Monday, July 31, 2006

Time Suck

I don't know what to do with myself.

Mr. C has taken Chicky Baby to work with him and I am home, alone, for about an hour and a half before I have to head off to work myself. When I was struck with the reality of having spare time, for however short a period it is, I was immediately overwhelmed with all the things I could get accomplished. My first thought was "I can go outside and read a book!". Then I get all practical and thought "Well, I really should get some laundry and vacuuming done while I don't have a toddler attached to my leg.". But then I decided "No! My garden really needs weeding, so I can get something accomplished and be outside on this glorious day!"

So many choices! So many things I can do with my short break from child and husband! My mind is swimming with possibilities. Which way to go? Which direction to take? Outside? Inside? Both?

While trying to figure out what to do first I figured "I'll just sit down and check my email." Forty-five minutes and 6 blogs, two checks of different emails, and one Jon Katz article later (and one written blog - yay!)...

And I'm still sitting on the damn couch and nothing has gotten accomplished.

Sigh

Can you believe at one time in my life I was a Project Manager? Now I am the CEO of Time Suckage.

I'm all for audience participation, but it's not usually my bag. But I have to know - How do you all stay motivated? And don't you dare say "Give up Blogs" because I'll call you out as the obviously delusional hypocrite you are. Or I'll call you my husband. C'mon, share. What's your secret for staying motivated?

42 comments:

Jess said...

When it comes to cleaning, I always imagine people dropping in on my unexpectedly. No one wants to sit in a pile of cat hair. It's all about the shame, for me.

Bobita said...

I wish I could offer some extraordinarily helpful advice for motivation...but, alas, whenever I have free time I sit and stare out into space thinking of everything that I have to do! And then I sit some more...exausted from the mental list of endless tasks that need completing!!

Endulge yourself! Sit. Blog. Read email! You will have the rest of your life to vacuum! (Now that is a fun thought, eh?!)

Lisa said...

I'm so not motivated. But Blogs are a fun way to divert. That's pretty much why I don't get things done either. :-)

Crunchy Carpets said...

I am with bobita....
There are days I am am motivated and get things done and go go go, or the days when I am mom of the year and play and hug and play and hug and that is great.

But the days when I am a wasting time or NOT DOING ANYTHING!...instead of feeling guilty...I enjoy them for what they are and realize there are plenty of other days for being 'on' so to speak.

jenny said...

I just wait until I'm panicked and past deadline on something and then it all kicks in to gear.

I don't recommend this strategy to anyone at all.

ECR said...

I see you have the same affliction I do. It involves assuming that everyone else is the world is more [insert the most timely and relevant example of a motherly characteristic I do not possess] than I am. Motivation is a perfect example. In asking us how we stay motivated, you are assuming we are motivated in the first place. Well, not this woman! My husband is not speaking to me right now because our house is such a mess and his dinners are so late. However, I think most moments of non-productivity a new mother has come from an entire existence of over-exertion. I mean, why shouldn't you sit down and just veg in front of the computer for awhile? You're raising a family, working, and carrying out all the other minutiae of daily living for the other 23 1/2 hours of the day. Something's gotta give! Of course, my husband would not agree with me. Apparently we're all supposed to be our own private Superwoman. Sigh. I'll be interested to see what others have to say about this concept of motivation. Maybe somebody's got the secret.

--Binky

Mom101 said...

If I'm reading a post then you accomplished something. I think you're a little type A (something I'm familiar with) and maybe whatever accomplishments you achieve aren't enough?

Stay motivated with goals. If you're constantly moving towards them and feeling some sense of accomplishment, it's easy to keep going.

Jill Urbane, The Mentor Mom said...

It is hard to stay motivated. I had to start writing down at least three things that I want to get done each day. Doesn't matter how big or small, just three things (e.g., finish the wash, balance checkbook, vacuum). I am more likely to get stuff done if I write it down...

all capitals...

in red...

underlined...

and highlighted...

on a post-it note in each room...

Waya said...

Motivated? To cleaning? It's called "child labor"! Hee hee. I get my 5 and 3 y/o sons to pick up stuff, my 17 month old daughter already showed me she can hold a vacuum cleaner. ;-)

Elizabeth said...

On a day-to-day basis, I'm not that motivated. I keep the dishes washed and the living room floor vacuumed (but only because it's dark and shows every bit of crap). I also make lists if I have things that must get done. But when I'm alone in the house, I sit on my ass and read blogs. Not so much with the motivation.

carrie said...

