I’m of the mindset that the more you have to do the more you get done. I like a day filled to the brim. I like getting up at 5am, love to-do lists- you get the picture (and I’m sure have a few choice adjectives to describe me and those like me). When a meeting is cancelled or I have “extra” time I generally putz around. I’ll get on Facebook, tweet a bit and check Google analytics. I can waste time as well as I fill time and this worries me. My boys are at sleep away camp for 7 weeks; I warned you I would mention this a million times before August so including Friday’s mention I have 999,998 mentions to go. I have “extra hours in the day” for the next 45 days.
Friends of mine, both concerned and intrigued, have been asking “what are you and Marc going to do”? I initially felt a little pressure to design some super-duper summer plans to match their excitement. Instead I’ve been saying, “ I’m really looking forward to doing nothing.” This isn’t exactly the truth either. As you can gather, I’m not much of a “do nothing” person. There’s only so much napping and tweeting and reading I can do. I have plans and to me they’re thrilling but I’ll warn you, you’re going to be disappointed.
- I want a refrigerator I can show off. I don’t mean the actual appliance. I wish I had taken a “before” picture because though filled with healthy food, my fridge a few days ago was utter calorie clutter. Before the boys come home, I will show you my newly organized zen fridge.
- I’m also working on a book, still in the early stages, but I stalled last summer and I want to get the proposal done and carve out time to write.
- I work out a fair amount but I want to do things I don’t usually have time for. I’d like to play more tennis, allow myself more “double header” workouts and head out for runs in the early evening. This is something I haven’t done in years as that’s cooking time when the kids are home.
- I had intentions, before the boys left, to cook all these recipes that aren’t necessarily family friendly. Once they left I found myself making “Smoky Chicken” and other things they love (miss them). My husband’s also on a mission to try all these restaurants- after all no babysitter to be paid.
I wanted to put this all out there because it’s so easy to let this time or any free time slip away. If you’re concerned I’m spending the whole summer organizing and writing, don’t worry we have a couple of short trips planned just don’t expect me to “do nothing” while way.
What would you do with a couple extra hours in the day? Do you prefer when life is busy or more free? Are you good at doing nothing? Do you think my “plans” are lame? What do you think I should do with the next 45 days?
SO funny you posted this, as I've been thinking about it since my son is in day camp three mornings a week. This gives me, as a SAHM, more free time than i've had in ages. I'm usually super productive and pack a lot into a day. But yesterday i used the few hours free as…lazy time. Which i needed but don't want to become a slippery slope!
I think we are very similar! I have a week stay-cation coming up and I already have a long to-do list in the works. Actually, party of that to-do list is writing a book. I have the draft finished but I just need to make the final edits. Are you getting yours published?? If so, any advice? And what are the legal issues surrounding a book?
Justine, never heard SAHM. I guess we all need a combination of lazy and productive. I've had the camp to do lists before and ignored them so I wanted to give myself some accountability. Gina- I could see you being a to-do list gal. I am early in the book process not sure I'm the person to give advice. Having stalled on a topic I wasn't feeling I would say write about something you feel strongly about.
I'm like you Lauren, I LOVE having a full schedule but there are times (like on weekends) where I LOVE having nothing that I HAVE to do! On those days sometimes I watch an extra hour of tv but mostly the hubs and I try to get outside and go to the park, play tennis, take a hike, etc. I love being active!
I really like feeling productive and accomplishing things so downtime can be a bit hard for me… Well, and I don't really remember having any real (without kids) downtime… 🙂
If I had more time, I would spend a lot of it hiking. I love it, but it so time-consuming.
I certainly don't think your plans are lame. How exciting to be writing a book! I honestly prefer having a full schedule as a rule. But I definitely appreciate my 'free' days. However, I am like you in that I can't do those for too long.
Early evening runs. That's bath and time at my end! The luxury!
Like most people, I tend to get more things done when I have a full schedule than when I have a completely empty day. It's that feeling of "hey, I have all day to empty the dishwasher, I'll do it later" that allows you to procrastinate, and then before you know it you've been watching tv all day and the dishes are still in there.
If I had extra time, I say this all the time, I'd start doing some yoga. I don't do it now because when I work out I feel like I really need to sweat and yoga doesn't fit the bill, but I think the added flexibility would be good for my body. Maybe I'd try hot yoga so I'd still be sweating!
I've been waking up an hour earlier to make sure I have enough time to practice yoga and meditate, and it's made me feel so much better both physically and mentally. before, I was choosing between cardio and yoga, but now I can do both.
I think your plans sound exciting! Reorganizing feels so invigorating sometimes, and a book! I'd totally read it.
I'm astonishingly good at doing nothing. Just planned a vacation to Santa Fe to do just that…
That said, I need to utilize this extra time I have this summer. Like you, I need to carve out time for writing (60 rec letters due by 11/1 this fall). I need to get back into barre and yoga as my 10 day work trip killed my workout schedule. I'm wildly impressed by people who prefer to have full days. I'd love to be that person someday.
