Where does the time go anyway?
What do you do if you've been busy with client work, spent most of one day this week in a doctor's office and haven't touched your own blog for a while? You write a blog post about how you haven't had time to write a blog post, that's what!
Paid work is great. In fact, if you're a freelancer, you have to have it. What it means for your own "house," though, is neglect. That's part of a freelancer's life. It's what happened with Dad. In an earlier post I wrote about how Dad painted houses for a living. Of course, ours was never completely painted. That's just how it works.
So, guess what? Today's post is a quick tip list for managing time better. Not that I think my time wasn't managed well this week. Or that I think yours wasn't. But a listicle is the standard when it comes to writing blog posts when you don't have a lot of time. And it sort of relates to my week. And probably yours, too.
Your Time Management Tip List:
Do you have time management tips not listed? Let me know in the comments.
I lost my "sister of the heart" to cancer just over a week ago.
It wasn't a surprise. My friend, who was not a biological sister but just as close, had gotten the word from her doctor in January that she had months, not years, left. When she told me what the doctor said, another friend and I immediately made plans to visit her. We were spread out across the country and it took some planning to coordinate flights. We managed.
We found her much changed. We expected that, of course. Bittersweet as it was, the time we spent together was precious. We all knew it was a goodbye.
Still, when she died on June 1, 2018, it was a blow. We'd been together just six weeks before, crying and laughing. It didn't seem real. And it still doesn't.
But, life goes on for the rest of us. And back to work we have to go. I confess, I am not doing either living or working well yet. I can't seem to focus on anything.
What follows is advice from others about how to work while we're still deep in grief.
1. Give Yourself a Break
Paolina Milana lost her sister unexpectedly in 2014. She remembers being in "robot mode" as she hurried home to make arrangements for the funeral. The real grief set in when she was back at work sitting at her desk.
Her advice? Give yourself a break. Be kind to yourself. Don't expect your work performance to be the same or even consistent for some time to come. Ask for help to carry your workload. This is not the time to take on additional projects or add unnecessary stress.
2. Take Things Slow for A While But Do Something
It's easy to shut down and do absolutely nothing when we grieve. I did that for the first two days. And that's OK.
But doing something at work, even if it's not the usual go-get-it-done project we usually take on, takes our mind to a place away from grief. We focus on something else for a time. In other words, we get a short reprieve from the sadness.
If you don't feel like working on a project or task by yourself, ask your boss or a coworker if you can help with something else until you feel more grounded.
Achieving goals, even if the achievements are small, gives us a sense of satisfaction.
3. Take Walks
Taking a walk during break or lunch hour gets us outside of ourselves and reduces stress. Even if you only have time for a short walk around the parking lot, do it.
4. Recognize that You'll Change
There's no doubt that grief changes you. The world looks different. Maybe it doesn't feel like a safe happy place anymore. It's normal to feel unsettled and afraid.
But grief can also bring about positive changes. Losing someone close makes us look at life in a different way. That irritating little habit your co-worker has doesn't seem as bothersome. Every day annoyances are insignificant in the greater scheme of our lives.
5. Honor the Memory
My sister-of-the-heart and I met many years ago when we both worked at the Marriott Library in Salt Lake City. We both loved to read, write and watch British films. She adored Benedict Cumberbatch.
Even after I moved away, we were in touch every single day through email. We shared family pictures, told each other what was happening in our lives, vented our frustrations and voiced our hopes for the future.
I so miss hearing from her every day. There is a hole in my heart that won't ever heal. But, she'd want me to go on with life. And I will. I'll never forget you, my sister. Rest easy.