The life of a working girl. One week down.

Good morning chimpanzees and chihuahuas. I know you are natural enemies, but I hope we can all get along for the next few minutes to discuss a very important subject. Time management. Or my complete confusion over how to go about managing my time…

As some of you might remember, I headed back to an 8-5 job last Monday. It’s a fun job and I like it a lot, but here it is, Sunday night and once again I didn’t manage to gather my wits enough over the weekend to feel prepared for the week!

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That’s me on my way to work!

OK. So here was my general schedule last week….

5:30 – 6:00: get up, drink coffee, read blog posts
6:00-6:30 : shower, dress
6:30-6:45: more coffee, computer, wake up Mr. Bug
6:45-7:00: make lunches, make bed
7:00-7:15: finish hair and makeup
7:15-6:00: commuting/work
6:00-6:15: daily outfit picture, change for dog walk
6:15-7:30: walk Lucy
7:30-8:00: make dinner
8:00-9:00: eat, straighten up, set out clothes for the next day
9:00-11:00: work on blog post, more computering if time
11:00 Bedtime!!

Anyone notice anything that’s missing? I do! There’s no time to do any SEWING!! Also, as some of you might have noticed, I haven’t responded to comments or emails for a week!

I thought I’d catch up on some projects and get some pictures taken and edited over the weekend so I could just write the posts each night this week, which would save some time. If I start out with my pictures downloaded, cropped and edited it only takes about an hour to write a post. And if I can get posts written faster, then I’ll have extra time to sew and have something to post about!

But, of course, I didn’t get to any of that! On Saturday I was VERY lazy in the morning, and then worked at the shop in the afternoon. Mr. Bug and I did our weekly grocery shopping Saturday night after dinner, and then Sunday we got up early to clean the house, then headed out to pick up Mr. Bug’s mom at the bus station for a few day’s visit (yay!) They went to the horsetrack (I know, right?) for the afternoon and I went on an Ikea and Marshall’s field trip to get necessary spice-organizing implements. I got home midafternoon and spent the next few hours making dinner and reorganizing a few kitchen cabinets. Dinner was at 7, and the three of us went for a Sunday drive and then came home and I cleaned up the kitchen (Mr. Bug helped, of course. He’s a very clean bug.) and got some things ready for this week’s lunches (chicken breast and bacon for my giant salads!) At 9:45 I settled in to watch a movie and work on a blog post.

So here’s my question for you productive chimps. And chihuahuas. How does everybody get everything done? I honestly don’t get it – and we don’t even have little bugs (other than the lop eared basset hound who lives with us.)

With that, I’ll leave it to you clever simians to offer me wise words of advice. Posting may be light this week… not only do I not have many projects in the hopper, but with a houseguest ’til Tuesday I’ll be busy playing! I expect some solid time management advice here. Don’t make me pay for a subscription to Real Simple. Although, based on the covers I see in the checkout lanes, that might be a very good idea. I also am in need of some new dinner ideas…

Also! My lack of replies in the comments doesn’t mean I’m not eagerly checking my iPod while eating my lunch to see what you all have to say! I just am not getting back to comment while at a keyboard!

 

 

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29 Comments
  • oonaballoona
    August 31, 2011

    erm… drink more. you’d be surprised how many more hours suddenly show up in the night.
    oonaballoona recently posted..before. after.My Profile

  • Laurwyn
    August 30, 2011

    You should do a review of all these comments because they are great!

    I used to blog every second day or something, but since I started my job, it just spiraled down. The thing is that when I have free time, I’d rather sew then blog… But on another side, I miss blogging… I have implemented 2 things
    - 1 whole week end per month is only for sewing, i catch up on laundry/etc on the monday and tuesday. I know it sounds weird, but it is the best way for me to relax in the process…
    - when i really need a sewing fix, i just do it after work until very late (usually on Thursdays). I am pretty tired the next day, but most of the time it is a Saturday and it is better.
    - I just had the idea yesterday to actually write the post while commuting, and just adding the links and pictures later. So this also works great during my business trips!

