My time management was impeccable until I had children. Of course when I first had children I was working for “the man.” I had big dreams, but was small time. My life was as simple as it could be. I would wake up at 6:00am, walk my dog, get Payton out of the crib, feed her, wake my wife up, hand Payton to her and I would go to work. At lunch I would come home, walk my dog, cram a sandwich and go back to wok. At five I would rush home to get Payton so that my wife could go to work. Then I walked the Dog, carried her around in my arm and almost every night, it was my daughter and I and when she would use her rocker, I could hone my craft. When she didn’t there was nothing getting done. I remember getting so frustrated some weekends because Payton was not a big sleeper and had to be rocked, (which I said I wouldn’t do.) I could have her asleep and the minute I placed her in the crib, she would pop back up again. She didn’t leave Daddy’s arms very much which I believe is where our strong bond comes from.
There were many nights spent staring at the computer screen, holding a pen in my hand looking at a blank piece of paper, while I threw a ball to Vinny and rocked Payton.
It was real rough on the schedule when I would occasionally get a “side job.” It was normally a wedding or an occasional small corporate job but still nevertheless would take all the time alloted to get done because there was never any time to begin with.
I suffer from O.C.D. I’m not just self diagnosing this to be funny. I am full fledged diagnosed and all. It cripples me every day and I refuse to be medicated for it. I choose to fight it with my mind. Some days I win. Some days I do not. In some of my idiosyncrasies it helps..... Others it kills.
Time management/Planning was one of the good traits of my illness. My schedule whether busy or slow was always planned down to the minute. If I kept the schedule I would be fine. If I couldn’t then my O.C.D would send me into panics and confusion. Just as I began to get busier, “bumps” in the road or “distractions” in the schedule, made things very tough on me.
My wife was a conductor of that distraction and dysfunction. She never cared what or where I needed to be so communication on times and places was never utilized. As far as she was concerned, I would have to drop what I was doing no matter where I was just so long as it didn’t interrupt her schedule. By the time we had River, and I had decided to make this business work full time I was already turning down work , (not out of being busy,) and canceling them because I couldn’t get her on board and could not utilize enough time to put my name and ass on the line for a job.
After the split, my “Tao of Time Management,” went back into effect and it changed my life and my career forever and as business began to boom there became only so many minutes in the day even planned.
I had always complained to everybody that it wasn’t that I was too busy, but it was the fact that I never was granted a full day of work. Where I worked “for the man,” at an office, I was allowed from 8am to 5:45 every day and somebody always helped if there was an issue and there was never a question of me being anywhere but work, because I “worked.”
Being that I worked from home, most people assumed that I was not doing anything therefore getting assistance was murder. So I was on my own and had accepted it over time.
More work came in and I began expanding hours after the kids went to bed which would keep me up and sleep deprived. I skipped meals, outings with friends, dates, just about anything that would allow me more time. Then I began outsourcing some of the work which posed another problem because nobody was doing the caliber of work I was accustomed to so I would find myself having to do it all or worse than that, do it over.
Month after month, my work day would be stretched out a little more until I was averaging 3 hours a night which in turn would lead to more stimulants to keep me going.
My normal day schedule played out like this:
This schedule has not let up as far as workload even in the change of life. This was where a new plan would have to be made in order to utilize all of me and my responsibilities.
The new plan would have to allow more time for work AND to complicate things I would have to find 2 extra hours for the gym throughout the week. I would have to utilize day care a little more and subsidize my planning.
The new schedule would be as follows:
This schedule would not allow for much “me time,” but it would be sufficient to start and would keep me fresh with rest and exercise.
Taking a pay cut to hire out extra help when the times were tough would be a must with the new program and training people to do what I do would have to be done.
My workflow would have to be prioritized down to the second now.
My former way of living would be doing the Mr. Mom thing as I went while the kids were there which took a lot away from them and out of me.
A good work out energizes you. You may leave the gym feeling wrecked but thirty minutes following the gym, you just get this burst of energy, (or at least I do.) That would be the time to be productive if I moved around so that was clean, laundry and yard time. One hour a day devoted to this I found a little more time for what was more important: The kids.
The schedule may not work for everybody. You may have to adjust and work out a plan that best suits you.
A time journal was utilized to keep me on track and keep all the little things in order such as school plays, doctors’ appointments, and other parenthood elements that can not be avoided and often just come out of thin air.
If I didn’t make it to the gym, the 9:30 - 11:30pm slot was devoted to it, The Nine Year Gym, (the garage for anybody that hasn’t been keeping up.)
With a schedule in place, it was time for the hardest transition of them all, The Diet.