Last night I sat here and did some prepping for the classes I'm taking. I have three classes, two of which will require significant amounts of time. Up until this point I have been skating by with minimum effort. I could do that because I am fairly intelligent and can follow directions. These classes however, and the dissertation I have looming in my future, will take a lot more work. This will require a lot more discipline. I need to figure out some routine that will work for me. That is what this post is about. I need to figure out what my priorities are, what needs to be done to allow those priorities to be first and foremost, and how to live my life around that. I do have to leave for Crossfit in a little bit, so this post will be an ongoing one.
Let's start with my priorities. They are, in no particular order:
- Walking the dogs
- Eating right
That is all I can think of at the moment. So let's examine these one by one and see if I can make them work.
Crossfit. The only real time that works for me is the 5 am class. If I do that class I need to get to bed by 8:30 pm, I also need to keep my diet on track. I need to eat right and eat regularly. That will not only keep my energy up, but help me feel better. So Crossfit requires food and sleep. Okay.
Schoolwork. Up until this point, I have been ignoring it and cramming it all in on weekends. That has worked okay until recently. The real problem with that is that my entire weekend is spent either working on schoolwork or thinking about it. That is no fun at all. To make it more manageable, I would like to work on it one hour a night. If I do one hour a night, this will accomplish many things. First, I will be able to prep for assignments so that I will be ready to write them on the weekends. Second, by knowing what needs to be done, I can be thinking about it even when I'm not thinking about it. This is how I work best. Figure out what needs to be done, then stew on it for a bit. This will also allow me to keep on top of discussions and not post everything on one day. I'm pretty sure that looks bad. In order to devote one hour a night to this, I will need to stop lying on the couch playing games on my phone at night. I do that almost every night after dinner. It's fine if there is nothing to do, but if I plan on getting this one hour in, that has to go. I can still watch TV, in fact having the TV on while I work tends to help me work better. So games will be relegated to late evenings when all work is done. So far, so good.
Okay, back from Crossfit and ready to tackle this problem. One thing I thought of while killing myself at Crossfit, is that I need to not let lazy get me. I usually come home from Crossfit, shower, eat, and then laze around for an hour or so. I need to not do that or I need to plan for that. I'm not really relaxing when all I can think about is the things I have to do. So if I'm going to be lazy for a bit, just plan for it and then really relax. Also, I need to set limits. If I have a small project that needs to be done, tell myself I can take a break when it's done. Or if I have a large project, tell myself I will work for an hour on it and set a timer. That does a couple of things. I know there is an end in sight, that I will not be sitting there all day. I know that I only have X amount of time and therefore it can not be wasted. This should also reduce distractions. If I think of something that needs to be done, write it down, and do it when the time/project is over.
Teaching. This is finally starting to fall into place. I'm adjusting to being back in school, to the schedule and to the classes. First, I need to utilize my free time in school productively. I don't have a lot of free time, but I do have some and I need to maximize that time. I generally have some time before and after school and I usually have one period a day free. Those must be productively utilized. Also, I should devote some time during the weekend to either grading or lesson plans. Ultimately I would like to have the entire week planned out for all classes so that I can just move on autopilot during the week. Nothing I hate worse than having 20 minutes and trying to come up with something to do. I don't have to devote a whole day, just a couple of hours to get organized and have a weeks plan in place.
Walking the dogs. That is just going to be an appointment I have every day. At 4:30 - 6:00 pm I walk the dogs. End of story. No questions asked. No matter how tired I am, or how much I have to do. Starting today, that will be a standing appointment. I have to remind myself how much I love walking the dogs, and I really do. It is generally quiet and peaceful and a nice way to transition from the fast pace of work to the relaxing evening. I can not look at it as a chore, because it's not. I do it because I love my dogs. So that will just be a standing thing.
Relaxing. I don't do that enough, because I constantly am thinking about what I need to be doing. So that stops this weekend. I will plan when I'm doing things and I will plan some relaxing time. Relaxing is just as important as getting things done.
Eating Right. This is so incredibly important. If I eat right, all the other things will fall into place fairly easily. If I don't eat right, I will struggle with every other aspect of my life. So I need to make this a priority. I need to spend some time on the weekends prepping and planning for the week of food. It is critical and needs to be planned into my schedule.
Sleep. This is even more important than eating right. If I don't get enough sleep, absolutely nothing else will work as it's supposed to. Sleep is key and I think it is an area where I have been falling down. Lately, I stay up to 9:30 - 10:00 on weeknights. I never stay up that late. Never. So starting this week, I'm going to bed at 8:30. That means starting to get ready at 8 pm. If I can get the Crossfit, schoolwork, teaching, walking the dogs, relaxing, and eating right in order, I may be able to ease up on this. But for now I need more sleep and I've just got to do it.
None of this is hard, it is just a matter of giving it thought and planning. While I need to make a plan and stick to it, I also need to remember to be flexible. Things change and I need to roll with the punches. Okay, I've given myself a whole lot to work on but, since I've been here for an hour, I'm going to take a break and relax for a while.