You are so funny, you just described me when my brood abandons me and I am left to my own devices. First, I run around like a dust storm sizing up all of my options and then I actually try to get something done, only to wander from task to task, being distracted by something else along the way, only to accomplish absolutely nothing.

Not much help, am I?

I am sure that I would benefit from a list, for sure!

Carrie

Mommy off the Record said...

This post cracked me up because it is EXACTLY what happens to me whenever Little Guy goes down for a nap. I think of at least 10 things I want to do and I frantically start worrying about what to do first and then I think, well, I'll just go check my e-mail real quick before I start on anything and then...well, I get sucked into blogland until I'm shaken out of my trance when Little Guy wakes up from his nap.

It's a sickness I tell you. How to stay motivated? Uh, hmmmm. Try to do at least one thing on your list before you head to the computer or NOTHING will ever get done.

P.S. I used to be a project manager too!

lildb said...

har. motivated.

I don't even remember what that word means. I am a sloth. I celebrate the sloth. I am sloth personified.

is that the saddest thing? probably. pffft. I have to go eat a twinkie, now.

Mama of 2 said...

some days I do really good at staying motivated...those are usually the days when Girlie Girlie is being her best. By that I mean willing to play in her playpen for an extended period of time without so much as a wimper that seems to spur me on to do just one more thing.

But in all honesty how I stay on track is by making myself a to do list by daily weekly monthly sort of avenues. It's on one of those wipe off boards so that I can x off what's been done. Even things like getting the oil changed and tires rotated is on it. If I don't have that all is lost for me. Most of the time it works but some days well I just say to hell with it all and go to the pool Yesterday was one of those days. LOL!

Mamacita Tina said...

Gotta blog, it keeps us sane.

Dust, forget about it. Weeds? They'll grow just fine without your help. Vacuum? Only when the baby is screaming and you need to drown out the sound.

Michele said...

Ants. They are the secret to keeping me motivated.

I am an over-acheiver around the house. A few weeks ago I forced myself to stop obsessively cleaning for a whole weekend. I did minimal housework and read two books. That Monday night we discovered ants in the kitchen having a field day with two days worth of crumbs. I went right back to my obsessive cleaning.

I dont know how to relax now that I have kids.

sunshinedaily4me_wuz_here said...

That is SOOO me. And I agree with Mommy off the Record and others - do one thing on your to do list (just pick one and go with it) before you sit down to check mail cause you KNOW you will get sucked in - we all do!

I thought I was the only one who pondered my to do list so much I never got anything done! I feel better now.

Vikki said...

I can't offer any advice since I have the same problem. I am leaving for Portugal in 7 days and have construction dust to clear from my house and have to pack. Last night, I did nothing but start a list of snacks for the plane.

mamatulip said...

I have to second Jess on the whole "Imagine if people were to drop in on me right now." As for getting through the day, I reward myself at night with a little treat -- something that says, "You made it through the day with little to no bloodshed, mamatulip. Good job."

mothergoosemouse said...

If you're referring to housework, then it's not hard for me to stay motivated, type-A anal beyotch that I am.

The problem I find is that it NEVER ENDS. And even though I clean it up today, it's a mess again tomorrow.

Frankly, I find reading and writing to be FAR more productive.

Pattie said...

Hmm...chocolate works for me...yes, chocolate..oh and wine...that is a motivator...oh, and a big ol' bag of greasy salt and vinegar chips.....heheheh...sorry, I wish I were more helpful, for I surley am afflicted with the same 'illness'...Shirley? Don't call me Shirley... (remember that line?)

Christina said...

I wish I could be some fount of advice here, but I got nothin'. I haven't one single shred of organization in me, and it shows. My normal way of doing things is constantly running around saying, "Oh shit, I forgot to do that!"

I don't recommend that method, by the way.

Kristen said...

If I could stay motivated, I'd give you a tip! LOL. What you're doing sounds like what I do EVERY time I get some free time.

something blue said...

The wise and humorous words of others keeps me happy. This summer I've read many a blog in favour of pulling weeds. My poor yard. My neighbours probably hate me.

I have very little energy for multitasking. If I can throw in a load of laundry and post a few comments, it is a successful day.

Heather said...

D'oh I was really hoping the big secret was in here. Sadly, I'm unmotivated and really wish I weren't. It seems we're so far behind (with wedding, house rennovations, work, etc) that I know we'll eventually catch up. I just have no idea when.

