Saturday, May 8, 2010

Yes, as a matter of fact, I would like some cheese with that.....

Warning:  Whine ahead.

Advice needed:

When life is too busy, too full, when there is not the time you need to do the things you need to do, how do you slow down?

Even if it's just small, little things, I could use a litle inspiration in the slowing down department .

Right now, I feel caught in the middle of an epic battle between my writing life, my regular life and my sleeping (or inability to do so) life.


P.S.  I've really no right to whine.  I am the luckiest person in so many ways....but time is whooshing by and leaving me in a scrambled state of crankiness and disorganization and, well, it's just uncomfortable.

Edited to include:
Note to self....the best way to slow down is maybe to stop worrying about your own life and start thinking of others.  Do the Write Thing for Nashville .  Go there.  Now


Avo said...

I can't really recommend anything original... The usual thing for better managing one's time are scheduling (allotting set periods of times for things and mostly keeping to your schedule). And to do that prioritizing is useful too: finding, defining, and quantifying the things you want to do and how much you want to do them. That can help you get organize your schedule.

The squareness of this approach puts a lot of people off, but it's a good way of using one's time efficiently.
You can just use it for writing. Many professionals make writing schedules, x many words over the span of a week. If a day's quota couldn't be met because of a random real life thing, then it can be made up for the next days...

Sorry I can't offer more interesting advice. Good luck with all your juggling.

Yat-Yee said...

Can it be that this balance feels much harder to handle than usual because you're sleep-deprived?

Sleep first. Get your mind back into regular function mode and let it take over from there.

Tricia J. O'Brien said...

I am not a good one for advice on organization. But the last two days I've spent on a whirl of cleaning and organizing after putting it off too long. I feel like a weight has been lifted. Lists are good, too, if you can enjoy the crossing off and, thus, feeling productive. Sorry that's all I've got. (Happy Mother's Day, may it be restful)

Dawn Simon said...

That darn time issue...I was going to suggest low maintenance dinners, but I remember a post in the past where both you and I were already easy dinner advocates. You see, I was thinking that's one way to save time. Another way is to let housecleaning slide. (Are you feeling sorry for my husband and children right now? I hope not.)

That's all I have. If you come up with anything brilliant, let me know. :)

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I agree with Yat-Yee about sleep being a priority until you're fully rested. Make a list and focus on ONE THING AT A TIME. Each time you cross something off the list, you'll feel a little lighter. Carve out a little time for something you love - that relaxes you. You'll be better for that bit of time spent, even if it feels "sinful". Breathe! :-)

Hardygirl said...

Whew! I've gotta say, though. I'm the most productive when I've got TOO much to do. I'm in submission limbo these days, and my plate is pretty clear. You'd think I'd be doing nothing but write. Right? Instead, I'm lazing around.

It's amazing. When I start going full steam on a writing project, suddenly the rest of my life gets crazy busy--yet somehow it all gets done.

But, yeah. Figure out a way to get some sleep. You need it.


lisa and laura said...

Yeah, I'm a terrible example at this kind of thing. I agree with everyone who recommends sleeping first, and yet, for me that's always the first thing that goes. Er...went. Honestly, I just don't sleep much. When things get really overwhelming I make lists. I like lists because I get to check things off. It pleases my inner OCD freak.

Tess said...

Tylenol PM. That's my advice. When I get hectic (like going through my first round of edits now ... stress!) I have a hard time slowing down. My mind races at night so I can't sleep, even if I'm physically tired. So, I tried Tylenol PM this week and it helped.

If you can get rest, it makes the other chaos easier to manage.

Jessie Oliveros said...

I have no advice because I try to balance life, sleep, and writing and fail miserably. Lately, sleep is winning because my baby is up all night. Why am I writing on your blog? I should be in bed.

Natalie said...

I'm always searching for some sort of balance. When life gets really crazy I look at my priorities and cut the stuff at the bottom of the list. I usually regret this the next week and take it on again, but at least I get a rest.

Clementine said...

Ugh - I'm right there with ya. Sometimes what helps me the most is taking a day off. I have to make a mental effort to give myself permission to do this. It's a curse of type A personality. When I feel that squeezed, my creativity and energy are zapped. The only way I'm able to recaputure life's joy is to do something fun. I suppose to some people this looks irresponsible, but if you don't give yourself time to play, then you can't give your best to the people who need you the most. Sometimes that means letting something go, too- like breaking plans or an appointment. But sometimes life forces me to cut out things that aren't AS important to make time for the areas that I can't ignore. I hope that helps. It's an ongoing battle for me, Miss Shelley!

storyqueen said...

Alesa-I am not always the greatest scheduler...which makes me cranky when things snowball. I think I'm just a bit frustrated by the stuff I can't control.

(I don't even have a word quota right now....)

Yat-Yee: You are probably right. I forget how much lack of sleep affects EVERYTHING.

Tricia-Cleaned on Saturday...helped some, but I need to do one of those really big clean-outs where a giant comes and lifts my house and dumps it out.

(I wish there were giants that did that.)

Dawn-I didn't think I was so worried about time, but I kind of think I am. And they aren't making more of it, so I better start prioritizing. Yikes!

Shannon-Sleep, yesssssss. I get to sleep fine, I'm just not staying asleep...

SF-Sadly, I kind of think I'm the same way. If there is time to waste, I'll waste it with the best of them. Busy Shelley=Productive Shelley which leads to Tireder- than-an-old-dog-on-a-hot-summer-day Shelley.

L and L-Well, it's impossible to get sleep when you have kids as young as you do. On the other hand, mine are bigger, meaning I should sleep better. Hmm. Why isn't the math working out??

Tess-Aha! I knew there was something out there that might help. But the question is, will it make me miss the alarm in the morning?

Jessie-Awwww, I remember the time with a new baby. You stay in bed whenever you can...and nap when they nap!!!

Natalie-I've been afraid to make a list in fear that it would freak me out...but I think I just need to suck it up and do it.

Amy-I am not sure if I even want time to play right now...I just need to time to do the stuff that HAS to be done.

*Hello everyone. Thank you so much for your compassion. Sometimes life seems so overwhelming, and then we have to sit back and realize how lucky we are to even have the troubles that we do.

Many people, especially those who are suffering from various forms of devastation, would look at my life and think it kind of lucky-ish.

I should do that as well.

Jackee said...

You answered your own question with your note to self. Look around for others that might need help. But you're right--that overwhelming feeling gets me so cranky and self-involved more than anything else. When I notice myself getting that way, the big reason is because I'm tired. So take a nap, even if you have to down a Tylenol PM, because your outlook will get so much better. And I know it takes time you don't have to nap, but you might be more productive afterward.

Just my two cents...

I'm rooting for you--you can do it! (You always do, somehow, someway.)

Stasia said...

I'm with you. Time is the enemy right now even though I'm busy doing lots of wonderful things and feel like I shouldn't complain. It was comforting to stop by your blog today and realize I wasn't along :) Thanks for your congrats on my novel, AUDITION. Stasia

PJ Hoover said...

Consider this virtual cheese.
I was at that feeling stretched point a while back, and I started looking at all my various activities to see what could get cut. It really makes you take a look and prioritize.

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