|Getting it done
||[Jan. 9th, 2007|03:19 pm]
Weight training (lower body)
Full day's work
(And tonight's plan:
Taking down the Christmas tree
How do I do it? That seems to be the question on at least a few people's minds. So here for your edification is Gini's Guide to Getting Shit Done:
1. Plan ahead. This seems so obvious, but it's remarkable how few people do it. If you go into your day thinking, "oh, and I'll get a workout in at some point," it's all but guaranteed that you won't. You need to schedule it in. For instance, I know that in order to put in 30 minutes of aerobics, half an hour of lifting, half an hour of yoga, time for meditation, and time to get ready for work, I need to get up at least two and a half hours before I need to be walking out the door for the bus. If I need to be walking out the door at 7:45, I need to be on the NordicTrack at 5:15, which means getting up at 5 to get dressed and have a few minutes for waking up. Unless I know that, I'm not going to set the alarm for the right time. Which, by the way, leads us to....
2. Morning is your friend. Until just a few years ago, any antemeridian time that began with a number lower than 7 was obscene, and even 7 was a bit on the risque side (unless of course I was meeting them at the end of a long evening, in which case they were familiar friends). I simply did not get up early. Erin and I went through a brief but hellish time when she had to be at the skating rink every Saturday morning by 5am, but that was not a long-lived adventure. No, I was the sort of person who would get up and fix breakfast for my then-hubby and then climb back into bed after he had departed for work (no wonder he resented me). Once I started working outside the home, morning was a time to play Beat the Clock, sleeping until the last...possible...minute...beforerushingouthedoorinafrenzy.
This is not conducive to getting anything extra done.
Mornings are great because there is nothing else to distract you. Friends don't call and suggest that you go to the movies. There's nothing good on television. You are relatively fresh and undistracted by after work household chores such as getting dinner and doing the dishes. In most places, even the kids don't have sporting events at that time of day. It's quiet (because all the sane people are asleep), so you don't get interrupted. If you really want to get a lot accomplished, get up early.
3. Slide things in where you can. I read while on the NordicTrack, and while on the bus to and from work. Both of those are times when I really couldn't be doing much else. And I've taken to eating at my desk and writing during my lunch hour, rather than going out. I may only get in 750-1000 words, but that's a couple more pages than I would have accomplished while wandering through the mall. This is closely related to...
4. Multitasking. When we had the Doctor Who marathon, I got a lot of quilting done. You can't always do two things at once, but look for places where you can.
5. The computer is your enemy. Television is your enemy. The computer and the TV are notorious time sinks. I'm not saying you should never veg out in front of one or the other, but be very aware that when you do so, you have effectively surrendered all those hours of your life to something completely unproductive.
I manage to salvage that at least in part by having handwork to do while watching something (back to multitasking), but if I'm between projects or don't plan ahead to have something I can pick up quickly, it's really easy to lose that time. And the computer is worse - you can spend endless hours just staring at the damned thing, because there's always somewhere else to visit. Which, again, can be fine, but if you reach the end of the evening with a vague sense of discontent or you are only returning to it because you are too tired to do anything else, go to bed! You need the sleep!
6. Your reach should exceed your grasp at least a little bit. My ideal day is damned hard to achieve. I know I'm not going to get there every day. So I know that not getting there is not a tragedy, it's just not a red-letter, gold-star sort of day. And that's okay. What's the point in setting goals if you know you will always achieve them? Those aren't goals; they are a self-aggrandizing checklist. I don't beat myself up if I come up a checkmark short, because I know that it's really hard to get it all. But I feel extra good when I do.
7. Every day is a choice. Every morning when that damned alarm clock goes off, I have to choose again. I have to choose to get up in the dark, alone, and stagger around a cold house getting stuff done. People say that it takes 21 days to make something a habit. This is a lie. I have been at this for three years now, and it's still hard. I still backslide, go through periods when I just can't make it up before 6:30, miss workouts, screw up.
But the next day, I get to choose again. It's hard, making the right choice, but it's also a relief to know that making the wrong choice is not permanent, either.
8. Don't go crazy. Everyone needs a day off, or even a week off now and then. Real life will come along and trip you up. It's okay. Be good to yourself, give yourself permission to play, give yourself permission to say, "Screw this, I wanna go to the movies and stay out late and sleep in tomorrow," now and then. Don't drive your family crazy, either, by being so holier-than-though that you become inflexible and impossible to live with. People are always more important.
9. You can't "cheat" because you're only playing against yourself. Don't forget that your goals are your goals. If you rebel against them, that's weird. Make sure they fit you, the you you really want to be, not someone else's idea of you.
10. If this seems stupid, you can just ignore it. This is just my take on how I get through getting a lot accomplished in life, my own philosophy. You may read this and think, "Damn, that woman is cuh-razy!" And maybe I am. You wouldn't be the first one to think so.