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Gravel (Big Stones III)

In Managing Time on February 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm

I am still battling with my ‘to do’ list. Or rather my ‘to do’ list is waging war on my desire to fill my week days with meaningful occupation. I have …. wait for it … 62 things on my list. Clearly too many for anyone, particularly an expat who should be prioritising gin and tonic drinking! No, no, no; of course gin and tonic drinking is not a meaningful occupation. But writing is, so let’s see how I’m getting on with that:

Last post on “Expat Wife” – November 12, 2010
Last post on “Chronicles” – November 19, 2010

The evidence strongly suggests that I could do better. And why don’t I? Well I’m not 100% sure but I think it has something to do with gravel*.

My gravel is:
Still not having the house the way I want it.
Managing household staff.

My big stones are:
Writing “Expat Wife”
Writing “Chronicles”
Short story writing

(You can see 56 on the list remain uncategorised but let’s worry about them another time. And no pebbles?!)

So, I’m spending time on the gravel and not on the big stones? Well maybe but maybe I’m being too harsh on myself: I have been spending time on shopping and making the house nice recently but that’s because my parents are visiting in 2 days time. To be followed by at least one and maybe two friends visiting in April. It’s not gravel, it’s loving my family and friends: Big stones indeed.

* see Big Stones for an explanation


Big Stones II

In Managing Time on November 12, 2010 at 4:24 pm

I’ve reorganised my timetable this week with extraordinarily positive results:

Previously Dean and I would get to the gym for 9-9.30 am, he’d go off to work and I’d come back home to start my day at 11-11.30am. I would do my stuff (concentrating on the big stones of course) until about 9.30pm when Dean would come home.

Well, surprised as I am to say this, I enjoy the gym; I particularly like the classes. I also like being with Dean, so going to the gym together is nice. However I hate waiting until so late in the evening to see him. I’m hungry and tired and not really very productive after about 7pm. So I’m grumpy and I don’t feel I’ve achieved as much as a should.

This week I’ve turned it round – I’ve been starting work at 9am, working until 6.30pm, going to the gym at about 7pm and getting home just before Dean. It’s a winning solution; I’m working when I’m most awake, I can finish work for the day and pack my desk up neatly (rather than wait for Dean who might show up at 9.20pm and might show up at 9.50pm, then I have to drop everything and leave my desk in a state), I’m still getting my exercise, I can take my time in the gym and particularly the steam room and I’m happy to see my husband when he gets home.

The only drawback is that I don’t see Dean so much in the morning which Dean doesn’t like either. But as I’ve told him a happy wife makes for a happy husband!

Big Stones

In Managing Time on October 1, 2010 at 4:24 pm

Have you heard the time management analogy about trying to fit lots of different sized stones in a glass? If you put the little stones in first, there won’t be room for the bigger stones. But if you put the big stones in first you will be able to fit all the smaller stones around them and they’ll all fit. The time management analogy is if you make time for your big projects first you can fit your to do list stuff around them and get more things done.

Since moving to India I don’t have enough ‘big stones’ to make this work. I have lots of little stones; a long list to-do, many of which are important because they help me stay on top of my life but most of which are mundane and don’t help me move my life forward. So I need some big stones … watch this space.