    And you should remember that sewing is your passion, something that makes you feel good. And it should stay so. The more you push it, the least you will energy you will have to dedicate to it…
    Laurwyn recently posted..Un Beignet á l’OrangeMy Profile

  • Tanit-Isis
    August 30, 2011

    I know this feeling! I try to cram in a couple of hours in the evening (8-10), after the kids are in bed. It’s frustrating, especially as I hate not having something to post every day (or two days, at least). I have a feeling I will need to resign myself to once- or twice-weekly posts this year, though. If that. /sigh

    Everyone’s right, though, you will get more in the groove in a few weeks.

  • Laura James
    August 30, 2011

    Wow…you are getting a lot of good advice; some of these ideas might help me find more sewing time as well!
    The suggestions to set priorities are important, I think. We do clean the house every Sat mroning–ereryone has a cleaning job–but it only takes a bit over an hour. Our version of clean wouldn’t meet my grandmother’s standeards–you can’t eat off the floor, but eating at the table is fine! We keep things tidy throughout the week–which is easier when everything has a place. One area that doesn’t get tidied is the sewing room–my daughter and I leave things out and ready to pick up and sew. Our challenge is sharing a sewing area/machine.
    I plan our meals (and write the grocery list) a week at a time, so I always know what’s for dinner and I have all the ingredients ready. All our favorite meals are written down on cards and organized by category (chicken. beans, pasta, etc.). Each card lists side dishes and where the recipes can be foung. I’m trying to put a shopping/staples list on the back of each card,but haven’t gotten very far with this. Every week my husband and daughter choose a card or two, and I fill out the rest. It took a lot of work to put the cards together, but now that they are done it makes meal planning a snap. You could do one card at a time as you complete a successful meal.
    I have a couple fav cookbooks for fast cooking–Marian Burros’ “20 Minute Menus” includes a shopping list for each menu and Rachel Ray’s “30-Minute Meals” has “bigger” recipes that make extra to freeze or use for lunches.
    I love to cook once to make 2 meals–grilled chicken with green beans and another side at one meal; leftover chicken and green beans in a lemon pasta dish later in the week is one of my favorites.
    Give yourself time to get into the new routine…you’ll get there. Good luck!

  • Jean Marie
    August 30, 2011

    Some thoughts on cooking…
    Crockpot-lots of good recipes (one of my fav sites is allrecipes.com); cooks a large amount, so you can eat for 2-3 nights or freeze extra.
    Have a few quick n easy meals and keep supplies on hand (i.e. eggs with veggies – spinach, tomato plus a bit of feta cheese is good; grilled cheese; spaghetti; soup n(bagged) salad…).
    Chili – freezes well either in small portions for lunch or larger for dinner.
    Cook “ahead” on Sunday afternoon, dishes or parts that freeze well, there are some books about this, tho’ off the top of my head at 7 in the a.m. ish I’m not remembering titles!
    Takeout…enough for leftovers for lunch, breakfast, next day dinner.

    Takes time to adjust, but you’ll find the rhythms that work for you and your house!

  • Nancy
    August 30, 2011

    Carolyn over at Diary of a Sewing Fanatic did a couple of posts on how she manages to sew as much as she does. She does her prep work and planning during the week so she can sew on the weekends. Also, Trini at Life Happens Be Positive did a video post on how she organizes her time. She goes to the public library on her lunch hour to cut and mark fabrics, read instructions, etc. She keeps her projects together in a plastic bag so she can keep everything together and take it with her.

  • BamaCarol
    August 29, 2011

    Ha! I don’t blog but I still do not get it all done. No kids other than a kitty boy and I find it hard to get my housework done during the week and just hate having to spend all day Saturday cleaning and doing laundry and then ironing and getting ready for the work week on Sunday afternoon. I love to sew and do all kinds of needlework as well as working with wood and painting furniture. Unfortunately I do not love my job so at the end of the day I feel drained and have little energy for what I do love to do. Good luck finding the balance!

