The Crazy Suburban Mom: How can I have such an extensive to do list and forget to shower?

Friday, October 12, 2012

How can I have such an extensive to do list and forget to shower?

I watched Kate's Video a few days ago and it got me thinking.  Something about the way I do things was nagging at me  since  watching and it's snowballed into a reevaluation of how I use calendar stickers.


She referred to a post I wrote earlier this week (here) where I talked about using a tab and a 'topic' sticker for advanced planning.  This works very well because important appointments don't get lost in life's shuffle.

I've missed quite a few important things in my life (and paid  insane amounts of money for Doctor's appointments I failed to show up for ) because I forget about them, so now within a very short time of making them, I fill in dates on my Dodo week on two pages diary.

Filofax a5 compared with a Midori Traveler's Notebook
(The 2013 dairy is available now by the way....)

Despite not missing them anymore they seemed to catch me unawares.   That's when I started adding top tabs; at least I could see what was closing in on me without going through future pages constantly.  

When I watched how she uses tabs and calendar stickers I realized I could do something similar to help with daily things.   I have a lot of problems with the normal daily stuff I need to get done which is why I write so much on my to-do lists.

My Creation with "100 Cameras in 1"

I think there are a lot of reasons but the main ones  are: I'm a poor time manager and I get side-tracked easily.  I write a lot of things down because the repetition helps but it's not as effective as it could be when I fail to account for how long each thing will take.  The other issue is it doesn't include things I do (or should do) every day.   

I may intend to take a shower first thing in the morning but then the side-tracked part comes in and before I know it I've been awake in excess of eight hours (still unshowered) and find I've spent a crazy amount of time mindlessly googling, watching videos,  reading blogs, and playing Angry Birds.

I go into a panic because the things I wrote to do that day,  I really DO need to get done ... Guess what loses?  The shower, the putting on make-up, the taking my vitamins, the laundry, the vacuuming... The me stuff.  

  Missing a shower  doesn't seem like a big deal and not wearing make-up is even less of a  deal.   And what's really going to happen if I miss my vitamins and don't vacuum the house on any given day?  Each thing is pretty minor but altogether they feel a lot like I'm not taking good care of myself.

And that needs to change.

There are things that make me feel good about myself and all of them get tossed overboard when my day gets busy (or Angry Birds is calling me like a Siren with a megaphone).  

I haven't worked out the specifics but I know Kate is right; it has to do with using these effectively. 


As soon as I have a handle on how I'll post on it but for now I'm just relieved to have some forward motion in the area of self-care.


Nancy 10/12/12, 1:17 PM  

Hey, Tracey - I, too, struggle with the day-to-day fundamentals and over-writing to-do's. Recently I've found I've been functioning better by using a more macro approach than micro. Instead of writing down all the chores, etc, I just say 'CLEAN AND TIDY'. That is the FIRST thing I do after coffee. And 'CLEAN AND TIDY' means me, too! I go through the whole house - beds, dishes, start laundry, pick up, shower, make-up. Each day it gets easier because I keep 'CLEAN AND TIDY' a priority throughout the day. By giving it a priority I've relieved so much angst and dissipated so much self-loathing. Having been raised in the '60's and '70's I have a large degree of suspicion of housework (why should WOMEN always do that crap?!) but that mindset is so superficial and counter-productive. I do that 'crap' because somebody has to do it and I'm the best candidate taking all factors into consideration. Keeping 'CLEAN AND TIDY' benefits not only me, but the whole family. It's a way of clearing clutter and allowing creativity to flourish. After a number of years, I'm making my way back to the fundamentals of Fly Lady: start with a clean sink!

Good luck, Tracey, I feel your pain! Lack of externally enforced structure in a day is a challenge and demands fortitude and purpose ALL THE TIME, haha!

Ray Blake 10/12/12, 1:35 PM  

Here's a way you could do it. Write each thing you want to do daily on a separate index tab or sticker. Put them all in today's calendar space. As you do each thing, move the corresponding sticker into tomorrow's calendar space.

The Perpetual Student TPS 10/12/12, 2:39 PM  

Hey! It's so cool that you mentioned me, and that my video has been of some help to you (although I wonder if the word is 'help' when it's disrupted your system!). I love your blog so much- isn't it cool how I can read your blog everyday, and that gives me loads of ideas (and I mean LOADS), and you watch my videos!! I LOVE the internet :D
Anyway, my time management and organisation is a long way from being perfect for me. I am like you- I procrastinate, and end up not doing things I NEED to do. I have good days, but mostly bad days- which happen when I get stuck in front of my laptop. My main problems- I don't use the fun things that I like to do as rewards for getting stuff that I NEED to do finished. Also, I don't have a proper routine to my day yet. I am in the process of trying to improve these things :)
Once I have worked out my new time management system enough (although it will never be 100% perfect), I will do a blog post AND a video on it- I hope that might help you too :)
PS. Your blog is one of my favourite things on the internet. SERIOUSLY!!! :D

Tracy Reinhardt 10/12/12, 3:21 PM  

Nancy - I know your right about it being partly a lack of structure issue. I agree about it being 'my' job because no one else is doing it.. I'm working really hard on that one. I feel bad it I go ahead and do something and feel bad it I dont because it's a mess....

Ray - That's one thing I'm considering - I'm a little afraid if I do it that way I won't get the memory/habit repetition jolt I get from rewriting everything over and over but it will save me from buying a hundred post it flags a month - which gets pretty expensive. Its def. something I'm considering though...

Kate - Yes, your video for sure helped. Yes, at the moment it's a little disrupted but I knew there was something missing for a while. You helped me focus on what it was.. I really couldnt place the problem till I thought about it after watching your last video! I can't wait to see what you come up with for time management - 100% perfect probably won't happen for me either but at least I'll be able to get more things done in a day.... And thank you SO much for the compliment about my blog. Some days I have trouble with it and wonder if I'm making sense to people, if it's fun... If it's interesting. Thank you for letting me know how you feel. Made my day, wait... made my week!


Josh 10/12/12, 6:38 PM  


I'm amazed how closely our organizational problems tack. I find the computer to be a procrastination black hole. I'm trying really hard lately to limit my time online: I also am trying to really plow through my to-do list every day. But I fall into the same patterns you describe so well above.

MySummerTouch 10/13/12, 7:51 AM  

Remember I asked you about Flylady? You answered that you don't want to put shoes on. I don't wear shoes at home, i just use what i need from the system.
The main part what i like about it- daily routines. I don't think about them, just check what I need to do ( get dressed, put make up on, take shower, etc). I just follow routines, don't think about it

natalie 10/15/12, 3:32 PM  

Each week, could you write one list of daily tasks with seven boxes beside each item, then each day tick off the tasks as you do them.
One piece of paper (away from the diary page) and the incentive to get a "run" of ticks so you don't break the chain on each line.
It will save time because you don't have to write them all out every day, and free up your diary space for more interesting plans.

Tracy Reinhardt 10/15/12, 4:40 PM  

Josh, I know! It's really frustrating

My Summer Touch - I do, I've thought about it again... The basics of a routine anyway. I'm still working it all out

Natalie, I've got to work on that and see if I can do it. Right now I'm making 8 boxes for water each day

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