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Thread: Finding time to do stuff

  1. #1
    Redwick, re-imagined RedWick's Avatar
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    Finding time to do stuff

    So, within the past five months I've moved out of my folks place, had a spate of unemployment - wherein I put out upwards of 30-40 different applications (only six interviews and none panned out) - before my usual landscaping/gardening job started up and enrolled in classes at ITT (say what you will, I'm enjoying it).

    My boss is starting to generate a lot of new work, so I suspect we'll be working a lot of long hours (7 hour long days, instead of 6) as well as long weeks (she's talking about working on Saturdays in addition to the usual M-F, at least until we get caught up on all the new clients she's getting). My commute to and from work is anywhere from 25 minutes to an hour and a half, depending on how ornery traffic is being. I've been getting up at 7 to be on the road by 8, so I can get to work by 9ish. On non-school days, I'm usually back by 5:15 on short days, and 6 or 6:30 on long days (tonight, it was almost 7).

    Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays are when I have my classes. Mon/Wed are evening classes. They both start at 6 and run until 10ish (Mon runs later than Wed). I'm home by 10:30 or 11. Sat starts at 1 and is scheduled to go until 5:45, but usually gets out at 4. Monday and Wednesday, I usually go straight to bed when I get in.

    Sunday's been gaming day. Starts at 12:30 or so, and goes until 10ish that night. It's broken up into two sessions: 12-4, 5-10.

    Between all of that, I have to find time to do stuff like household chores, homework, yardwork, laundry and whatever else needs to be done (like eating, pooping and showering). I was called into a "staff meeting" by my one roommate, E, and we apparently have scheduled chore days now. Bit of backstory on her: E loves her lists and always being busy to the point of freaking out over how she has so much stuff to get done (all self-imposed stuff). Several years after she had graduated from college, she had been grading herself (as in, letter grades - A, B, C, etc.) on her various things she wanted to accomplish that year. She's a good friend, but she can be really difficult because she's very particular, and she has this way of making people feel like shit if they don't measure up to her expectations. I mention all of this because I don't think I'm going to be able to get in line with her chore schedule since most days I get home from work, I just feel like collapsing in a mindless heap.

    I'm thinking I'm going to have to drop gaming and use Sunday as a sort of "Get everything else done" day. I can already see the writing on the wall, in that I don't think I'm going to have the luxury of being able to take an entire day off. It's gonna suck because, in addition to being roomies, I also game with E. It's gonna suck, but I don't honestly think I can get everything else I need to get done at any other time.

    Blah...

    Anyway, just needed to vent.
    Life... is like a grapefruit. It's orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast. - Douglas Adams

 

  • #2
    consequences 3catcircus's Avatar
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    Just do what everyone else who appears to be in your situation does - go out in a blaze of glory by first shooting your roommate, then your employer, then your instructors and classmates, then your employer's clients, and then some random bastard(s) - all in one giant spree before turning the gun on yourself as the police close in. Its de rigueur these days...

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    holiday cheers! Lycorys's Avatar
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    I feel ya, man. My days are crazy long and I struggle to keep up. Not enough hours in the day. I've been up since 4 this morning putting a design together because I didn't get back from consults/estimates until 9:30 last night.

    Sunday used to be our gaming day, too. It fell by the wayside when we were all too busy with kids, work, spouses, etc. I now try to keep Sundays as my day to get caught up with stuff around the house - it helps.

    This is a mad mad season right now. It will level off by July. Hang tight, keep your nose down and you'll come out on the other side just fine.

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    Redwick, re-imagined RedWick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3catcircus View Post
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member.
    Just do what everyone else who appears to be in your situation does - go out in a blaze of glory by first shooting your roommate, then your employer, then your instructors and classmates, then your employer's clients, and then some random bastard(s) - all in one giant spree before turning the gun on yourself as the police close in. Its de rigueur these days...
    Sadly, I have no access to weaponry of any sort. And personally, I'd aim for making the news via Armored Larper Killing Spree, since that one always seems to garner more attention than a simple shooting spree. Maybe if I dressed up as the Gunslinger from Dark Tower...

