Thursday, November 14, 2013

staying on task

Now that Ella is away for two mornings a week at "school", I have two mornings a week to get some uninterrupted work done.  Granted, this is only my third day of Ella-free mornings, but I am really struggling to stay focused on one task at a time.  I have become so used to juggling multiple to-do's at once, and though this is my norm, I am not the most efficient at it.  I never quite get anything done completely, leaving lots of stray bits hanging around for a quiet moment that I'll get who-knows-when.  

For example, after my husband left with Ella this morning, I quickly gathered up all of the dirty laundry from upstairs and took it to the basement.  I had thought I would just drop it down there, maybe sort it into the baskets that live near the washer and dryer, and then return to our bedroom to strip the bed and put new sheets on.  But instead, I decided there was enough laundry for one load and I spent probably 15 minutes putting it in the washer.  I then returned to our bedroom and stripped the bed and decided that our bedroom floors could really use a good cleaning.  So I threw the dirty sheets in the laundry basket and got to work vacuuming the floors, and then the floor in Ella's room and finally the floor in our workroom.

A small note: I had started to make a cup of coffee prior to taking the first laundry basket to the basement and forgot to get back to it until after I had vacuumed all the floors.  Hello cold coffee (argh).

Now, I have an unmade bed, a full laundry basket again, and I only have about another hour to get some of my actual, help pay the bills, work done.  Perhaps, as we get more comfortable with this new routine, I can learn to shut myself in my workroom promptly at 8:45am and just work until my alarm alerts me that it's time to leave to pick Ella up.  But there is always something else needing done and it's so hard for me not to feel like I can do it all, though I have compiled a good bit of evidence that I most certainly cannot.

I found this article on Parents magazine's website.  It was helpful to read but the entire idea that one can master working at home and caring for your children at the same time seems like an oxymoron to me.  I'm sure that making a schedule and capitalizing on the time when my daughter isn't around will help me be much more productive, but it is a little crazy to think that you could ever expect a certain level of calm achieved on any one given day to become the norm for all days.

I will be making a schedule for next week and I'll be sure to share it here.  Then we can check in and see how it's actually working for us after we get a few weeks under our belt.  Oh, and all advice is accepted!  I need all the help I can get.

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