For the last two weeks I’ve been trying something new. I’ve planned it so I can spend entire days in the pottery studio without the stress of extra things to do besides making pottery. It’s lovely! And it’s because I’ve dedicated an entire day to get grocery shopping, errands and batch cooking done, and an entire day in the office doing paperwork. So far it has worked out well.
I find that I often plan too many things to do in a given space of time and then when that activity exceeds the time I thought I would need it to complete it, other tasks on my schedule get dropped off pretty quickly and put off to another day. In an effort to be more aware about the passing time (because when I get engrossed in something time seems to stand still), I’ve used the alarm function on my phone. For example: 7:00 a.m. – alarm goes off to wake me and then another is set at 9 a.m. for yoga. The alarm I set for yoga is called “ripples” and is very pleasant rather than jarring. With all the sounds available on phones these days the alarms can be as lovely or annoying as you like.
I have set my alarm to let me know when I need to start dinner, go for a walk, get ready and leave for appointments, etc. When I set those alarms for all of the things I want to do in a day I REALLY started to understand how little time in the day one has for everything one might like to accomplish. This exercise has been both helpful and annoying. Some days it feel like I’ve just begun something and an alarm is going off to signal the start of a new task. It has driven me to turn off the phone for the entire day more than once.
Using this alarm system is something I’ve been doing for about 6 months, off and on because TO DO lists weren’t working for me anymore. But sometimes I just know that a day by alarm isn’t in the cards for me, so I refrain from setting the alarms and use a list instead. On days that I have to be somewhere specific I will use the alarms and stick by them. Probably the most important thing I’ve learned from using alarms and lists is that I need to try and accomplish fewer activities and tasks in my day.
A ton of things were accomplished last week (using both lists and alarms) including:
-making new pots; bowls of all sizes and mugs
-a really big grocery shopping trip and a bunch of errands
-cleaning the entire house, 5 loads of laundry, cleaning the wood stove, and batch cooking
-writing two blogs and publishing one
-tax prep, filing, organizing my desk, and scheduling tasks for the next two weeks
-music time with Chris