In many of my time management talks and workshops, I wind up helping people with demanding jobs figure out ways to make space for their personal lives. Here’s how you can spend more time with your kids. Here’s how you can make time to exercise. Here’s how you might build more reading time or hobbies into your life.
I’m currently facing a different challenge. My personal life is crowding out space to work. Some of this is the result of a toddler who doesn’t sleep well (though I got the guest room again last night and slept 10:30 p.m. to 5:45 a.m. straight, got up to go to the bathroom, then slept again until 6:30!) Some of this is seasonal — the end of year pomp for four school-aged children. With five kids, there is just a lot going on in general: playdates, activities, appointments. I choose to be involved to a high degree, even with a high level of household support. And then there is the house. Oh my goodness, the house. This week’s issues included, among other things, discovering that a bathroom had been mis-measured, requiring a different door on the toilet room. I chose upholstery fabric and will be approving the location and number of electrical outlets in the kitchen tomorrow.
Anyway, it’s all good stuff. It is all freely chosen. I’m very efficient, and with my type of business there are dividends paid on work done long ago. I can work less than I used to, while earning more than I used to.
However, I am writing Tranquility by Tuesday this summer. This is my top work priority for the year. I want to do a good job. And while I am more efficient at writing books now than I was 15 years ago, writing a book does take time.
So I’m trying to figure out how I can expand the hours available to work. I’ve worked a few “split shifts” this week (after the baby goes to bed) and I’ll probably employ that old standby of getting my husband to take the kids out of the house for a few hours on weekends. We can even trade off (he is dealing with a not-dissimilar time crunch, because guess who else is driving kids to karate, making home renovation decisions, etc….). It just requires some planning.
I also need to make my during-the-workday work hours more productive. I should preserve morning hours for writing, and then save those random tasks that arrive (yet another camp form!) for my Friday punch list. Batch the little things, as the TBT Rule #8 puts it. But I won’t get to that chapter until late July…
How do you find extra hours during a work crunch time?