  • beth
    August 29, 2011

    I’m with all my fellow dirty girls who say, “Stop Cleaning.” Not because I don’t like to have a clean house or because I hate to clean, but simply because I need sleep and have a kid and a full-time job and a husband and four dogs and I AM ONLY ONE PERSON. So, cleaning often takes a back seat. Something has to give and, evidently, I don’t mind dirt nearly as much as I thought I would!

  • shannon
    August 29, 2011

    make friends with your crockpot, accept that you won’t be able to get absolutely everything done, and invest in a calendar/planner of some sort and schedule the important stuff!

  • Andi
    August 29, 2011

    I don’t have a full-time job but here’s how I fit everything in:

    The most time-consuming stuff for me is prep. So maybe you could cut out patterns and fabric on the weekend, then stitch during the week? Even if all I get done is threading the machine, it’s something.

    I don’t clean all that much and I outsource annoying little jobs to other people, like the kids and the Hubs. I taught everyone in the family to make their own lunch, and we don’t make beds around here. For some things, you can alternate days — like dog walking. I also hang all my clothes in the closet by outfit so I don’t have to plan a wardrobe — just grab and go.

    I only cook about 2-3 times per week. We have one day we get take-out, a couple days of leftovers, and one day when the Hubs cooks. That frees up some time.

    Mostly, it’s abut making time for the things you WANT to do. If it’s a choice between sewing or something else, the something else can wait.
    Andi recently posted..Sci Fi SundayMy Profile

  • threegoodrats
    August 29, 2011

    I work on blog posts in the morning (this is the time during which you would be doing hair & makeup, at which I suck and don’t bother.) We spend limited time cooking. A lot of salad and tacos are consumed at my house (still homemade, just quick). And I rarely clean. Occasionally I will half-heartedly vacuum cat hair or wipe a wet cloth across something, but really, what’s the point? Better to save my energy for crafting.
    threegoodrats recently posted..Bittersweet SymphonyMy Profile

  • Kip
    August 29, 2011

    So this may sound a little OCD, but something my husband and I have found extremely helpful when we’re uber busy is to use a kitchen timer to keep us on task. We’ll pick an amount of time for a project, set the timer and just focus on that until the timer goes off. We usually keep our timer sessions between five and 45 minutes (depending on the task) and then check in and see where we are.

    The other thing that we use A LOT at our house are whiteboards. We have one huge one mounted on the wall and a number of smaller portable ones. Hubby and I will have whiteboard “spew” sessions where we’ll get all the things out of our heads that we want to accomplish (sometimes this is short term things, sometimes long term). Then we’ll break things down into a plan for the week (or month, etc). It’s a fun way to spend time together and a great way to keep each other in the loop! Plus, having the crazy jumble of stuff in your head out on the wall makes it much more of a presence in your life and a good reminder of what’s important – you could put SEWING TIME in huge block letters on the board so it doesn’t get pushed to the back burner :)

    I’ve also found that by using the whiteboard sessions to get things organized and then the timer to keep me on task, I am MUCH more productive and therefore find snippets of extra time to fill with things I am extra excited about…

    Thanks for the great blogging and good luck with your transition!

  • Helen
    August 29, 2011

    First, love your blog and I usually never post on blogs but in your case I will for a completely self-serving reason: If I can give you an idea for more time for yourself, you will blog more and therefore I will have more of your blog to follow (which makes ME happy). So here are a few ideas:

    1) Make a list of things you DON’T enjoy doing and see if you can outsource it. I have a cleaning service that comes in every two weeks. Even if you are at home when the service is there, you can sew or blog during that time.
    2) Does your grocery store have on-line shopping? It can take a bit of time to set up initially with a favorites list, but now I just spend about 30 minutes clicking away and the next day, pick up the groceries at my appointment. Saves me a good hour and a half a week.
    3)See if there is one task that you can move completely off your plate and ask Mr. Bug to take it up he is able…possibly folding laundry, etc.
    4) Admit that a person CANNOT do everything (especially important if you are thinking of little buglets in the future). Then the hardest part…MAKING PEACE WITH THE FACT.

