Lifestyle Design – Part III

I have to thank Mike for the link on his comment on Part I of this series.  It was a very useful read how someone else dealt with a similar situation if you haven’t read the article I suggest you go have a read.

Now back to my lifestyle design.  I know what the problem is: I don’t have enough hours in the day.  I know what I want to do: more time for writing other than this blog, more time for house projects and more time for myself .  Yet changing your life doesn’t happen over night, so I’ve broken down my plan into stages.

Stage 1 – Make Better Use of What you Have – I’m guilty of wasting time just a bad as the next person so here is my plan to rein in that habit.

  • Make better use of my lunch hours.  I typically don’t do much of anything during my lunch hours than surf the news.  So now I’m going to devote 30 minutes of my lunch to novel/short story research, brainstorming and even writing.
  • Start blocking out time during the weekend mornings.  I tend to lounge around the weekend mornings drinking coffee and reading a bit longer than I should.  So I’ll be trying to wrap that up by 9 or 10 am which should give me a 2 to 3 hour block of time to work on either: some writing, house project or board reading (at least one day for those weekend prior to a meeting).  I’m going to alternate those to ensure I get to everything.
  • Stop watching so many movies.  After the kids go to bed, about 8pm, I’ve been watching too many movies.  I think partly because I felt brain dead, but I’m going to try to only do that every second night at most and free up some time for writing.

Stage 2 – Adjust priorities – I can’t be everywhere and doing everything, so this is what is going to give.

  • Turn down more optional Board events.  In the beginning I’ve attended just about every event partly to get to know people and learn more about what goes on in the Division.  I’m over that stage so I’m going to be saying no to more things to ensue I don’t over book myself in a month.
  • Stop posting on this blog on Mondays. By cutting out Monday’s post and having Dave continue to do Tuesday I limit my blog posting days to a mere three days a week.  I’ve been rolling this around in my head for months.  I just don’t want to keep up posting five days a week anymore.  This change is effective immediately.

Stage 3 – Longer term adjustments – These will take some time and some money to change.

  • Hire help.  I’ll be sitting down with my wife to discuss what we really want to do and when.  Then with her help I’ll draw up a plan for what items I’m going to contact out.  I’m thinking likely items here are landscaping and cleaning or perhaps painting projects in the house.  Just because I enjoy doing house projects doesn’t mean I have to do all of them.
  • Use flex benefit at day job in 2011 to buy an extra 7 days off. Use half a day a month for ‘me time’ in 2011.  That way I can ensure I’m always getting some time to myself each month.  It’s going to cost me perhaps a year at most on my retirement date (since I’ll have less going to my pension), but I think it will be worth it.
  • Spend more money/time on my family and myself.  I want to start making sure we get as a family, as a couple and by myself at least once a month to do something fun.  So it might just be going swimming as a family, attending a play as a couple and signing up for a writing seminar for me.  What it cost won’t matter that much, it could be free, but I want to ensure I’ve devoting time to enjoying life.

So that is the general plan of attack, obviously some of the details might shift around a bit while I execute the plan, but that is ok.  At the very least I feel hope that I’ll be taking back my life and actually living the life I want rather than just letting it happen.

How have you changed your life recently?  What are you willing to spend to enjoy life?

5 thoughts on “Lifestyle Design – Part III”

  1. I’ve cut down on a lot of those brain-dead activities as well. Mostly because the course this semester is so much more difficult than the last. I started to use my lunch time for my school reading too which is really helping.

    Sometime I wonder if the brain dead activity is necessary for rejuvenation or if it’s just an excuse. Objects at rest stay at rest applies to us as well I think.

    I’m reading a time management book as well, so I’ll see if I get any tips out of that.

    I’ll miss the Monday posts, but I understand and look forward to a happier writer the 3 days you do write. 🙂 Good luck.

  2. I also need to balance my life… can’t wait for some temporary obligations to end, to get back some time to reorganise myslef better 🙂

    Good luck with your planning and resolutions (well, even if it snt January 1st, some of theses are resolutions right? 😉 )

  3. Tim, I’d check out “The Power of Full Engagement – Managing energy, not time, is the key to high performance and personal renewal”

    Some of it’s old news, but he makes the argument that most top athletes succeed because they take the time for rejuvenation. (Just look at how well Tiger Woods did after his recent sabbatical!) 🙂

    I don’t see exercise on your list though? That’s one thing I’ve always liked to do at lunch or in the morning before the kids get up. If I walk the dog in the evening when I get home, I feel less dopey and more interested in taking on some bigger projects.

  4. Financial Student,

    Some brain dead activity is good for people, just not much of it. So I’m trying to cut back a bit on mine.

    Mama Zen,

    You could call them resolutions, but I never make resolutions. I just change what seems to be not working and skip the guilt if it doesn’t work out the way I wanted.


    I’ll have to check that one out. Thanks for the link. Exercise isn’t explicitly in the post, but does fall under some ‘me time’. I’m thinking about where to best slide that in on a more regular basis than my current do it when I happen to think of it. No formal decisions on that yet. I’m still adjusting to the rest of my changes.


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