A little Planning Goes a Long Way

So I wanted to write about my DayJob a bit here and how it’s affected my ability to spend time on internet and art things.

Obviously the DayJob is important to me, I’ve learned a lot of useful skills from them, some of which I’ve applied here online and some that are universal- like when to shut my mouth. I worked 50 hours this week. Yup, 10 hours of sweet overtime. But it’s left me with less energy when I finally arrive home. Keep in mind that now I’m in the new location I drive about 1 to 2 hours per day for travel completely dependent on traffic. So my days are sometimes 12 hours long. Obviously that’s a lot of time, and I’m left exhausted on some days.

So I’ve had to carefully plan out my days when I come home from the DayJob- cook dinner and lunch for the next day, eat and pack it up. Then I clean up. I relax for about a half hour reading my email then I head to the studio for about an hour. Because I only have an hour I have to pick and chose what I do carefully. This week it took me 3 days to cut and fold paper for hedgehogs, something that normally I’d have done in 2. In addition to that I worked on the 2 portraits for my boss while I relaxed in front of the TV. Normally the portraits would have been done in 2 days or so.

Because I’ve prepared for the unknown things happening I’ve been able to plan ahead for certain things- like the covers for the hedgehogs have already been cut, so all I need to do is sew them and glue them up. But when unexpected emergencies arise- such as the recent instance with eBay taking down all but one of my listings it throws me for a loop. Thanks to eBay I’m out a possible $50. While not a big deal it is a burden for me, I simply didn’t have the time to relist those auctions, it would have required me to shift my other responsibilities.

I try to prioritize the studio, website and personal items. Obviously blog entries go to the wayside in weeks like these, custom orders that I would normally weave into my time get shifted to top of the pile and get done first and eBay listings are saved for weekends when I have more time. I keep a to do list in the front of my Jotter notebook that lists the items I need to accomplish during that week, I cross them off as I go. In terms of personal items, I’m keeping a shopping list on a post it in my jotter. The rest of the personal stuff is sort of a routine: dinner is made easier by having a lot of pre-packed veggies in the freezer and chicken ready to go, so for nights where I come home ready to sleep- I can throw a chicken breast in the frying pan, a package of green beans and maybe some rice in the rice cooker.

Essentially we plan for this sort of thing with my job- there are often times when an emergency arises- wireless dies, registers stop working or card readers stop working. In those instances I have to stay until it’s fixed. Sometimes I know I’m going to be there for extended periods of time- such as this past week and probably the next couple of weeks- though after this week things should calm down a lot.

I’ve also had to plan for things within my job too. I’ve had to dedicate a page in my planner to planning out important instances with my day. Appointments, interviews I’ve set up, interviews I’m conducting, call back etc. For the first time I’ve had to look at my duties and prioritize them and see what I can accomplish in half my day while shifting my temporary duties (human resources) to the forefront of my day. I spend my AM doing my normal duties while every 2 hours looking at a specific program for my temp responsibilities for a half hour; back and forth until noon. I then shift gears in the afternoon and work solely on the temp responsibilities.

Towards the end of this past week I started to feel more comfortable with the temp responsibilities which has lessened my stress level as well as the time I spent at work. My goal is always to get everything done that I can do in 40 hours. I like my job but my website and art are my real focus in life.

In short a little planning and focus have made my home and internet life run a little more smoothly though I’ve been wishing there were more hours in the day.