It never ceases to amaze me …

I don’t go to an office job every day. I’m a freelance writer and although the last several weeks have been very hectic, I do usually have a fair amount of time each week to myself. Which means I don’t have to cram my entire to-do list into just two days — Saturday and Sunday.

So can someone tell me why I start every week with a new list and I end every week with some items still not crossed off? It’s the same story every week. I don’t think I’m disorganized. It’s true that I do work well under pressure, but I’m not a chronic procrastinator.

Why, then, do I always seem to run out of time? I’m up every morning at 6:30. I’m showered, fed and dressed by 7:30 or 8. I don’t go to bed until at least 11 pm. I rarely eat dinner before 7. Shouldn’t that leave me enough time to get my work done and do a few chores?

Three or four weeks ago I promised myself that I’d go through my closets and drawers. To date, I’ve only managed three drawers. Going to the Apple store to check and probably replace my phone battery has been a calendar item for months. It’s a 10-minute subway ride away. Haven’t made it there yet. I’ve been meaning to take two coats to the tailor since the end of August, but by the time I’m able to go, it’s after 6 pm and they’re closed.

Even when I decide to postpone work so I can get a few things done before I sit down at my computer, I end the day with carry-over items for the next day. And the next day. And the next day.

How is this possible? I can walk just about everywhere I need to go, in about 10 minutes, 20 minutes maximum. Nothing I have to do takes that much time. My to-do lists aren’t that long. I’m not a window shopper, so it’s not like I get distracted. I’m a woman on a mission and I tend to stick to the mission. So why?

Does this happen to you too?


12.2.2010<homework>321/365 by Phil Roeder, on Flickr, through Creative Commons

22 thoughts on “It never ceases to amaze me …

  1. Nope! You are not alone, not by a long shot! And I take note that you are by far more organized and disciplined than me. Now I don’t pretend to speak for others, but I hear the same from many.I truly beleive that time has accelerated tremendously. The week starts on Sunday & then it’s Friday.I just had a vacation week that all but flew by, talk about unfinished lists! All these ruminations offer little help, but it sure feels better to be in such good company! Here’s a toast to what does get done!

    • Good to know it’s not just me, Daisy. You’re right — time is accelerated. The days and weeks and months and years just whiz by. Hope you enjoyed your holiday week. Yes, let’s toast to what does get done, good idea!

  2. My time is my own, but sometimes the day is nearly ended and I’ve done very little.
    Usual routine is get up, see to dog, have breakfast, wash up, clean house, check emails, weather and blog. Around 10, another walk for the dog or we go out, and that can be for as little as half an hour to five hours! Everything then goes for a bucket of chalk. I wanted to make some cards, but it was over a week before I got the kit out. This cold has taken it out of both of us, and we don’t want to do very much to be honest. Hubby is on his second day of the worst bit, so should start to feel better tomorrow.

  3. I can certainly relate, Fransi. At the beginning of each week, I make a list of everything I hope to accomplish in the coming week, and it’s about a 50/50 proposition. Part of it is that certain things just aren’t enjoyable, so I let them slide. And some may be essential, but maybe not yet. The biggest deterrent to my being able to check everything off the list (an act of great satisfaction for any committed list-maker) is the number of unexpected things that arise during the week that need my immediate attention. I’m learning to make space for those—especially since they are usually both enjoyable and essential.

    • I think you’ve nailed it Donna. This all makes perfect sense. 😊 I’m certainly enjoying reading and responding to comments more than attacking the next item on my list. And you’re right — there are always unexpected things that crop up that require immediate attention. Which all begs the question — why do we make lists then????

      • Oh, lists are so satisfying! I know people who never make lists–not even grocery lists–I don’t know how they navigate life. I make lists to organize my life, my thoughts, my tasks, my priorities. At times of great overwhelm, I’ve even been known to make lists of all my lists. Hmmmm . . . maybe it’s a sickness….

      • Lol. I think it’s an effort to have some control over the chaos and to make us feel like we are accomplishing things. And of course we are — at least to some degree — except for those pesky carry-over items. But maybe there’s even a reason for them — to make sure we have something to do the next day 😊

  4. Yes! I notice that the things I really like to do, or have an absolute deadline, do get done…the things that are still on our lists sound like the ones without urgency or pleasure involved…

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