Time management matrix as described in Merrill...Image via WikipediaHow does that work?

I have stuff that I have to do and stuff that I want to do and a very finite ability to do these things.  As in, probably less ability/energy/capacity than "normal" people.  And unpredictable capacities - I can't always predict if I'll have a migraine on a given day or be particularly tired and brain foggy or arthritic or whatever.

Unpredictability and finite capacity are two of the major things that make holding a "normal" daily set-schedule job difficult to impossible.

Unfortunately, self-motivation and organization to work on things at home is also a challenge for me.

I try to do a lot of the house cleaning and dishes.  Tom manages doing laundry and meals and obtaining stuff for meals.

Then there is reading for fun and for research and self-improvement.

Then there is crafty stuff for fun.

And crafty stuff that I'd like to eventually turn into a business. 

And writing, here and other places.

And somewhere in there I need enough energy to spend quality time with my husband and socialize in some way here and there and basic self-care like showering.  Plus I usually have at least 1 medical appointment every week, often 2 or 3.  And I need to exercise and meditate regularly (preferably every day) for my health.

But I never know when to start and what to start.  And I have a huge problem with feeling guilty for doing "fun" stuff.  There is a little voice in my head that says "if you are well enough to do x, you should be well enough to have a full-time 9-5 job, you awful malingering lazy-bones."  I'm working on telling that voice what to go do with itself, but it's hard.  And so I frequently find that I default to mindless internet surfing and find the day gone and very little accomplished either of the fun or the work. 

There is also the little voice that says "you're wasting stuff!" when I start a project or am trying to start one.  

In addition, I often find myself obsessively finding tutorials or books or how-tos about a given craft or activity and spend so much time collecting the stuff and wind up so overwhelmed with all of it that I do nothing.  Sort of the equivalent of spending so much time gathering sources for a paper that you don't actually get to the writing of the paper (until 2 days before it's due, at which point you stop sleeping and write non-stop until 5am the day it's due).

How do you figure it out?  What tricks do you have for self-motivating?  Or convincing yourself that "waste" is a part of learning?  How do you prioritize the must be done/want to do?  And how to do you manage all that with unpredictable ability from day to day?
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1 comment:

Alwen said...

Boy, I wish I knew! I'm great at listing out all the 900 things I "should" do, not so great at actually getting them done.

With ADD, I have a tendency to get stuck in cerebral, where putting something like "Wash dishes" on my list totally substitutes for the actual physical act of washing them.

I'm doing okay at the moment, but we've had some really tense times where my DH would come home from work & I couldn't point to one thing in the real world that I'd gotten done. That whole "I worked all day & what did YOU do?" mess, argh.