    Quote Originally Posted by Lycorys View Post
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    This is a mad mad season right now. It will level off by July. Hang tight, keep your nose down and you'll come out on the other side just fine.
    Man, I hope so. So far this season, my boss has added something like six new clients and every other day it seems like she's meeting with another new prospect. That's on top of the 20 or 30 places we already do. We started two weeks early this year because of the nice weather, but I swear we're already starting to fall behind. And I know I'm gonna be grateful for the extra work when things finally do slow down

    Hehe...I'm seriously debating the merits of just paying out of pocket to have a lawn service come by and do our lawn. I don't relish the prospect of being handed a ticket because I couldn't find the time or energy to get the lawn cut (and apparently I'm the only person in the house capable of running a lawnmower ).
    Life... is like a grapefruit. It's orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast. - Douglas Adams

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    Pony Up! Ovinomancer's Avatar
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    Wow, 12:30 to 10pm? Maybe you should drop a session, open up half of Sunday?

    I'm going to hazard a guess that your gaming group doesn't have many members with kids?

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    Weevil/Ligon COMMUNITY SUPPORTER WayneLigon's Avatar
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    You might want to look at any of the several books out there about getting organized, or managing your time. For instance: an hour between getting up and getting on the road? What's going on in that time other than your shower?

    For instance, don't skip breakfast. You can cook a scambled-egg-and-cheese wrap sprinkled with crumbled bacon in minutes if you do your bacon earlier in the week and wrap it; you can cook enough for a couple weeks in under 15 minutes.

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    old lady Wyn McTwitch's Avatar
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    That is an awful lot of time devoted to gaming each week. I agree with Ovi - maybe switch to one 4-5 hour session, or play every 2 weeks instead.
    A mature person is one who does not think only in absolutes, who is able to be objective even when deeply stirred emotionally, who has learned that there is both good and bad in all people and in all things, and who walks humbly and deals charitably with the circumstances of life, knowing that in this world no one is all knowing and therefore all of us need both love and charity.

    - Eleanor Roosevelt



  • #8
    Damn you, Rusty COMMUNITY SUPPORTER Rel's Avatar
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    I seem to do a lot of coaching with people about getting their To Do lists done. It's a hot topic.

    Looking over your schedule a bit, I tend to agree that scaling the gaming back to a single session per week seems reasonable. I certainly wouldn't drop it entirely since it's clearly important to you and is one of your few recreational outlets in an already packed schedule.

    However I also wouldn't put all the "chore work" onto a single day. You'll dread the hell out of it, particularly if you go from gaming during that time to doing chores the whole time.

    Instead take a few minutes to chop your To Do list up into smaller increments. I'd be willing to bet that most of it can be pared down into items that you can accomplish in 20 minutes or less (there will be a couple of exceptions I'm sure). Then get up 20 minutes early on your weekdays and get just one thing done before you go to work. This will make the leftover stuff on Sundays relatively small and you can still enjoy the remainder of your one day off.

    I try to do this myself each day by accomplishing one important thing every morning before I get caught up in the internet and my work day when I'll forget all about the things that are my bigger priorities.
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  • #9
    Rel makes a great point. If I save all my chores for the weekend I end up doing nothing but chores all weekend and it sucks. But I can spend as little as ten minutes a day on chores throughout the week and it makes a big difference come the weekend, even though it's really hard to just DO when I get home b/c all I wanna do is collapse into a brain dead heap.
    For instance yesterday I scooped the cat litter, did a load of laundry, and took out the little bowl of compost to the bin. Maybe 15 minutes of effort but it was something!

    I took a similar approach to homework when I was back in school after taking some time off. I was lucky in that I had classes all day but gaps of up to 2 hours between some classes. I'd use that opportunity to get most of my homework done before I went home for the day.

    I think the biggest thing will be to really honestly use your time wisely. It's way too easy to sit and goof off online for an hour or two. Also, you're gonna need to stand your ground with your housemates on chores. I don't see any issue with having chore assignments, but make sure the distribution is fair and if your high-maintenance house mate is expecting ridiculous levels of chore-doing you're just going to have to chat with her. Keeping dishes washed, floors and bathrooms clean, trash taken out, and the lawn non-jungly is reasonable. Vacuuming every day or dusting the light bulbs is not.

    Another thought...if you're that strapped for time and can afford it, consider buying your way out of some chores.
    Last edited by Trillian; April 18th, 2012 at 02:35 PM.