Jen- you summarized it exactly. If it's wishy, washy I get nothing done. Lauren, I so agree about organizing it has such a carry over effect. Thanks for the book comment, I love your writing so I really appreciate what you said. And Marie- you crack me up. We can learn from each other. I even multi task k when I relax.
SAHM = Stay At Home Mom
Learn something new every day, right? 😉
Your plans sound great — especially the book plans & the getaways with Marc! I totally agree with the more you have to do the more you get done; I'm not good at doing nothing unless I'm removed from internet, phone and NYC entirely. I'm intrigued by staycations like Gina is doing — I'd love to explore new neighborhoods, restaurants and music, play tennis, read for fun… but just thinking about being home and not getting things done stresses me out!
I love lists and planning out my vacations in excel spreadsheets- I am a nut! For July 4th 4 day weekend "staycation" I have planned: Governor's Island day (never been and they have free bike rentals on fridays), Renting a cabana at the Empire Hotel to use their pool, Beach day, and Bear Mountain (love some good hikes!).
For anyone out there writing a book, I recently came across this amazing spreadsheet by Jenny Blake on publishing tips (endorsed by Seth Godin!) http://www.thedominoproject.com/2011/06/a-spreadsheet-for-the-self-published.html
I do well with structure and agree that when my day isn't defined I tend to get very little done. If I had more down time I always think it would be nice to grab coffee and sit by the Hudson river or at a cafe and read the newspaper, which I never get to do. More Yoga and reading in general is always on my list. Enjoy your extra time this summer and I look forward to hearing how you spend it.
Usually on days off, I also fill them to the brim. I also have the to-do list written out.
I haven't been feeling good lately and not doing things is driving me nuts!!
I've been told I have a hard time relaxing, but I'm trying to get better at doing nothing.
I'm kind of 1/2 and 1/2. I think I work better under stress, when I have a full list, but I also enjoy my down time. Right now the kids are home 24/7 and they have very few camps scheduled this summer, so with kids and work its BUSY! Fortunately we have lots of great friends/neighbors and grandparents near by to help out in a pinch with the kids. If I had more time, I think I would tackle the weeds in my garden and start a veggie garden. How are you handling the missing kids???
EA, I know grass is always greener. While I have time for projects, I love when my apartment is busy and adore having kids in the house. I miss them so much but I think being productive will make me feel better (or distracted) thanks for asking.
You have 7 whole kid-free weeks? You are my hero!
Anyway, I am like you in that I get up at 5 am and get 100 things done by the time it's 10 am. And yet, there doesn't seem to be enough time to finish everything I need to do!
I too would love to work on my book but it's not coming along as well as I'd have hoped. Maybe we can inspire each other!
Your plans are never lame! I hope you have some cozy home time with Marc, too! I have a lot of downtime lately since my boss is out of town….so I am looking for a job! Wish me luck! XO
I have to be honest here. I would hope that with an extra hour in the day I would get an extra hour of sleep! I am sooo sleep deprived most of the time because I am going, going, going constantly. I am always striving for balance though I tend to be pretty bad at it!
Definitely a busy person. I love todo lists although I've been really bad at making them after the 3rd child was born. I'd much rather be busy than doing nothing. I also get up at 5. It's the ONLY time to get anything done!! I love my quiet time in the mornings.
Wow, good luck with the book! I'm the same, I say I want to do nothing but am so used to being flat-out busy, I probably wouldn't know what to do with myself 🙂
I think, sad though it is, I'd use an extra hour to sleep… in theory anyway!
i like to have a mix of to dos and do nothings. my job is so super fast paced that i crave doing nothing when i am off……….but i must first get a good workout in and then nothing feels good! enjoy the next 45 days 🙂
I find that unless I write a to-do list, nothing will ever get done. Even boring, everyday things like laundry, empty dishwasher, etc., make it to my list….right alongside the bigger long-term items, like look for a new job and start training for 1/2 marathon. If it's not written down, it's not getting done! That being said, although I've been told I "love being busy" and very often create chores to keep myself going, I cherish the nights the kids go to bed early and I can have my quiet time to go on the internet, read, or do nothing at all…..
oh I would enjoy me time
Beth, my favorite line at the top of all of my to-do lists is "make to-do list". Then I've accomplished something! But like you, I have to write it down or it doesn't get done. Sometimes I even put "nap" on the list so I can cross it off.
I'm unemployed as of today, so I have oodles of time. I'm still working out what to do with it. I have to be careful, because I've very good at getting sucked into watching all four seasons of a TV show on DVD. Yeah, not a very productive use of time.
Am I the only one who never need a todo list?
I know from the top of my head what needs to be done and I give myself some flexibility on when and how to do it.