This song has been stuck in my head lately. Probably because I've been feeling adrift the last few weeks (but not on memory bliss). My problem stems from not having any discernible schedule in my life, whatsoever. Not having a schedule to keep sounds great, but in reality it's a totally different beast. No two days are the same and I never know what my day is going to be like, so I find it very hard to prepare in advance for the days to come. When I was younger I always thought I'd love to have 100% control over my work schedule, leaving me with as much time as I wanted for my personal life. Oh, the things I could accomplish, I thought!!! Silly me. Silly, silly me.
I've come to realize that living without a schedule is a very difficult thing. I still love the idea of it; the endless possibilities of how I can spend my time are inspiring, if not overwhelming. The thought of having a Monday to Friday, eight to five job turns my stomach; it's just not for me. Sure, it has its perks, like weekends off and a very structured calendar, but for a lot of people it's just not a good fit. I love the idea that I can pretty much do whatever I want, whenever I want with very few limitations.
On paper, I work six days a week, ten hours a day. That sure doesn't sound better than a 40 hour work week, but it is. As a contract massage therapist, I don't have to be at work every hour I'm available. I only have to be there when I actually have clients to see. So in reality, I usually only work about one third of the time I'm available. During an average work week, I only do about 15-20 hours of massage. This is actually fairly busy for most massage therapists who are paid a decent wage or are independent (as opposed to a therapist employed by a sweat shop strip mall massage place, but I digress). If you add on the amount of time between clients to break down and set up my room, I spend about 22-30 hours a week at work. Of course some weeks are busier than others and some are slower than others, but overall I end up with a lot of down time in my day.
This should be a good thing, right? And I'm sure it can be a good thing, but lately I haven't been spending my time very wisely. Most of my free time has been spent playing CastleVille on Facebook (it's the newest version of crack/cocaine). In my defense, this usually happens when I have hours of down time between clients and I have nothing else I can do. I live too far away from where I work to justify going home between clients to be productive; gas is expensive, y'all! But the free time I have when I actually am at home is not being spent wisely, either. Again, it's usually spent building my realm. I need to come up with a better way to manage my time. Actually, I need to come up with any way of managing my time. There's no sense in wasting so much of my day!!!
Not having a consistent work schedule means it's a challenge to figure out when I can take care of things like laundry or exercising. Grocery shopping and going to the bank are two other things that are hard to fit into my day. And dishes, well, I avoid doing dishes anyway. So my goal is to come up with some sort of system for keeping track of what I need to do and when I am able to do it. I need a system flexible enough to work on days when I'm at work from ten in the morning till eight at night and on those days where I may only have one appointment, but is simple, uncomplicated, and easy to use and keep up with. I sometimes use the online calendar, Cozi. They have a pretty good app I'm able to use on my phone, but constantly having to type things into the calendar as my schedule changes can get overwhelming to keep up with. The FlyLady system isn't bad, but doesn't feel "me" enough. Plus, Fly Lady stresses routines and there is never anything routine in my day. I guess they're good starting points, though. I bought myself a planner so I can write things down, but I need to teach myself to look at what I've written down! One step at a time, I guess.
How do you keep yourself organized? Do you use an online calendar? A day planner? Scraps of paper? Are you high-tech or old-school? Are there any systems you can recommend?