Monday, June 21, 2010

Fresh Start Monday

*Snort* It sounded so doable yesterday. Course that was before I couldn't fall asleep on time last night and ended up waking up late this morning. Abbreviated morning routine, bought breakfast and lunch, and then discovered getting off the Interstate was the only way to get to work.

Welcome to Monday, folks.

Goals for the Week
  • Using the allotted chore time, clean up the sewing debris.
  • List Big Rocks.
  • Decide on Zy's novel or Strix's novel.
  • Exercise.
  • Primal eating.
in all honesty, I should start on the Tin Man Adora uniform for Halloween, but I just made my shoulder angel and shoulder devil burst into tears with the suggestion. So a break while I improve the sewing environment is probably necessary.

Improving the sewing environment: I discovered that moving the sewing machine to the living room so the extending table in the back room is free for cutting works, but not on my mother's six-foot-long folding table.

My idea is to modify a rolling kitchen cart to be a rolling sewing machine cabinet with panels that fold down into table tops for the fabric. I haven't gotten any further in the planning process than that.

Big Rocks self-explanatory.

June is almost over and I haven't worked on either Zy's or Strix's novels. I may end up flipping a coin.

Exercise & Primal Eating: two hundred sit-ups starts this week along with removing grains from me diet lifestyle. I've been following Mark's Daily Apple for a while now, and my health is not getting better according to Conventional Wisdom's way to treat metabolic syndrome. I had planned to go more cold turkey into primal eating this morning, but this morning left me unprepared for breakfast. My foraging included an English muffin.

Primal Blueprint 101, if you're interesting in reading more.

I think that's all for today. I'm off to find a kitchen cart to modify.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wedding pictures!

What has consumed my life for so many months, making this outfit:

Best shot I have of the flower girl and ring bearer:

The happy couple:

Maid of honor, me, and the second best man, Chris:

The sewing odyssey will eventually go up at the Garb Closet; I just have no idea when.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The wedding is done

Suzanne and Eric are off, finally. I'm home. I left only my pillow and the Byetta pen in New Orleans. *headdesk*

I'm going to bed. You may here more from me tomorrow or Monday.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"Boom" from GQ

Boom from GQ explaining impartially what went wrong with the Deepwater Horizon.

BP should be prosecuted for 11 counts of murder just to start.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Big Rocks or Scheduled Tasks?

Today's the day to review if the schedule works or if it needs more tweaking. So far the only thing to tweak is my ability to stick wih it. If I don't go to bed on time, I don't wake up on time. Nearly everyday but Tuesday, I've had issues with this. The nice thing about this schedule is I jump right into what I should be doing after a minute of making the bed.

After too many days of missing my Byetta dose, I've decided to move it to breakfast instead of supper and eat before leaving the house.

Yesterday, I found this post on setting a minimum standard: Thinking Small without the Guilt. The daily To Do list is my minimum standard now, and I felt pretty good about that. Then I took a look at my Big Rocks. Big Rocks is a concept from Zen to Done at Zen habits. I've been using it for nearly two years now to plan my week.

Only without me realizing it, the Big Rocks list has become everything I want to do on ongoing projects instead of what I can and will finish this week. See. I know why I do it; I have an overdeveloped sense of fear of being bored. Mom related a story of how one of my teachers in elementary school berated her at Open House because I was bringing college-level books to class to read and when she took the "too old for me" books away, I colored my fingernails with crayons. My mother answered "Kindra's bored silly, so let her read the books we're letting her bring from home."

So it's no stretch when I'm doing my weekly review to jump in with "what are you going to do if you finish that?" and the next thing I know twenty-three slots are filled. *headdesk*

First step: move the items that have a scheduled day to the daily schedule. That opened up four slots.

Second step: identify what items have a deadline.
  • Steampunk story - pen
  • Bridesmaid dress - H
  • TM_Challenge 12 entry - pen
  • FFGarret WT #13 - web
  • FFGarret EL #13 - web
  • Edit Hyrueliana - pen
So this takes me from twenty-one items to six. And keep me from getting lost in the sea of projects. Everything not on this list needs to move back to the projects lists and wait for an opening.

That was pretty painless once I actually looked at things rather than just carry the items forward a week. See the new version.

The A-Team this weekend and the last of the sewing! *Crossing fingers.*

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, June 07, 2010

At least I don't have tires under my eyes*

Declaring to test the schedule last Thursday and Friday was treated like a joke by my body. If I had paid attention to the smudges under my eyes, I would have recognized I hadn't been getting enough sleep. I regrouped this weekend; not enough to get up on time today but no tires in residence on my face* either.

So Thursday will be schedule evaluation day. Tuesday will be two hundred situps exhaustion test, pegging to start the workout next Monday. And if the wedding schedule messes it up for any reason, they built in 'stay at this week longer' tests so taking longer than six weeks isn't unheard of.