The drop-in visitors are a wicked good motivating factor to get us cleaning, though.

And? I say enjoy your spare time. Being a parent is the equivalent of 2 1/2 full time jobs, AND you work on top of that. I'd suggest a glass of wine and some chocolate to go with that email reading. :)

Her Bad Mother said...

I have no answers. I am a total slave to time suckage. TOTAL. SLAVE.

metro mama said...

I'm fiercely protective of my time and really try hard not to let it get away. What I do is set priorities and budget time accordingly. For the next few weeks my priority is to read--so if Cakes has a two-hour nap, I'll spend the first hour reading, then maybe a bit of housework and whatever's left is mine to fritter away. Good luck!

radioactive girl said...

I find that I do better when I am really busy with actual places I need to be. If I don't have to be somewhere but there are tons of chores I should do, I tend to spin my wheels going back and forth trying to figure out what to do and end up so frazzled I just sit down and read my favorite blogs. I do try to make a list the night before of what I hope to accomplish the next day, but I find laundry, clean the kitchen, etc. pretty boring so I tend to leave them on the list far too long.

liberalbanana said...

I'm supposed to stay motivated?

Chaotic Mom said...

Actually, checking e-mail and blogs DOES keep me motivated. But I find I'm a bit older now, moving slower, less energy, and it takes more willpower to do ANYTHING, especially when I have a few rare, quiet moments.

I've learned the laundry will still be there after I take some personal time to myself. So will the weeds, and since I'm not trying for "Yard of the Month", I'm not too worried if they're a little out of control at times.

I NEED that time to myself, be it w/ a book, e-mail, blogs, or just listening to "Tibet Healing Sounds" on Rhapsody. No kidding, I'd go crazy w/o breaks purely for me. ;)

Oooh! I never get my nails done, could have gone out and done that w/ the free time. If I knew where to go, had a number to call for appts. So, that said, I'd think about it, then take a nap, I guess. Sigh...

Jess said...

My issue is that I get distracted easily. One minute I'm the happy housewife cleaning something...the next I'm checking out a magazine I found on the counter lol.
I do vacuum every day though...but only because I'm in love with my Dyson. ;)

lynsalyns said...

I wish I could help but my house is a disaster. My husband is home for the summer and my routine is all messed up. It is like every day is Saturday around here.

Mostly I get motivated to clean when I can't stand the dirt anymore, or if I am mad. I always clean when I am mad.

julia said...

I do not understand this word motivation of which you speak.

Sincerely, the Slackerest of Slackers.

It's okay, Sweetie said...

Wow. You got a lot accomplished. I would have taken a nap!!! I'm never alone. Not even when I blog. I have a dog at my feet even as I write this...better go taken him out... Cheers!

Kristi said...

Read blogs. Read my blog. Don't. Do. Anything. Vacuum? Pshaw...use your time to be alone...not a housekeeper. (Don't listen to me. I'm the laziest mama of all time.)

Tori said...

My love
This was exactly my day yesterfay. My whole family including the dogs are away in Montana. I leave tomorrow and I am alone in the house with endless hours of opportunity and yet a To Do list so huge I sat on my arse and watched a movie....
What's with that...
My job too is all about time managment - down to the last second.... what the hell am I doing idling I asked myself...
I did however catch up with blogging!!!!!
Never an idle way to spend the hours...
Tori

Beth said...

I too, have a love/hate relationship with moments like these. It's like, you know you should be responsible and productive, and actually be able to cross something off your To Do list. But, on the other hand, you want to take time for yourslef to relax, to have a quiet moment, sans distractions (big and small). So, if you choose to relax, you don't really relax, because you're too busy thinking about what you SHOULD be doing. And if you choose to be productive, you are really productive, because you're too busy thinking about how you could be relaxing. It's a vicious cycle, really.

Beth said...

Sorry, I dropped this: not. It goes in there between "are" and "really" in that whole being productive sentence.

mrsmogul said...

I never thought that vacuuming and laundry can be so tiresome! It's like I have to do laundry everyday!

Time suckage is good! We need internet for escape!

creative-Type Dad (Tony) said...

Totally me!
When I have free time with nobody around, I usually break out the video games.

Or read blogs. You people are way too interesting...

Izzy said...

What is this movitvation you speak of? I know nothing of motivation.

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