Thursday, March 11, 2010

Side Project: Oh Google, Please Help me!

Me and time management have issues. I am very much an all or nothing sort of individual, and it makes scheduling anything difficult for me. My brain doesn't want to work along those lines, ignores my pleasant paper reminders. I tore down the "Get Out of Debt Plan" a month ago. It's not like the man or myself sticks to it at all. We both made sincere attempts to reduce spending, but a more realistic plan needs to be worked out. Like, with actual numbers and stuff.

Life is cluttered beyond the finances though. The root of the entire problem is that we aren't the best at scheduling our days. I have a firm block schedule in place, but in practice, I am finding that it is not enough structure to me. The blocks need more slices, clearer defined times. Yet, how do I do this without walking away and ignoring it like I do my other lists?

This is where my call to Google for help comes in. I have tried the Calendar function before, but it didn't translate in more motivation to take nature walks or hit the Absolute Write Sci-Fi chat like I had hoped, due to a complete lack of checking that email address for the reminders. As I am now quite fond of Gmail and Reader, this is no longer a problem.

How far do I go in my slices, however? My other efforts to schedule often suffered from being too detailed, and thus, too hard to follow without feeling I had put myself in a straight jacket. The current "schedule" consists of six blocks of time: wake up time, morning school, lunch, afternoon school, dinner, after dinner. The after dinner section consists of two slices already - family time and after kid's in bed time. I thought this obvious openness would give me some structure without overwhelming me, after a long period of life being too chaotic to even dream of scheduling it. It has helped me bring structure, just not enough. I flail in the mornings and evenings, so many things that I could do overwhelming me and leading to inevitable shutdown, fried brain mindlessly roving SecondLife, Twitter, or Reader instead of writing something, ANYTHING, or doing one of a hundred things around the house.

Housework is never "done". It's one of the reasons I despise it.

I feel an overwhelming need for more balance in my life. Over the coming months, I hope to use the Google Calendar to its fullest, bending its functions to my will and slicing the broad divisions of my schedule into more structured pieces of a whole that will be more productive. Today I am about spent after weeks of insomnia, agonizing over how to better organize my time. Seriously. Being less productive than I feel I could be makes me depressed, until I burst in flaming tears. Tomorrow I'll come to a conclusion about how to divide my broad blocks, following my friend's suggestion of "give yourself a choice". All slices of time will have two options. It works with the boy's schooling, it could translate to the rest of our time.

Where does Google fit into all this again? I hope to use its connection of Blogger, Buzz, Reader and Gmail, along with the Calendar and Document functions, to make my real life and online life more streamlined. Let's see if email reminders work when my lazy ass actually checks the email account they go to, shall we?

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