I never learn. I seem to always sign up for things even though I am already so overworked I can hardly keep up with the things I have on my plate currently. Which is why I am relieved and happy that I was voted out of the Smut Marathon in the second round. Despite the assignments being small in terms of word count, they took up a disproportionate amount of my time and energy.
I have felt a bit frazzled lately. My novel isn’t progressing as fast as I would like it to, I haven’t made any progress on one article I really want to write (it involves a LOT of research) and pitches I wanted to write for articles to sell are gathering dust in my brain. It is easy to see why I sometimes feel like a failure.
But when I really break it down, I know I take on a lot of things. And I have the misfortune of being a very organised, efficient and prodcutive person, so I will plan every second of my day, which hardly ever leaves time for me to relax and do nothing. It’s easy to see how I can get overworked.
So, what does a typical day look like for me? Every weekday my alarm goes off at 6:30. I usually snooze for 5 minutes, then get up and do yoga downstairs until 7:00. At 7:00 I jump in the shower, get dressed and then I am downstairs by 7:30 (a bit earlier if I am really fast). At that time I need to make my oldest a packed lunch, throw my own things together before setting out on my bicycle with my oldest son to work (he goes to school close to my work).
I get to work shortly after 8, where I work until about 13:00. I then take my personal laptop and work on my blog or my novel for an hour. I always say that this time is reserved for my novel writing, but sometimes the inspiration for a blog post strikes and I work on that. Or I draft a short story.
Back to work at 14:00 until about 17:00 at which time I can go home. At home I first help the kids with whatever homework they have while hubby makes dinner. If the kids don’t have homework, I make dinner. After dinner I have about an hour to myself in which I catch up on email, twitter and WhatsApp.
At 20:00 the great struggle to get the chidren in bed begins which usually ends at 21:00 after I have read my oldest son his bedtime story. It is then time for hubby and me to spend a couple of hours either watching a couple of episodes of a series, or watch a movie, or have sex. Bedtime is around 23:00 if I am lucky.
On Saturday I catch up on my blog posts, short stories and loads of blog maintenance. I use Hootsuite to schedule tweets with older blog posts, personalising each tweet as I don’t like autotweets. So that takes up quite a bit of time as well. I schedule about 2 tweets per day for the following week. Sunday morning is church and Sunday afternoon is reserved for spending time together as a family. Sunday evening I may curl up and read a book or catch up on crocheting.
In between I also try to go to Scarlet Ladies events once a month and I sometimes go to choir. I also volunteer in organising work-related events once a month, which takes me to London in the evening.
The problem with my overworked schedule is that if I have an off day, or a Saturday with appointments, I have to play catch up the following week. This week, for example, I worked on a short story all Saturday, so did not have time to schedule tweets on Hootsuite to promote older blog posts. So there won’t be any this week. And next week will be Eroticon, whch will be AWESOME, but will throw a wrench in my schedule again.
I know that the easy answer is to do less. Leave a buffer. Schedule some relaxation time. But I feel like time is already slipping away and I need to keep up with my blog and my novel. At the moment I can handle it, and the fact that I don’t have the pressure of the Smut Marathon has freed up some time – and some space in my head.
I am not complaining, I wouldn’t have my life any other way. But I need to remind mysef to keep my priorities straight and not sign up for something that will just add more work to my workload, unless it will benefit me greatly. That may sound selfish, but I’d rather not go from overworked to having a full breakdown. I feel there is a fine line there. And yes, sometimes throw all plans out of the window, pour myself a glass of wine and take a luxurious bath. Self care is important!
Note: I am not trying to glorify or romanticise my busy life. I realise that it is not altogether healthy to keep such a full schedule, but at the moment it’s working for me and I am not in a position to dial anything back. Your life will be different and that is fine.