Posts tagged ‘project planning’

July 6, 2012

Believe in People

My sister in law once bought me a mug that I loved. Partly because it was a Rob Ryan mug. I love the combination of whimsy and melancholy that seems to run through his beautifully created paper cuts and so this was a treat. But the other reason I loved it was because of the words written on it:

Believe in People.

And I do. It might sound incredibly naive, and I’m not a Pollyanna character whose unrelenting optimism doesn’t acknowledge the presence of Very Bad Things in our world. I know they exist. But overwhelmingly, I believe that people are good. Most of us are just trying to muddle our way through this life to the best of our abilities, making decisions, taking risks (or choosing not to) and just getting on with it. Its the reason that, unless you do something dreadful to prove me wrong, I’ll always be your friend.

It’s also the reason I’ll always be your cheerleader. Not in the sense that I’m going to get some pompoms and create a bespoke chant for you all, as fun as that sounds, but in the sense that if you’ve got an idea, a plan, a project, I’ll cheer you on. No matter how worried you are that it might seem like a pipe dream. We all need someone to believe in us, and I believe in you. And you. All of you, in fact.

I’v recently found myself  in that situation. I’ve started a project. Hell, I’m always starting projects. I’ve got as far as writing the title of it at the top of a piece of A4, and scribbling copious notes in a brand new and especially purchased notebook (isn’t new stationery the best thing?) I’ve also had chats in coffee shops. All very exciting. Usually, when I start something new, it’s alone. This time I have cheerleaders. A team. People who I have approached to cheer me on, be in my gang and make it happen. And they’ve all said yes. You have no idea how much joy this brings me. It also brings fear – as it’s moved from something that just exists in my head, to being something that other people are invested in. But, I’m concentrating on the joy right now.

So, if you’ve a project, an idea, something you want to make happen, I’ll be your cheerleader. I believe in you.

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June 27, 2012

Finding Time

I had a really busy week last week. So much so, that I missed two blog posts. It doesn’t take much for my ‘carefully planned’ schedule to go completely to pot. In some attempt to regain control of my time, I made a little table and populated it on hourly basis with what I was doing. I thought it would be a useful way of seeing where there was time I wasn’t making the most of.

Of course, there are huge chunks of time that are given over to work or parenting so they’re easily written off, as they are non-negotiable, obviously. But what I’ve discovered is that I claim to be busy, when actually what I’m doing is:

1) Playing Moshi Monsters. I set myself an account up so I could play with Eve, and now I’m playing it all the time. Even when she’s in bed. What’s wrong with me? I just need to complete my Moshling zoo and then I’ll be sane again. Honest. So much for not liking computer games…

2) Compiling the Net-A-Porter wishlist of my dreams, complete with evening dresses costing as much as a round-the-world cruise. For when I win the Lottery, obviously. And then get invited to the Met Ball. Which is a fairly improbable set of possibilities. It’s good to be prepared for all eventualities though, and it’s a bit like shopping without spending anything.

3) Searching for Antarctic voyages. Which, if you sail from Australia like Scott, are roughly 25 thousand pounds per head. It’s the travel equivalent of my Net-A-Porter wish-list.

4) Reading Grazia. Every Tuesday, I spent a couple of hours with this little addiction.

5) Spending time on Twitter. Ah, Twitter. I love Twitter, really I do. It changed my life. The eclectic group of people I follow means that I can be simultaneously immersed in conversations about politics, shoes, zombies and allotment gardening at any given moment. It’s utterly and completely amazing, but it steals time like nothing else.

There is obviously nothing wrong with any of these things. After all, time spent enjoying yourself isn’t time wasted, and after a day of working and parenting, it’s necessary for my brain to decompress a bit with something light and fun. The problem only comes when I think I’m too busy to work on any of the bigger things I want to do. If I fail to make some of them happen, because I’ve spent the whole year building a Moshling zoo and an imaginary wardrobe, how am I going to feel? Recording how I’m spending my time has been a bit of an eye opener. Although there is also the possibility that I need to get up earlier in the morning (like my writer friend who starts writing at 5.20am) if I reduce the amount of time I spend on these things, I might actually make progress on the things I really want to do!

So, I plan to spend no more than fifteen minutes on any of my ‘timewasters’ for every spare hour I’ve got, before putting them to one side and using that time more productively. We’ll see if it makes any difference in a month or so. For really good time-management-ninja help, I recommend you spend some time with the fabulous Marie Forleo. I’ve learnt a lot from her site.

How do you like to ‘waste’ time? And how do you stop yourself from letting those things take over? I’d love to know…