    Remember, the people who love you don’t notice a cluttered home or other shortcuts that make your life easier nearly as much as you do…what they notice is the happiness and love they feel when they come to visit and play. When you are happy and fulfilled by things that bring you joy (sewing, creating, blogging) you can more easily fill others up with with that same good stuff.

  • kati
    August 29, 2011

    Some nights I get my husband to cook dinner so that I can sew while he makes the food, of course that means we’ll be eating lots of meat for dinner and no veggies, but it gives me about an hour to sew that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
    kati recently posted..Wedding Part 1: the flowers continuedMy Profile

  • Reethi
    August 29, 2011

    I live by myself, so I’m not sure how relevant this would be.

    - I blog during lunch, not in the evening. Any spare time in the evening is either social stuff or sewing.
    - I cook enough to last a couple of days. I try to set it up that I cook once during the week, and once on the weekend.
    - I do a 5 minute pick-up every evening, but I don’t clean during the week. I’ll do a couple of hours of cleaning over the weekend. (Ok, I aspire to do a couple of hours of cleaning over the weekend.)
    - I also don’t set out my clothes the previous day – I know a ton of people do it, but my take on this is that a task expands to fit the time you have to do it. In the evening, I’m not hurried, so I tend to vacillate over what I’m going to wear. In the morning, I’m always running late, so I grab something, wear it and head out. (I might not be the best dressed person in the world, but it is an efficient system.)

    Hope that helps! I’m always wondering how to get more done, so I totally relate!
    Reethi recently posted..Simplicity 2594 – View EMy Profile

  • laura
    August 29, 2011

    Time Blocking – like colour blocking

    do all your tasks in blocks of time (ie)weekly food prep, cleaning, blogging, cutting and sewing. I’ve only just started to follow your blog but i get the impression you are a list maker. Start planning your free time, like you plan your fall wardrobe and fall sewing. good luck, it will come
    LG
    laura recently posted..Everyone is MovingMy Profile

  • LaUra
    August 29, 2011

    Right now, you’re just adjusting. Once you’re in the groove, like it all things- you’re going to find you can do more stuff, because you can always do more stuff than you think you can, and by “you” I mean “people, especially ladies”. The trick is not to psyche yourself out of doing it by making it less important to you. I like the idea of doing the photos in blocks over weekends leaving only the writing part for work nights. Maybe you can find 30 minutes a night to sew or cut out too? Imagine your serger calling out to you “Feed me, Patty FEED ME!”. Imagine your whole life as the musical version of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ in fact. That would be awesome.
    LaUra recently posted..Voile -la A Wrap Skirt!My Profile

  • Tabatha
    August 29, 2011

    Sistah, do I ever know what you’re talking about! I have a one hour commute each way to and from work, I am away from home 11 hours per day. I go to bed at 9:00 p.m. because I get up at 4:00 a.m. After getting home (from work) I have 4 short hours to feed the animals, make dinner, eat, clean up and maybe watch an hour of mindless tv to wind down before bed. I have resented work and my mantra is for a 4 day work week. But without a job I can’t afford to sew.

    Rarely can I get a project completed in a week and I struggle to get something accomplished within the month… Somewhere in the very short 2-day weekend, we have to maintain our homes, do laundry, shop for groceries.

    Where are the people like us who have no time to sew and even a smaller amount of time to blog? Oh yeah, they don’t maintain blogs because they have no time because they have full time jobs. It’s a vicious circle.
    Tabatha recently posted..More Cow Bell!My Profile

  • Rosesred
    August 29, 2011

    How was your first week? Did it go as expected? More importantly, were you happy about your outfits? ;)

    Routine might sound boring to some people, but I actually find it very relaxing on weekdays. It helps me to focus on things that are important to me.

