfortunately goes on.  But the point is that shouldn't keep putting things off.  I need to just do.  

It has been less than a week since I've had these realizations, and I’ve only gotten a few things done, but I’m okay with that.. Eventually, the “little” things, like organizing my house and office, purging stuff I don’t need or want, and getting other day to day items done, will leave me with more time to look at the bigger and bolder things on my list.  But until then, I am satisfied that I will get there since I have a plan now.  One item at a time is the way I’m doing this.  And as each item gets crossed off, that leaves me more time to spend with friends and family and get other things done too.  It’s a domino effect, and I like it.     

So what do all of you do to stay organized and maximize the time you have?  Do you have a list of goals or ‘things to do’ that you are working towards?  Or am I just going crazy with this organization kick and totally, well, nuts?  Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?    Good luck this week and see you at the next ROW80 update!


  1. I am striving to be more organised too, but sometimes it is hard! I am trying to do things like tidy up as I go along so I don't have to do lots of 2 hour cleans. I am also trying to do things like do little tasks whilst the kettle is boiling instead of standing and waiting! It makes such a difference!

    Organisation is key especially for NaNo so we better get ourselves sorted! Have a great week!

    ps. Love the new look!

  2. I think we all strive to be more organized. I know I am, always, unending, I figure one day I'll get there but until then it is simply the eternal quest. At least you used the situation to spur yourself to action and it looks you are well on the right path now.

    Have a great coming week :)

  3. hey kat! hope your trip to hawaii was amazing! i love it there (was considering moving at one point!!).

    time is precious - and i tend to let it whittle away, too. thanks for the reminder to stay on track.


  4. We have a huge long list of things that need to be done to the house. However with homeschooling, work and writing, it takes last place. If it isn't broken, there isn't a rush. We'll get around to it eventually. Sometimes we just learn to live with a slightly less than perfect house. We enjoy our downtime. Don't beat yourself up for not getting up and writing at 7:00. There are times I get up and read instead of writing. Yes, I want to kick myself sometimes but the brain just needs a break occasionally. We can't be perfect everyday. We whittle stuff down little by little. Just do your best. That's our motto.

  5. I try and get up early when like you I wake -fully ready! but that extra hour is so tempting esp. now with darker colder mornings!

    I find that just lying there - dozing (No TV etc) is splendid way for brain to sort ideas, allow new great ideas to the fore, generaly creative time without the distractions of being up and about - harness it -and enjoy bed as well!! bonus

  6. That reminds me of a song called "Quicksilver" by Cruxshadows. There's a couple of lines that sound like what you're saying:

    "I'm takin back my hope, taking back my goals
    Taking back my memories and my soul"

    Being organized and efficient is a good thing but just don't forget to live at the same time. Sometimes we have to "waste time" to enjoy life. Just do it in a healthy balance.

  7. Organization is over-rated sometimes. I prefer to think of myself as "spontaneous." :-)

  8. @Em- Thanks! I am working on trying out new things (and learning them!) for the blog. Now if I can just find out how to fix the comments section. I want to reply to each comment like others do...gonna have to see if I can find me a widget thingy for that!

    @Gene- Thanks! And yes, I saw the situation and now I am tackling it head one..well one step at a time anyways! :D

    @Gina- Hawaii was...amazing. I blogged about it a bit last week. I am putting together a separate non ROW80 post about it which I hope to get to, well soon! But I want to go back so bad...As I've been repeating since I returned, wanting to maintain that Hawaii spirit, "live Aloha!" (very helpful when I am stressed out!)

    @Robin- Thanks so much for the words of encouragement! I think ROW80 has really helped me see what goals SHOULD be...and that has a lot to do with why I think I am heading in the right direction! My success so far has really helped me see that I CAN get things done--when I do things incrementally anyways! Good luck this week!

    @Alberta--That's a good idea! I could totally use that extra time to think over plot points, and outlines and characters. An extra hour in bed, and getting things done...hmmmm, I might have to try this out on Saturday! :D Thanks!

    @Ryan-- Yes it is definitely about balance! Part of my problem had been I was so overwhelmed I couldn't see how I was going to get any of it done at all. Now, with ticking off one or two things here and there, I am able to take my downtime and really really enjoy it. It's been a win-win! And by the way--I checked out that song. I love love love it! Reminds me of Duran Duran and Depeche Mode, two of my faves. Thank you!

    @Darcywords-I like your way of thinking...From now on,I will tell people, "I'm not unorganized, I'm spontaneous!" Love it!