Firstly I want to thank you all for your comments on my Living vs Saving post. It’s always nice to hear that people are experiencing the same difficulties in their lives as you are and receive advice from others that have it figured out.
This week I’ve been thinking about how to cope with doing too much in a more productive way. I (like many of you I’m sure) cram countless different activities, hobbies, events and social engagements into my weeks and as much as it drives me crazy, I can’t help it. It’s who I am, how I’m programmed. I thrive off having my fingers in a lot of pies so to speak. But it does mean that I procrastinate a lot because I am overwhelmed by how much I have on my plate.
So I have been mulling over ways that I could organise my life but keep the element of chaos that I crave. One of my ideas is to compartmentalise my life more. Group things together and put “labels” on my time.
For example: Last week’s (after work) diary looked a little like this.
MON: Singing lesson
TUES: See accountant and have first circus training session
WED: Dinner out
THURS: Fashion event
FRI: Friend’s house party
By the time I have done whatever is locked in my calendar, I am exhausted and don’t do any of the paperwork, blog writing, singing practice, article research, gym workouts or cleaning I should really be doing. Part of this is because I don’t know where to start – prioritising so many things tends to scare me off doing any of it.
SO – time to structure my days with a simple focus. The best way I came up with was using alliteration to help me remember what I should be doing that day.
Music Monday: Singing lesson, vocal practice, song writing and any planning for the new business.
Tricks, Tapes and Tidy Tuesday: Circus lesson, clean the apartment and rent a cheap DVD for the night (the DVD part has become a bit of a tradition).
Writing (and washing – we always forget a mid week clothes cycle) Wednesday: Articles, blog posts and letters.
Theatrical Thursday: Events and performances seem to often fall on a Thursday so this day is reserved for these. If there aren’t any on, we’ll probably think of something – go to a live music gig, art gallery or exhibition.
Fancy Free Friday: You’ve got to give yourself a night with no rules right?
Of course life doesn’t always work out the way you want it to, so I’ll switch days around when I have to.
The other thing I desperately need to compartmentalise is my finances (which you will be aware of due to the last rant of a post).
Last week I set up a savings account to put aside 30% of my self employed income (because I’ll have to pay it all at the end of the financial year) as it comes in and it made me think about what each of my bank accounts is really used for. So here’s my new plan:
Cheque account: Only contains the amount in my weekly budget. Weekend work pay will be taken out and kept in a safe place, to be saved for lovely frivolous things like make up and hair appointments, massages and pedicures.
Savings Maximiser: Money put aside for tax/superannuation purposes.
Savings account: Any additional money left over. This account will be used for emergencies, travel (as long as there’s enough for ‘a rainy day’) and any unforeseen costs.
$5 box: This was a trick I picked up from a friend of mine. Whenever you receive a $5 in change (which is a lot more often that you tend to realise), you put it into a box (like a piggy bank). Set a date or amount of money that you wait for before you spend it. I have one with my boyfriend which we used when overseas, but I’m thinking that our new one could be saving for a house and once it reaches a certain point, we’ll open a savings account for it.