Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Time Management for CF Caregivers

First of all, time management isn't something I really excel at, but I want to be better at it, and I have had some success with a few methods I've been trying.

The first tip is having a morning and evening treatment routine. That means we do this every morning and evening in this order without stopping (if we can help it) just about everyday. Before we had it memorized, we had it written out and posted. Ours goes something like this:

Morning (6:30 - 9:00)
Potty
Nasal Rinse
Brush Teeth
Dress
Vest
TOBI
Oral meds
Breakfast

Evening (5:00-7:30)
Vest
TOBI
Oral meds
Dinner
Bath
Nasal Rinse
Brush Teeth
PJs
Prayer, Story, and Bed!

The rest of our day is pretty fluid depending on preschool, running, errands, playdates, etc. I wish I could say we are more organized during the day, but we're working on that! With my photography business, I have to squeeze in client calls, location scouting, and editing in between playing with trains, snacks, grocery and pharmacy runs, as well as housework. Some days I get a lot done, some days I don't (like today). Fortunately, Jacob is doing the evening routine so I am able to get to work a bit! An early bedtime is important because we can generally get work done/relax at night after Peter is asleep.

The second  tip is actually a book: Do It Tomorrow and Other Secrets of Time Management by Mark Forster. It isn't really written for CF caregivers, but has advice that's extremely applicable. I tend to be very disorganized about getting things done. Recognizing that and having tools to address it really helps. Here are my favorite ideas from the book.

Current initiative: Work for 5 minutes (or more if you want to continue) on one project the first thing you do when you get to work. (For us, that means after the morning routine is done). I chose to work on getting my Georgia teaching license. I've made a ton of progress, and it's only been a week since I chose that as my current initiative. I'm excited to move on to my next project in the current initiative slot which is . . . ugh, FSA paperwork.

Closed Lists: Instead of creating an open-ended "to do" list, use a closed "will do" list  (which means it's a LOT shorter). Also, since you will do everything on the list, you don't have to worry about which order you do it in. It's really helped me focus during the day. Here's another article based on the closed list principle: http://the99percent.com/tips/6945/if-it-wont-fit-on-a-post-it-it-wont-fit-in-your-day.

Do It Tomorrow: Incoming work from the current day gets actioned tomorrow unless it is a genuine emergency or unless it is the nature of your job to take care of it right away. Then, tomorrow's work is already planned and scheduled. This especially helps with email, paperwork, and requests from other people.

Like I said before, I'm still working on my time management, but I figure I'll get it manageable if I keep learning! Being off of TOBI in a few days sure will help.

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