The Christmas Myth of Time Management

There was a moment sheer heart-plunging terror as I added the line “bring up Christmas decorations and get started” to my to-do list for the week.

What with the what, WHEN?

Oh, lord.

It’s That Time Again.

So now, on top of the list of 26 things I need to do, I gotta work out more because the season’s full of food, clean more to entertain more (and because there’s more crap filling the house), plus all the baking for the Christmas gifts I’ll make this year, oh, right, and go to a zillion social events.

“Christmas”,
The Holiday Brought to You in Part
by FACEPALM™,
that universal sentiment surpassed only
by HEAD-DESK™.

And, like, three months ago, I started this little project of organizing my music CDs and putting them into binders.

Except… there’s, like, 300 CDs in piles, in the corner of the living room, where the Christmas tree soon needs to go.

Not only do I need to organize those fuckers and put them in the binders, but it turns out the binder sleeves are only pre-cut, they haven’t pulled the little piece of plastic out where I have to slide the CD in. Do you KNOW how much such things annoy me?

No. You don’t. I glower at this pile. I loathe this pile. I suppose the time has come.

A friend posted a great list today, the seven steps to “grow the action habit”, and the second one is: Be a doer.

I was a Girl Guide. I can be a doer. I know I can!

I shall be a CD-organizer doer-girl sometime this week.

It’s on my list.

(Found on a variety of blogs, always uncredited.)

Ironically, also on my list is to “make a list every day. ”

On the rare occasions of my life where I’ve made a list (I’ve seen more blue moons than I’ve made lists), I’ve been killer productive. If I remember to write on the list that I have to cross things off the list, that is.

On the upside, all those rare list-making occasions have been within the last six months. Nowhere near habit-forming, but at least I’ve had some positive results in the “I’ll try that for a dollar, Alex” category.

Let’s face it, life’s all about time.

It’s about getting things done —  a race to save time so we don’t waste time, but without enjoying the time we have. Or something.

Even when we do save time and knock obligations out of the park, we’re still left with fractured time, since no one turns off cellphones or does Just One Thing at length anymore. The proverbial ADD society, sure, but who actually lives in the moment anymore?

I’m still trying to find that balance of Getting Shit Done and Doing Nothing. Of course, I keep vascillating to extremes. I’m the ping-pong ball that ricochets from one wall to the other, never landing in the middle.

Still, I keep bouncing, keep trying, and sooner or later gravity’ll pull me to a stop — and I’m okay with that.

December’s kind of like my “new-year’s-resolutions-practice month”. I’ll fail dismally, likely, with all the socializing and all that, but at least I’ll be working on life more or thinking about how I can improve it (and want to), often.

Besides, it’s not about being perfect tomorrow, it’s about being better tomorrow and better the week after that.

When I can get traction with the time management, it’ll help me on all levels — I’ll eat healthier at home, live in a cleaner environment, process stress better because I’ll have an accomplishments system in place, and I’ll generally be less of who I’ve been frustrated in being, and more of the task-oriented person I’d like to be.

It’s an uphill battle for the next five weeks, though. It’s that annual time when we’re so inundated by responsibilities and the directions we’re pulled in that we’re more likely to overindulge in all our flaws — fall behind on bills, eat too much junk, drink too often, exercise too little, rest too little, and so on.

There’s a reason they’re called the “January blues”.

It’s why we’re all so compelled to visit change upon ourselves when the new year rolls around — Christmas brings out the best in us but also exploits all our daily failings. It’s inevitable. We have great fun and we pay the price in every way, usually.

Being prepared for that by taking little steps to try and avoid the severity of my Descent into Calendar Madness could be one thing that separates me from my recent years’ “Chaos Called Christmas” experiences.

And it starts with one little list aimed at getting me from here to November 30th with a lot of organizational success and a big game plan.

Item 27: Make a new list on December 1st.