Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Priorities and Productivity

I'm so far behind on a lot, but I'm more or less keeping on top of the kids' school goings on and activities. We're not done adding extra-curriculars to our new mix yet, but slowly we're all getting used to the nuances of our schedule, and as more activities are gradually added in the coming weeks, hopefully we'll (meaning I) all keep our heads and handle everything with grace and organization. I'm grateful that everything didn't start up in the same week.

I truly am a little overwhelmed because there are not enough hours in the day, and I'm finding it harder and harder to do everything that I need and want to accomplish. I've been thinking about how I define productivity, especially after reading a post about this topic at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom recently. What's already funny is that I commented on the post, mentioning that hopefully I'd be more productive with three kids in school full-time and one in preschool a few hours a week. We still have at least three after-school activities that are due to begin in the coming weeks, and I'm eating my words. Oh boy, am I ever.

My definition of productive is changing by necessity. There are times when I barely have time to eat a snack (aka meal substitute), even while standing and doing three other things at the same time. I'm so busy, and getting so little sleep, that if I happen to find myself with nothing to do at a particular moment, I am too exhausted to formulate a plan to figure out what else needs to be done. See? I'm not even making sense.

Prioritizing is vital in my day to day. Unfortunately, there are some things that just don't make the cut. I am deciding, minute to minute and with a muddled and sleep-deprived brain, what is more important. My house is a mess. I haven't been to the fruit market. For that matter, I'm over-due for a trip to the grocery store too. I haven't yet planned a trip for Christmas break.Phone calls don't get made and papers don't get filed.

But on the flip side, the kids are on time for school every day. I read to them every night (that I'm home) before bed. I'm spending some quality time with Mattie while the rest of the kids are at school all day. I'm trying hard to make a real effort to truly talk to each of my kids every single day, and listen to what they say. Most days I am getting in at least a 30 minute work out.

This blog is somewhere in the middle of these two realms, considering some days I publish multiple posts and other days I don't even get one done. But I have a backlog of blogging material, and in that way I am definitely behind. I feel like there is a lot I want to accomplish with my writing, in general, and at the moment I simply don't have the time.

Essentially, I'm trying real hard to not let life spiral out of control. I'm doing my best to be patient. I'm hoping that I'm making the best choices as far as the prioritization. But I have to believe it was the right decision to hang out with Mathilda all afternoon yesterday, going to Target and to story time at the library, even though I could have (in theory) used that time to get some housework done or write a couple blog posts, or both. I say " in theory" because we all know that having a three-year old at home means being at a little person's beck and call. So depending on how many snacks, toys, TV shows, bathroom trips, and mishaps I would have been called upon for assistance, I could have possibly got something done. Instead, I decided my priority was going to be shopping at Target (which had also been pushed to the back burner for awhile) and Mama-Mattie time. In a few minutes I'm heading to the gym, when instead I could be staying home doing laundry and writing, or cleaning the kitchen. I feel really good after a workout, and I feel better about myself if I'm exercising regularly. So that's my choice this time.

Some people seem like they sincerely have everything figured out, don't they? I am for sure NOT one of those people. I wish I was, though!

I feel like I have more to say about this subject, but my mind is wandering. For now I'm going to choose to finish getting ready for the gym and let this blog post stand as it is. But I'm wondering,  how do you feel you stand in the balance of priorities versus productivity? Are they even opposing factors, or are they more or less two sides of the same coin?

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