Living in categories

You may not be able to tell from my house currently cluttered by Christmas craft projects (yes, Little Miss Markey is making new ornaments) but I like order. With that order comes categories. I am not just a mom, a wife, a writer, a dancer, etc. I am many things and keeping several irons in the fire makes me feel fulfilled and accomplished.

Like a file cabinet, think in categories.

Like a file cabinet, think in categories.

While sometimes trying to juggle projects and just life in general can be daunting, I also find that living in “categories” helps me stay focused on everything. I often feel like my life categories feed off of each other making each one great. My dance keeps me in shape and I feel that benefit when I need to stretch out my back from a long writing session. Taking my daughter to her many activities forces me to be social when sometimes I just want to sit at my computer or get lost in some choreography. Cooking for my family makes me feel like I’ve really done something as a mom and wife. It would be easy to cut corners and resort to take-out but making a well-balanced meal fulfills my desire to be a great mom and wife. Not to mention I’ve probably mastered the art of slow cooking and working ahead on meals.

I think it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the categories of our life but if you stop, think and take it all in you may find, like I have, that most of what we do feeds off of the other. Lately I’ve been trying to use this realization in my scheduling. For example, I try to do dance work after writing sessions as it is best for my back. I find that I am best in the kitchen early in the morning while catching up on news and getting ready for the day. I use this knowledge about myself to try and make the most of my time. I often talk about this concept in my “Writing Moms” and “Busy Moms” workshops. Knowing yourself and how you work is the true key to time management. Journaling through your day and creating a self-study over a period of time can really prove to be useful when planning out your schedule no matter what “categories” you are working with.

Try to categorize your life and figure out when is the best time/place to tackle the areas of your life. Make the categories work for you and not against you. When I started looking at things this way is when I truly felt empowered by the schedule I keep and now run down. Give it a try.

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