How we mange our time

Share your ideas about the practical side of caring.
Jenny came up with some interesting thoughts on managing our time (going to avoid the office speak "time management" phrase as makes me cringe) I've been on several office courses in the past but I generally find them a load of codswallop.
I think I like to be busy but I seem to be busy or collapsed doing rubbish, not much in between. I can never manage a third as Jenny puts it because todday for example I've been at work all morning, an hour after lunch, 3/4 of an hour early evening and half an hour at bed time finishing at 10.00 PM. Not keen on changing my job just at the moment.
What I would really like to introduce into my day is some yoga or some pilates. I can't afford classes and have plenty of books and DVDs etc just lacking time and motivation to make the time.
My days start around 6.15 and get up around 6.30, sort dogs out then out to work. As a paid carer I get random hours and can be working up to 10.00 PM and back home by 10.30 PM to sort dogs out , get to sleep and start again.

I'm doing major project house wise, getting regular coffees with friends, walking 2 dogs and fitting in my meals, paperwork, housework, huge garden. My feet don't touch the ground. My relaxing tends to be sitting at computers on forums or watching the news. Hobbies are dogs or are they more jobs - never sure which. I do feel there should be more "down time" but always struggle to see where I can get it from.

What strategies do you all employ for "me time" so important if you are still caring. I think I am still wired to be working or snatching sleep and I don't think most people try to manage as much as I do single handedly.
Hi Henrietta,

your days sound long and full on to me. The nature of your current work makes it hard to do yoga/ Pilates at a regular time and building something into your routine is by far the easiest way to make sure it happens. Do you usually have a lull after folk have been got up and had their lunches? If so, that might be a good time. Ideally you would pick a similiar time each day, ie before having your own lunch or whatever.

As for me, on school days my days are long too . It varies what time S wakes up but we get up at 6.45, I get us both through out morning routine, the aim being to leave S as calm as possible 5 mins after the care worker arrives ( hopefully on time at 8.15.) I dash to school where it's madly busy until the children leave, then it's meetings/ paperwork, I get home at 5.30. Our friend leaves and caring commences whilst I juggle home chores and school work. Try and get S to bed by 10.30 but it never happens - it's usually just after 11. I then dash around finishing off morning prep so everything goes smoothly before collapsing into bed. Sometimes I manage a bit of time on the forum / an after dinner coffee in the garden / 10 mins of mindfulness but just as often not.

Monday's after seeing S off to college are my main "me" time - a few precious hours, crucial to survival and when I don't have them when it's the college hols I struggle.

Weekends and when S is off college, I spend a lot of time waiting for him, trying to motivate the both of us and dreaming up activities to occupy him.

School hols when he is still at college, I either have very productive days or lazy days, depending on whether the forum mojo visits me! I do more walks, reading, gardening, a little retail therapy etc as well as catch up on chores, meetings and appointments.

I find I'm more productive if I don't spend too much time on the iPad!

Melly1
Having problems with my internet last night and the board ate part of my post :s

Henrietta I don't know if there is much of a strategy when caring is involved, it depends on the level of support we get which as you know is often somewhere between little and none and I'm noticing the last year its just getting worse.
Seems to be the case for everyone. Like all round, services are just going the way of the dodo.

Assuming I actually got to sleep in the first place the previous night I am active/on the go from around 5-6am till midnight.
If I'm lucky I can sneak in something to eat somewhere along the line.

The odd occasion main caree is out of my hair I am catching up anything I've not got around to and caree #2 and #3 which is usually a butt load of phone calls and admin or anything they physically can't do themselves.
I usually do the admin while I'm on hold to save time.

"Me" time is going on the computer to order things we're needing which I can't get locally. I'll usually pop on here while the transactions clear as I am a bit of a fidget bum and can't keep still for 5 minutes.

So I completely get where you are coming from.
Henrietta, that's more than enough. Doing up a house is hugely physically demanding, been there, done that!
I would suggest that you need to have at least one day a week which is "Henrietta Day".
We live in a lovely area, when did you last go out for a walk / picnic somewhere different with the dogs?
It's about giving yourself "permission" without feeling guilty, because you are worth it, just for yourself.
When did you last give yourself a Pamper Day? Doesn't have to cost a fortune, just a long lazy soak in the bath, a face pack and lie with soothing music, give your feet and toes some special attention, foot cream, massage, etc. Learning how to do absolutely nothing for anyone (including dogs) was the hardest possible thing for me. Telling myself it was OK to go to bed early and read a book until gone midnight if I wanted to.