Multi-tasking Mom or How on earth to manage to finally paint those fingernails?

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nail polish

I just noticed yesterday that there’s no “about” page on my blog. Or at least, I couldn’t find it, and couldn’t figure out how I could put a category like that on the page. But before I write this post, a couple of things about me. I’m a happy mother of two, a girl aged 7 and a boy aged 3. I also work full-time, but with quite ok working hours, so by leaving very early in the morning (I know, very is mostly my vision of the world) I manage to get back before dinner-time, where I take over the kid-shift. My husband manages the kids before and after school, thanks to his more flexible working schedule, which means time is always tight. That’s why I also go running during my lunch hour. It took me a long time to actually allow myself to use those 1,5 to 2 hours for myself instead of working, but it was the only way of getting fitness somewhere into my schedule, without taking more time away from being with the kids. And it was the cheapest one, the only I could afford on a long term.

So here we go, as it comes to make-up and things like that, the percentage of my day that goes into it is about, well, let’s say, something below 0,001%. I get up, brush my teeth, get dressed. Sigh. Look at the mirror. Brush my hair. If it looks too weird (I shower in the evening and often go to bed with wet hair, which varying results in the morning), I fix it in a rubber band. I glance at my clothes, and chose an eyeshadow that goes with it. Mostly violet or grey or brown. Mascara. Fitting earrings. If I feel really motivated, I put on other rings apart from my wedding band and maybe even a necklace. That’s for the days I’m feeling bold. On those days, I might even put on high heel shoes.

All of this takes about 5 minutes, maximum. Oh yes, and no, I rarely put on any day cremes. I have them. Lots of them. I just am way too lazy for it… And tired… Oh no, that’s not correct, I do put on some wannabe magic stick against rings under my eyes. I have no idea whether it works, but it makes me feel a little less crumpled in the morning.

You notice : nowhere ever would there be time for painting fingernails. And don’t even mention toenails. Ever tried doing that in full daylight when the kids are around? No? You have to, it’s really worth the experience and it’s gonna be a complete mess.

So, for times when I think I should try and look a little bit more presentable, I grab my nail polish, put them in my bag, and do the nails at work. Sounds bad, right? But no, it isn’t really. Because the only time you can actually multi-task without endangering your nails is when you’re typing.

So I use the time early in the morning at the office before the phones start ringing (a tip to other early risers : NEVER tell anyone you start working earlier than others. They’ll start calling you at 7 a.m. and honestly, although you might be ready and fit to work on your e-mails or writing some documents, nobody is ready to enregister some serious phone conversation that early in the morning.)

I put on the base coat, type away, let it dry. Second coat with colour, same procedure. And even the top coat, it all works out, and it made me lose, what 3 minutes at the most? Hell, most of us spend looking out of the window (if you have one in your office) or surfing around or even at the coffee machine for way longer than that.

Tic tac tic tac … getting up early

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Clock

Getting up early again… or at least trying to.

I’ve been back to work for 4 days now, and as it usually goes, the first day went without problem. Got up at 6 o’clock sharp and was ready to get out of the house at 6.45, so I’d be at work at 7. Perfect.
Day 2 didn’t go as easily, rolling out of bed took me bout 10 minutes of convincing myself. Days 3 and 4 were much the same, no matter how early I went into bed. The picture above is from this morning… when I was about to take my breakfast, which clearly shows that I wasn’t making my plan.

The frustrating part of it all is that beginning of the year, I had trained myself to be up at 5.30 and it was great. I managed to do so much stuff in the morning, clean up the kitchen, fold the laundry, prepare the kids’ clothes for school. I was, you won’t believe it, organized! Then came a tougher period in April where I had to do some additional exams while working full-time, and my schedule all got messed up. Not only did I get up at the earliest 6.30 (the alarm clock though still set on 5.30), I also skipped all the other good habits I had going : my lemon hot water in the morning, two to three runs a week, sometimes some ab workout in the evening…

Which means that now it means again starting all over again. And as with the starting running again, it’s all from scratch, which is the most frustrating thing. I always think like : “But hey, I did well once, why do I have to return to the starting point? It’s just not fair!”

Well, it isn’t fair. But I’m determined to start my scheme all over again. Last time I succeeded by getting up earlier some 5 to 10 minutes each week, and it made getting up early a little less hard. I think this time I’m going to do it the same way, bit by bit, but keeping it at 6 in the morning for a while until I get used to it again…

My running partner and motivator

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iPod running

I don’t know about you, but my only way to get out running is to have some possibility of multitasking at the same time. The fact that I’m taking this personal “me” time makes me feel quite bad, as it is actually taking time off working during lunch hour, or time with the kids or fixing supper at home.

So when I do get out to run, I like to make it doubly worth it. My best companion is my iPod on which I listen to audiobooks of all kinds. Right now I’m finishing “Water for elephants”, which I have actually already seen as a movie but enjoy immensely as an audio book as well. The good thing about me and movies is that I can watch them over and over again, as I always forget how they ended. So listening to the audio book doesn’t feel like repeating it all over, but more like “ah yeah right, that’s what happened”. Sometimes short memory is good 🙂

I’ve got through at least 15 audiobooks during last year, and even listen to them while doing household chores I really do not enjoy doing that much. Like the bi-weekly vacuum cleaning, washing the floors, cleaning the bathrooms…. the two hours go by much better that way! And as a bonus, you can hear less well when your kids are whining about something 🙂 Just kidding, or sort of…

And I’m looking greatly forward to the next audiobook I put on the iPod, which is “50 shades of grey”. I knew I would never make it to read it through, as I can’t manage to get any spare time for reading anymore, so I got it as an audiobook instead. I guess though it’s gonna take me at least until Christmas to get it through.

Happy running folks!

Productivity Tools for Writers

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A very interesting short insight into productivity tools for writers. Although I’m for the moment only writing very lazily at my novel, I like the idea of having something at hand for the day I might need it. And especially a task manager! That’s like a huuuge block of post-its on the PC. Only they don’t vanish all of the sudden. Or get neatly rearranged by the office cleaning lady who means so well and hides them under your keyboard so your desk looks less messy. Looking forward to testing some of it!

Live to Write - Write to Live

Screen captures of GQueues (desktop and mobile), Harvest and BoomerangTechnology plays an important role in all of our lives. I’m always interested in what’s new and trying to implement the latest advancements so I can do more in less time. I’ve recently started using a few new services and I wanted to share my experiences with you.

GQueues

https://www.gqueues.com/

I am always looking to improve my time management skills especially capturing new tasks and prioritizing them. I’ve tried all manor of software and even as recently as 2 months ago, I was using a hybrid online-paper solution. Then a client turned me on to GQueues. Although not a Google product, you must have a Gmail account to make use of GQueues.  It is billed as “A full-featured online task manager for your Google Account and Google Apps account”. GQueues is fine as a stand alone task manager. It’s Getting Things Done friendly http://gettingthingsdone.com/ and similar to other online task…

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On the road from chaos to zenity

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Being a mom isn’t easy. Being a wife isn’t easy. Working a stressful job isn’t easy at all times either.

And the whole combined together easily melts into a huge mess where you struggle to do your best and more or less survive. In the end of the day, though, as you finally sit down, you feel as if you haven’t accomplished anything.

Knowing myself how frustrating it can be, and how tough it is to meet up to all your goals and dreams, and having gone through more downs than ups for a long period of time, life has taught me a set of lessons.

And everyday, I try to find small little steps to feel more happy, more balanced in life, and to attend to my own needs in order to function in all my different roles.

I hope some of you want to join me on this trip to more zenity in your life.