Sunday, October 25, 2009

The New Gig

Loki is totally ARGH HOW DARE YE about the new preschool. Ander likes the new school okay, but misses Ms. Jenny and Tytus and seeing Maw Maw everyday. Alan misses, I think, the flexibility I had at my old job.

That said, I love the new job. I feel like I am doing what I was born to do. I still like the people, even after two weeks ;), and the office appears to be extremely family-friendly, with dads popping in and out for parent-teacher conferences and moms taking three day vacations to tour colleges. I get to assist with forming laws regarding juveniles and I get to make sure attorneys that represent juveniles have the tools that they need to do the job. I still get to go to court, probably more often. Seriously, how did I get in this place?

We had delayed a lot of transitional things when Loki based on the fact that Alan and I had new jobs, but now we are working on those things. We are teaching Loki to sleep in his own bed. We've been putting him down there forever, but now when he gets up, we sooth him and give him a water bottle. We hope to wean that water bottle soon. We really aren't good at letting him cry it out, but at some point, it comes down to letting him cry in his bed or ours. So, for now, we choose his and rub his back and tell him night night, which seems compassionate but gives him a chance to learn to go back to sleep in his bed.

We also are offering him sippy cups during the day. We will still give him a bottle, if he gets really fussy even with the sippy cup, but we are hoping that will gently wean him from the bottle.

He's still not walking, yet, though. Physically, he's quite advanced for an almost 14-month-old, building with Duplos, throwing a ball, and climbing into a play car, riding it around, and climbing out. He can stand on his own and cruise and walk with assistance. It's more of a deciding-to-walk issue, so I'm not stressed yet. But if the stinker doesn't get in gear by next month...:/.

Ander is fully potty trained!!! Yippee. He is starting to read, a little. It's scary how good he is with words.


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Daily Scheduling

The organizing and time management books that I read ALL seem to miss the mark on scheduling. The biggest mistakes they all make is suggesting that you schedule time to do certain things, like workout or clean the counter or return phone calls. The problem, of course, is that mood, well-being, and need to return phone calls (or do anything else) has to factor in or the scheduler is wasting her time doing all the wrong things. For my new job (Tuesday, starts freakin' Tuesday which is like tomorrow only three days away gawh!), I am making a schedule (much like I did for every other job), but it's much more flexible than you see in your typical time management book.

The first step in my schedule is my calendar. The key to a workable calendar is to schedule only the necessarry stuff. Routines and goals go elsewhere. So far, my calendar has one entry. I have HR Orientation from 9 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. on my first day. That's it. Note that my calendar does NOT say "return phone calls" or "check e-mail" or "workout." I will make a FLEXIBLE daily schedule, but my calendar will stay filled with ONLY appointments. A meeting with the executive staff Monday mornings at 10 a.m. makes the cut and goes on the calendar. Working out goes on the calendar, but only if I am meeting someone to workout or attending a certain class. Otherwise, working out three to four times this week goes on my goals list.

The next step in scheduling is to have a basic outline of my day that will take into consideration meetings and things that must be done, but will also give me time to work on long-term issues. In making this *outline* of my day, I take into consideration my patterns of wakefulness. The outline is much like the *schedule* time management books suggest, except that it is more flexible, works in my tasks list, and does not clutter my calendar. (I keep it in a memo in my pda and I tape a copy to my desk/bulletin board).

Here's my basic outline. Keep in mind that I'm starting a new job, so it will change as needed. Also, if I have meetings, I start from the beginning of the outline, stop for the meetings, and then move on to the rest of the outline.

*Arrive at work, unload anything coming back from home, make breakfast/coffee

*Process e-mail
(This goes early because it can be done while I eat breakfast and, frankly, because I am picky about an empty e-mail in-box. I will treat e-mail as I do paper that comes to my office - trash it, refer it (assign it to my assistant, pass it on to my boss), act on it (for example, respond if it is brief or add an assignment to my task list or a meeting to my calendar and RVSP/delete it), or file it (if I can't easily get it reproduced from anywhere else or if it is very important).)

*Clean up after breakfast

*Make/return phone calls (as needed)
(I find this is better done early, so people have time to call you back during the workday.)

*Do anything overdue or due today
(The hope is that nothing on my task list falls into the category. The reality is that doing things at the last minute happens, either because I am slacking or because someone else is or because of emergency. Might as well build it into the plan!)

*Process in-box until it is EMPTY
(I use TRAF again - Trash, Refer, Act, or File.)

*Do anything due tomorrow


*Work on anything due within the next two weeks.
(I start with the most dreaded project and get it out of the way. Then I usually try to do some easy stuff that I can cross off of the Task list. I limit this step to about two hours, max. That's about how long I can truly concentrate on the Tasks that need to be done. Exceptions are made, of course, if there is a big deadline.)

*Work on one long-term project (time-permitting)

*30 minutes before end of the day - put everything away, pack anything that is leaving the office with me, and, if time is left, process more e-mail/in-box