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    Things In A Box COMMUNITY SUPPORTER Dave Stebbins's Avatar
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    It also helps to realize that the situation is temporary. School isn't forever and when complete your life should calm down somewhat. It is easier to go through hell if you know it won't be long before you emerge on the other side.

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    chaste little tart der_kluge's Avatar
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    Instead of D&D, try DDO. I love it because I can get my game on late in the evenings and without the hassle of trying to fit it into my schedule. It's not with face-to-face people, and there's no rolling of dice, but I find that it scratches my gaming itch quite well.

  • #12
    Quote Originally Posted by WayneLigon View Post
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    Don't skip breakfast.


    It's a tired adage but it's true: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Eat a healthy one, and it ramps up your metabolism for the rest of the day. Eat nothing or simply grab a donut, and either your stomach is grumbling or you get a sugar crash.

    I'm certainly not perfect on that score, but I'll often set up my breakfast before bed. Get the coffee maker good to go, and pour my granola w/dried fruit into a cereal bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. All of that takes less than five minutes but five minutes always feels HUGE in the morning rush -- having it ready-to-go often makes the difference between my having breakfast and not.

  • #13
    punctuate this, punk! COMMUNITY SUPPORTER Insert Username Here's Avatar
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    You could tell your boss you're not available to work more than X number of hours per week and we what happens.

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    jaded cat Davek's Avatar
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    My 2 cents worth ...

    Time management is not about accomplishing tasks, it is about managing the time you have.

    You will ALWAYS find more tasks/chores to fill your available time. Consider the tasks in your life to be infinite.

    That being said, not all tasks/chores need to be done. At all.

    Figure out what absolutely has to be done (and this list better be very short or you are not doing it right), then everything else is negotiable.

    No one can do everything.

    If trying to meet some standard (your own or someone else's) is literally draining your life away, reevaluate those standards. Having a clean house is not worth it if achieving that brings hell into your life.

    Make sure you have a balance in the chores and fun things, even if you expect the situation is temporary.

    Making sacrifices is okay, but not if those same sacrifices cost you a reasonable reward in the future.

  • #15
    Redwick, re-imagined RedWick's Avatar
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    Heheh...thanks for all the great advice!

    Couple of things: Just so you guys know, I was mostly just venting. I had had a long day and I was exhausted, and it was then that my roomie decided to call a house meeting to say "Here are the days I've assigned for you do chores". My roomies are pretty understanding and I know I can make everything work, but I was feeling a bit overwhelmed at that point. They are broken up onto different days, so it's not like I'm expected to do everything all on one day. And I think there's a lot of overlap between the chore duties, so no one person really has to do a lot.

    Re: work - If I wanted to/needed to, I could take off an entire week or two from work, or just let my boss know that I need the time to work on homework or whatever. She'd understand and wouldn't even get upset (though right now she might grumble, since we have a hell of a lot of work that needs doing). I'd prefer not to, since every day that I don't work is a day I don't get paid. The schoolwork isn't too demanding as yet, so I want to try to squeeze in as many hours as I can right now so I can take those extra days off later on if I need to, when things really get going.

    Re:Gaming - I'm already thinking that I'm probably going to drop the morning game at the very least. A full day of gaming was all well and good when I didn't have anything else going on in my life, but I know can't afford the time. My preference would be to drop the evening game, but that's the one that's more regular and with a more interesting plot (though right now, we're doing a meatgrinder which has a much different tone than the regular game). It tend to run late also, as some nights, we wrap up at 11 rather than 10 or 10:30. We'll see how it all plays out. And for the record, only one has a child that they have to deal with.

    re: Breakfast/Morning schedule - I make sure I eat at least a bowl of cereal (though if we don't have that, I'll do up toast or an english muffin or something). I know I could afford the time to actually cook something substantial and for I time I was doing more (like making myself omlettes), but I like that feeling of not being rushed and collecting myself before heading out. The routine has been working out for me for the past four years in any case.

    I do think I need to sit myself down sometime and work out a personal schedule to make sure I don't get really overwhelmed, because I can see that happening real quick.
    Life... is like a grapefruit. It's orange and squishy, and has a few pips in it, and some folks have half a one for breakfast. - Douglas Adams

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