Me and my compartments

“You write, have a daycare, constantly volunteer in your community.  Yet, your house is clean and you seem so put together.  How do you do it?” People have asked me on more than one occasion.  “If they only knew,” I think to myself.  I’m like everyone else; surrounded with to-do-lists and endless demands.  Yet, I have found a way to muddle through the chaos that works for me. 

I’m a visual person, so imagine staring at hundreds of little compartments: cooking, cleaning (Wait, I break those down into jobs: mopping, dusting…), writing, children, husband, treasurer…okay so there are thousands.  Don’t panic!  The number of compartments doesn’t matter.  I only work with one compartment at a time, except for the children compartment.  They refuse to stay contained in their little box I designed for them.  They climb (literally) over and into everything else.  Thankfully, they have to pass out sometime, which is why I write in the middle of the night and nap time.

If you’re thinking right now, “Ugh! I have a headache,” trust me I’ve had those too, but understand I don’t open every compartment everyday. 

Each morning, I scan my compartments and make a list in my head.  The “must do(s)” go first, followed by the “should do(s)”, then sprinkle in “if I have time do(s)” at the end.  For example, checking my email and facebook is a once a day “must do”, but to return a second time is a “if I have time do.” 

Now, the tricky, and most important part, is allocating how much time I spend on each “do”.  Be honest with yourself.  For example, if you know it takes an hour to do your hair and makeup, fifteen minutes to do your children’s hair, and thirty minutes to feed them, don’t wake up every morning trying to get your kids to school and you to work in only an hour.  Oh, I can hear the groans now.  “I like my sleep.”  Fine, then go to bed earlier.  The reality is, to be organized takes discipline.  I guarantee you’ll feel a lot less stress, and have to do a lot less yelling, if you’ll give yourself the proper time for each “do” in your life.  I have used this system since high school and it never ceases to amaze me how much I can accomplish in one day by adhering to it.

Side note: After flying to meet the company, we were offered the job.  At the same time a local company has asked for an interview, so I still don’t know for sure whether we are moving or staying.  At least I know for sure, we will have a job when my husband’s current contract ends. Yeah!!!!

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About janelleevans

I'm a sleep deprived mother of three. I create young adult novels from the voices in my head.
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