song of the day: one day like this, elbow

hello there! it feels like i've been MIA today, i've got so many blogs to catch up on, comments to leave. i hope september is treating you well. mine has been, in a word, hectic. and it's looking like it's only going to get worse...

i write these for me as much as i write them for you, as i hung up the phone the other day i realized i'd taken on another commitment without even realizing it. then i went to jot down all i've taken on from september to december and i may have started hyperventilating a bit. here's what i've signed up to do:

  • school, of course. i spend 14 hours a week in classes,
  • not including travel time, idle time or homework
  • work 10 hours a week at the party place
  • be the fundraising co-ordinator for my friends' theatre company
  • helping with the editing/publishing of two books
  • sing on a worship team every other sunday
  • lead vocal sectionals every other week
  • assist with a youth choir
  • lead worship for our jr. high and high school youth groups
  • not to mention, i'll be taking part of my own youth group
  • i may be leading a small group this year
  • and possibly joining a dance troup?
  • and keeping up this blog!

i calculated. with a schedule like that i'll be at my church/doing church things for a total of 16 (unpaid) hours a week. and it's not that i have a problem with that, i LOVE what i do. but do i have time for it all? (show the progress on my list, how helping mary doesn't take much time, etc) so i scoured the interwebs for some helpful tips on how to manage your time and get everything done.

» make to-do lists.
but it's more than just making lists, prioritize them! i tend to go overboard and write things like "do laundry" or "paint nails" that yes, are essential, but only add clutter to an already busy list. only write down the stuff you really need to do. if i organize things by the time in which they need to be accomplished i'll be much better off.

» put the tough stuff near the top. get the yucky stuff out of the way, i've found that putting it off just makes it worse.

» break things down into manageable tasks
. seeing "TERM PAPER" at the top of your list can seem daunting, break things into smaller steps and tick them off as you go.

. but do it the right way! organize things into types of tasks and work on them all that way

»make use of idle time. on your commute, waiting in lines or in waiting rooms, idle time between classes. making use of those little blocks of time can really add up. regardless of how crowded the bus is, i'm always that girl taking up the extra room with a textbook spread out across her lap. love me, hate me. whatever gets the job done, i say.

»cut down on distractions. turn off the tv. put your phone on silent and only have on application going at a time. i certainly plan to start doing that last one. i'm guilty of opening multiple applications when i boot up my computer and leaving them there till i'm done. i swear, internet tabbing is the best thing that ever happened to me. i'll be working on my paper and when i get stuck, i'll quickly refresh facebook for some inpsiration. i'd be doing myself a favour if i let the word app be the only thing keeping my attention.

»set timers. if you've given yourself 20 minutes to dawdle/facebook stalk, set your phone alarm or osmething so you know when that task is supposed to be done. i usually take tv show breaks, and as soon as that shows over, i know it's back to work.

but don't forget... give yourself breaks. i think it's good to unwind a little, to have something to look forward too. make them a part of your schedule, and make sure you take them. be flexible.
there are some people who think that rigid scheduling is the way to get everything done, but i prefer to just make a really organized list, that way it's not such a big deal if something comes up and changes things. i think in life you gotta go with the flow!'s okay to say no.
so here's some advice i need to follow. it's like "no" isn't even in my vocabularly! but i guess letting people down after you've said you'd do something is just as bad as not doing it in the first place. stop and look back on what you've accomplished.
take time to check those items off your lists and survey your good work. it'll fuel you to do more.

anyway, i'm off again! have a happy thursday!

clock pic from here.