Don’t waste energy deciding

The baby is working on sleep in fits and starts. Last night was decent. My husband put him down while I went grocery shopping (all by myself! a treat!) and though he popped up at 10:45 p.m., he then went down (with one self-settling incident) until 6, and then after feeding, slept until 7:20 or so. I was able to sleep with just a little disturbance from 11-6. But the night before he was up every 2 hours.

Life continues whether I’m sleeping enough or not. So I’ve been reverting to my “survival mode” strategies. A key one: set each day’s priority list before the day starts. Even when I haven’t slept well, when I sit down at my desk around 8 a.m., with my coffee, I am in go-mode. I can conquer the world! (Well, a small part of it). Since this is the most energy I will have, I want to use it to execute on whatever I have to do for the day. I don’t want to burn that energy deciding what to do.

So, each afternoon, when I’m more wallowing along, I make a list for the next day. I don’t have the energy to tackle most of those things then (though if I see some small stuff, like a quick email, I might do it). But I trust that my morning self will be able to handle it. And so, bit by bit, stuff gets done.

In other news: Today is my 16th wedding anniversary. We’ll just do a toast on the porch during the day (when we have childcare). At our reception many years ago, my late father-in-law gave a rather humorous toast in which he informed us that “the purpose of marriage is strong children.” But even he might have thought that five was a bit over the top!

Over at Forge, my column argues that “You’ve been more productive than you think.” And last week I wrote about saying goodbye to survival mode.

This photo is from a summer beach photo session courtesy Yana Shellman. She’s taken all our family photos for the past five years. If you live in the PA/NJ area, definitely check her out!

7 thoughts on “Don’t waste energy deciding

  1. Happy Anniversary! Very sweet photo, indeed. We very rarely get professional photos taken. I think our last ones were from like ~4 years ago now. When I see photos like these I sometimes wonder if we should have them done more often!! But I take a million photos constantly with my iphone, plus we always have the good old overpriced school photos… not to mention there are only so many places in our home to actually display photos. 🙂 Seems like a lot of work to get all those color coordinated outfits together all the time too. Ha. I’m sure yours are all beautiful though if they were done on the beach!

    1. @Grateful Kae- it’s the kind of thing I like having *done.* During it, it’s quite the bother! But I like looking back on them…So on the whole I’ve been pushing myself to get them taken.

  2. Hi Laura, your family is beautiful! I am also waking up often at night, and even with a priority list, I sometimes hit a wall and feel the need to get some sleep during the day while the kids are at daycare and I should be working uninterrupted. If I nap, I am more productive afterwards, but have obviously wasted the time during which I napped. If I don’t nap, I find myself trying to pull myself through the day just to finish the minimum work I need to. Do you have this issue? If so, how do you deal with it?

    1. @Nikki- I think naps are productive! It’s not wasted time. You might want to do a targeted 20-30 minutes in early afternoon. A 2-hour nap will feel like too much time plus you’ll be groggy but a short one can work wonders. And you’ll probably gain more than 30 minutes of productivity by taking the nap. As you note, if you don’t nap, you just do the minimum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *