April 14, 2016

Shifting Schedules

My hours have been creeping up for some time now, and I find I’ve been working a bit more feverishly than before. I’m not a big believer in the cult of busy. I don’t take pride in being busy, I take pride in accomplishments. Those two things are often treated as synonyms but they’re far from. So when I found myself trying to sneak a few minutes of coding in while home with the girls on the weekend I decided it was time to step back and see what I could do to increase productivity while decreasing hours.

Between 11:30 and 1 is the least productive time to get anything done. It seems like everyone in the world is using their lunch hour to make a quick change on our shared hosting server and the ftp service slows to a crawl. It can take minutes to push a single change, and sometimes the ftp server times out completely. I’ve been designated this hour “me time.” In that time I complete some subset of eating lunch, showering, exercising and napping. (Yes, sadly I often need a nap.)

Mondays have become “project”/”homemaker” Mondays.

My stress level is weakly correlated to the organizational status of the house. If I’m already stressed out a messy house through me into over drive. If I spend a little time on Monday putting the house back together after the weekend than I get the week to enjoy the fruits of my labor. I feel I should put an asterisk next to “back together” because it’s never truly organized like I’d like. At least I’m making an effort?

I try to tackle at least one project each Monday. These are the tasks I expect to only need to tackle once, like put the valances back up. I think the previous homeowner was in the middle of replacing the standard valances that came with her blinds with fancy ones when she put her house on the market. The valance in the kitchen is of the custom variety. The problem is the windows in the living room looked unfinished without their valances. Fortunately for me she left the old valances in the garage, but the clips were missing. A quick order on Amazon and fifteen minutes of effort and now the widows look much nicer. I’m making a list of similar projects. Hopefully this place will start looking more together soon.

Mondays are now more of a half work day for me, but I make the time up in the evening after the kids go to bed.

Speaking of the kids, we’ve shifted their schedules too. We used to do red-sauce (spaghetti, ravioli, etc) Mondays, and hair washing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Mondays have gotten harder. Between the two kids at least one child is either over stimulated or over tired by the end of their first day back to school. Mondays are now toddler favorite foods (fish sticks, simple roasted chicken), and we do Shampoo Tuesdays and Fridays. We’ve also shifted our fish dinner from Sunday to Saturday. By Sunday evening everyone is usually a bit drained, have a little less energy to cook and a little less patience to wait for dinner to be ready. Besides, Sunday makes for a better occasional restaurant day than Saturday as it’s less crowded.

It’s funny sometimes how even small changes to the schedule can make everything run more smoothly.

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Posted in Family Life, Work Life


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