Talking about time management is helpful. Tips and encouragement (as found here previously on HLS) are great ways to offer help about the time we have and how to best use it. I want to show you what my day really looks like as Rose did here. The schedule below will give you a peep inside my time management skills and emotional journey on a typical Monday.
7:00am: Cannot work on Annotated Bibliography due next Monday for LIS7000 class because of weekly homework which is due this Wednesday. Watch pre-recorded lecture, read scholarly piece, and write overly long answers to two questions because I am constantly over achieving. Finally hit the Post button; immediately feel nervous at the website’s announcement: “You have 1 hour to edit this post.”
9:30am: Shower as I think over and over about the post I just submitted. Decide that immediately upon exiting the shower I will…
10:00am: Re-read the post while wrapped in a towel and robe splayed on my bed, trying not to drip water on my keyboard. Realize it’s past 10:30am and give up hope for achieving maximum points on the post I wrote because it does not feel like it really answers the question.
11:00am: Try to relax and woosah in bed while thoughts of the Annotated Bibliography encroach. Try to control and concentrate on my breathing. At some point, I nod off…
11:30am: Fling awake in my bed, scrambling with my phone to make it shut up. Feel thankful I remembered to set the alarm, or else I’d be late for work. Throw on clothes, do makeup, get out the house.
12:37pm: Arrive at work at least twenty minutes early (as is ritual for me). Spend this short time on Facebook or taking a selfie (see photo) and generally trying to pep-talk myself for the impending eight hours of work.
1:00pm: Work in a small branch library as a library associate. This involves: using a patron’s photo ID to look up account information, helping create new library card accounts, assisting patrons with computer related tasks, checking in/out physical materials, struggling with the self-check machine, wrangling DVDs back into the dispenser towers, pretending to know what I’m doing as I plan storytime activities, feeling confident as I revise computer class handouts, shelf reading my sections until my mind goes numb, delegating prep to absolutely fabulous co-workers that will cut out 300 two-inch circles for me so the kids can make a cute ice cream cone craft, and other sundry tasks.
9:00pm: Drive home, exhausted, listening to techno music very loudly so as not to zone out.
9:30pm: Eat dinner (that my mother thankfully cooked and sent over or I’d go hungry) in my pajamas while speaking with the husband. Ensue yet another conversation about shared household chores that I don’t seem to have time to do. Feel like a failure of a partner, apologize, promise to do better yet have no idea how or when to do better.
10:00pm: Pick work outfits from the ever-growing pile of laundry for the next few days; try to ignore all the clothes not being washed right now strewn across the floor on my side of the bed. Throw the few outfits I picked into the machine with all intentions of washing, drying, and hanging everything that night.
10:30pm: Prop myself up in bed to get a jump on tomorrow morning’s scholarly reading while the laundry washes. Flip on my heating pad because my shoulders hurt by the end of the day. Attempt to relax, while really all I can think about is that I did not, in fact, work on my Annotated Bibliography at all this day. Fall asleep accidently, completely abandoning the laundry and the scholarly reading.
In fact, my lovely husband tossed my wet laundry into the dryer for me; he’s a lifesaver, as is my mom who cooks often for us. I don’t have the perfect balance in my life to handle my full-time job, my part-time schooling, and my being-a-human duties. What I hope you see here is the nitty-gritty actuality of trying to smash all these things into a single day; the actuality I bet you and I share. I don’t know if I’m “good enough” to draw conclusions about how best to spend your time, but I think that, sometimes, just showing another person that I too struggle is a great starting point.
Emily Bufford currently lives in New Orleans with her husband Roby and their two kitties, Hotz and Shockey. Writing is on her mind everyday, and she is currently finishing her novel Omelas, seeking an agent. She also enjoys making alternative hair extensions on her very own spinning wheel and wearing them in wild fashion. Another talent of hers is special effects makeup. She works as a Library Associate, so happy to be surrounded by good books every day. She recently started her Masters in Library and Information Sciences program online with LSU. Currently, she’s reading a lot of science fiction, especially short stories.
What is a day in your life like? What tips do you have for time management?