In not fixing the daily routine news, I got the shoes to go under the bridesmaid gown Saturday!

And I wore them a good chunk of the time I was sewing Sunday to get my body used to heels that high. Today, I decided to wear the black high-heeled sandals that were bought Saturday also. My feet currently think this was a bad plan.

Alan Cumming has discovered Tin Man fanvids. "But there are loads of them up there [YouTube]. Where do you all find the time?" Sheesh, I ask myself that nearly every day. :p

And the shoes went off at noon, stayed off until I had to go home.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

* = "Tires under my eyes" is a reference to my Biker Mice From Mars fanfic Put Me Back Together in the Wars Are Won By Those Who Dare series.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

June Already

It’s gotta be better than May, right? We have oil spewing in the Gulf, hurricane season has started with predictions of a repeat of the 2005 season, and we’re supposed to go live with a new system at work by the end of the month. Positives: making tweaks to the schedule, Suzanne and Eric are getting married, I think I can make the deadline for the steampunk story.

Tweaking the schedule: it is good to follow my To Do list, but chores make a lousy reason to get up in the morning. Stepcase Lifehack asks Do you have a morning ritual? and I had to answer "not really as such."

And as hard as it is for me to get up most mornings, I think I need to heed their advice and find something I want to do. This ties into my To Do List actually.

Step One: Draft a short list of the things you do each morning and what you'd like to add. I already have this list as my Daily Chores on my To Do list.

  • Exercise
  • Writing hour
  • Website Hour
  • Make bed
  • Wash dishes
  • Empty inbox
  • Empty Gmail and LiveJournal Inboxes
  • Budget
  • Weekly chores
  • Get dressed
  • Pack breakfast, lunch and snack
  • Commute
Granted, if I don't finish this list before going to work, I can finish it through the day. But out of these items I can see what I'm not crossing off consistently or what I can add.

What I'm not hitting consistently list is much shorter:

  • Exercise
  • Writing hour
  • Website Hour
  • Empty inbox
  • Budget
Too often, I'm using the weekend to catch up on what I missed during the week and skipping exercise altogether.

I got rid of the inbox by adding a “budget” and a “needs filing” folder to my box of 42 folders. The plan is to empty those every day and not keep a basket full of paperwork I just keep on my desk.

Step Two: Figure out how much time it'll realistically take to do everything on your list. This is where I think I fall down badly. I have no clear time of how long things should take in the morning, and let's face it trying to wake up doesn't help remembering how to do things.

Julie Morgenstern recommends timing yourself doing routine tasks because you probably don't know how long it really takes. When I read that advice, I realized I had no idea how long anything took to do, so I timed myself over a few days and took averages. The results:

  • Make the bed = 1 minute
  • Washing dished = 30 minutes
  • Empty folders = 23 minutes
  • Weekly chores = 45 minutes
  • Budget = 30 minutes
  • Getting dressed = 26 minutes
  • Getting food = 11 minutes
  • Exercise = 15 minutes
  • Writing = 60 minutes
  • Website = 60 minutes
  • GRAND TOTAL = 301 minutes = 5 hours 1 minute
I get up around 3:00am and try to leave the house for 5:45am. So here I was trying to squeeze five hours of stuff into less than three hours, and then beating myself up for not doing everything. This hammered home how easily I can over extend myself.

Step Three: Adjust your wake time to accommodate your new ritual. This is the fun part. My first draft had me waking up at 2:30am. I’ve tried and it doesn’t happen, so 3am is the earliest and that means 8:30pm is the latest I can go to bed. That should be a big enough window to get everything done, right? If only I didn’t have to go to the paying job.

First thing to face: I can’t have a full hour of writing in the morning and clean house. But I can have thirty minutes.

June A.M. Schedule
  • 3:00 = Wake up, Make bed, Wash dishes for 15 minutes
  • 3:16 = Exercise
  • 3:31 = Writing for 30 minutes
  • 4:01 = Get dressed
  • 4:27 = Get food
  • 4:38 = Empty folders
  • 5:01 = Weekly chores
  • 5:46 = Leave for paying job

While at the paying job, I’ll clean out email inboxes, write and work on website projects as much as I am able. The evening schedule has to have more flexibility built into it because if I work late, getting anything finished is just a dream. I’m basing it on my usually and preferred habits.

June P.M. Schedule
  • 5:00 = Arrive home, Take medicine, eat supper
  • 5:45 = Wash dishes for 15 minutes
  • 6:00 = Budget
  • 6:30 = Finish writing hour, website hour, or special project
  • 8:15 = Set stuff out for tomorrow, Get ready for bed
  • 8:30 = Go to Bed

That only thing inflexible is the bedtime and that I need to do what I have listed. If I end up running late, I can borrow time from the one hour forty-five minutes section before starting the bedtime routine.

Step Four: Go through your list each morning for at least two mornings before making adjustments. So by Friday I should know if this works or not.

Read Free!
The BookWorm