    Usually I’m home by 6, and I give myself till 8 to cook, eat, excercise or be lazy, ect. the timeslot from 8pm-10pm is reserved for the one thing next to work I want to accomplish that day. Might be cleaning, taxes, or painting but most nights that’s my sewing time. Experience taught me that sewing after 10 is a bad, bad idea, so that leaves a little time for TV, internet or a book before bed.
    Rosesred recently posted..Dress! Mccalls 5752My Profile

  • angie.a
    August 29, 2011

    Well, obviously I suck at this since I haven’t sewed since I went back to school (other than a couple of small spurts, no finished objects yet) AND I haven’t read a single blog until last night. Since the beginning of AUGUST! It’s tough. I do have 2 kiddos, and they have lots going on too, but mostly I’m just too tired.

    I had the luxury of getting lazy over summer break though. i’ll get in a groove in a couple of weeks and won’t feel like a zombie on the weekends. At that point here’s what I do to get some sewing in (mind you I still am haphazard about it, I just try harder):

    *Trace & cut out on the weekend, maybe put the entire project in a giant ziplock or empty curtain/sheet zippered bag. That way the project isn’t cluttering up my kitchen table/living room (no sewing room) and I can take it out and stitch a seam or two each night, then put it neatly back in its baggy. Which leads me to…

    *Sew one seam per night. When I’m really feeling like I never sew anymore, this is my goal. Just one seam. This is easier of course if you can leave your sewing machine OUT. Inevitably I sew more than 1 seam, but even if I don’t, you’d be surprised how much you can get done in 1 night.

    *Occasionally make Saturday or Sunday “Sewing Day”. I line up a fun project that can get finished in a day-ish, and schedule nothing on that day.

    I’m sure there are better methods, Carolyn is a master of the working sewing woman. :)
    angie.a recently posted..weekend miscellany.My Profile

    • angie.a
      August 29, 2011

      “you’d be surprised how much you can get done in 1 night.”

      Doh. I mean in 1 WEEK. those single seams add up fast!
      angie.a recently posted..weekend miscellany.My Profile

      • LaUra
        August 29, 2011

        Angie’s right, a little at a time! The good part is it’s so neat in your sewing nook, you won’t derail into cleaning, and if you DO have to leave a wee mess to keep your schedule, it’s in the basement tucked away!
        LaUra recently posted..Voile -la A Wrap Skirt!My Profile

  • Nancy
    August 29, 2011

    Relax and take a deep breath. You’re not going to get as much done as you did before heading back to work. It’s ok. You don’t have to post a blog post everyday.

    With your new sewing room, you should be able to sew in little bites without worring about it being all over the house.

    It will all work out.

  • Krista
    August 29, 2011

    I hear you. It is challenging to try to have variety and interest in life outside of the 11 hours working and commuting, besides housekeeping, eating, and hopefully spending a little time with the Mr. Take heart, please. It takes time to make the transition and find new habits. I know you’ll find time for everything that is important to you.

  • janine
    August 29, 2011

    I sew in small time lots – sometimes my sewing consists of threading up the machine or just cutting out interfacing.However it all eventually gets completed. My favourite meals are leftovers – cooking up big batches so the next night it is easy to just heat something up and steam some veges. You obviously are already multitasking as well.

  • liza jane
    August 29, 2011

    I pick one night a week to sew. Then that night I completely ignore all my other duties. I don’t pick anything up, I don’t cook anything and I definitely don’t clean anything. I plan for it ahead of time so I have a solid chunk of time to work on something. One night a week doesn’t sound like much, but it really is. Then I sew a lot on the weekends.
    liza jane recently posted..Muchos BebesMy Profile

  • ladykatza
    August 29, 2011

    Honestly? I don’t clean. I mean, not really. My house is always a mess and my free time could either be a) spent cleaning or b)spent with family and then a little time left for me.

    Guess which one wins out?

    • Sue
      August 29, 2011

      Snap – stop cleaning, that’s how I find the time :)
      Sue recently posted..Boxers for the boys… Jalie 2326My Profile

    • LinB
      August 29, 2011

      I know! Dust does not worry about you, sister. There’ll always be something to clean, but you have to make time for sewing. Have a lovely visit with Mr. Bug’s mama.

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