Sunday, December 03, 2006

My Life-hacks

Was just commenting over at Pop Goes the Library on Sophie Brookover's post, On Not Doing It All -- Further Thoughts on Life Hacking. She reports changes in her life since her column on the life/work balance in the September 2006 Library Journal, Priorities and Professionalism.

Among her life-hacks are:

  • getting a career coach
  • using Remember the Milk
  • chunking her tasks
  • Ensuring that her extra-curricular activities match her long term goals
Here's how I responded to her question about how I Not Do it All:

I'm mum to 2 little boys, work 2 days a week looking at new web tools for my library, and do professional development many, many hours more. My trap is that my employer lets me do half my work from home, around the household chaos.

Thing 1. For me, it's the maxim "SLEEP COMES FIRST". Sounds simple, but every time things go out of whack with us, it's because I'm not sleeping enough. With babies, that meant restructuring so I slept when the baby slept, no matter what else needed doing, or other interesting adult fun was to be had.

Now, it's turning the PC off at night so I get enough sleep. I've not been doing it in the last few weeks (working on projects, having too much fun) and am a gumpy messy b*tch. I know I need to go back to that first principle for my life to work.

Thing 2. I live by my PDA. Have bought one for my Co-Pilot and we sync. to the home PC, so I can share the load by putting tasks on my calendar I know he'll pick up.(They have his name next to them - he has to :))

Thing 3. I've been experimenting with saying "yes" more. When I did that, I realised that most of the things I'd been saying "no" to were things that I said I couldn't do because I had a family. I was saying "yes" to baking cakes for the kids' schools, but "no" to professional opportunities and fun nights out. Worth the experiment. I've become happier, but now need to re-tweak my life to get it back in balance (see Thing 1.)

Thing 4. Exercise. It works. I sleep better and have more energy, so the time pays for itself by making my other hours much more fun and productive. Now, after a 5 week family holiday, I have to get back into it. (see Thing 1)

(Oh, now you will think I'm making them up..but they ARE random. Honest)

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