I often wonder how many of my family, friends and colleagues have the same problem I do with switching gears. No, I don't mean that I'm driving a stick shift car. I'm referring to the fact that on any given day, I switch gears from wife, to mom, to marketer, to researcher, to social media specialist, to recruiter, to photographer, to writer, to volunteer.
I'm thankful in that my husband and I split duties at home. He cleans, I cook. He handles the cars, I do the laundry. It's definitely a partnership. We tag team what needs to get done, and by the time we actually sit down for the night, the dishes are dried and put away and the load of laundry that I started in the morning is fluffed and folded.
Lately it feels like my personal life is crossing over into my work life and vice versa. There are times when I'm sitting in a staff meeting thinking about how I should update my photography website. Or while working on my book, I'm thinking about what I need to get shipped out to a trade show.
There have to be ways to stay more focused. I have a dozen books about it on my Kindle, but when I get ready to read them, I end up scrolling through Facebook or Twitter, or through my to-be-read list for the next novel on my list. Even while I'm writing this, I'm multi-tasking by watching "The Following", jotting down notes in one of the chapters in my book, and followed up with two work emails of things I need to do tomorrow.
I would never say that I'm busier than any of my friends. We seem to all be in the same boat - work full time jobs away from the house, and work full time jobs at home. Even the ones that are stay at home parents are just as busy. The most refreshing (and scary) day was the days my boys got their drivers licenses. A little bit of freedom goes a long way...not only for them, but for us. We were able to cross off chauffeur on our list of to-do's.
My desk at work is covered in post-it-notes. I use multiple calendars including on in Outlook, on my phone, a desk calendar and a wall calendar. I keep everything I have to get done on each and every calendar. Is it overkill? Perhaps. But when you juggle life and a full time job, along with volunteer duties, a photography site, multiple Facebook and Twitter accounts, and a website, you have to write things down. It's the only way I know to to keep these gears moving and not have them gunked up with day-to-day minutia.
It's getting to a point where our youngest child will graduate from high school in just over 400 days. Quite a few of the things that keep me busy will be history. Only one more year of taking pictures on any given Friday night during football season. No more staying up until 1:00 am filtering through the best pictures and getting them posted and tagged so players and parents can share them. One final football fundraiser is coming up. This will be the eighth one I've been part of. One last game day program and a senior memory book will be done and over in six short months. Volunteering at school functions will be a thing of the past. Doing things for our kids schools has been such a huge part of our lives, it will be weird not having that as one of the many to-do's.
I'm going to miss so much of always being on the go, but it's refreshing to think that I'll be able to focus on my writing, and photography, and sit down outside on a sunny summer day and dig into a new book (either reading, or writing!) without interruption. And maybe then when I'm sitting in a sales meeting, I'll be thinking about generating leads and not about generating donations.