Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Pondering Time Management

I've been pondering what to do about my daily routine.  It clearly is not working for me.  I literally spend the majority of my day cleaning up waste and feeding animals so that they can make more waste.  I haven't collected any additional pets in the past year and nine months, but it seems to be getting harder as the animals get older.

Now that Scrappy has figured out that I've been hand-feeding Stewie, he too has stopped eating out of bowls and insists that I hand-feed him.  So, I'm hand-feeding two dogs three times a day, which can easily take up two hours total.  Throw in a sick or injured horse or dog, and my day gets eaten up pretty fast.

Bombay has had a swollen sheath over the past few days.  I set up an appointment with the vet tomorrow, and have been hosing it down, which he hates.  He kicks violently out to the side, which is why I would never clean his sheath without him being sedated.  Fortunately, the swelling is finally going down, but I think I still want the vet to come out to do a more thorough sheath cleaning and verify that there is no infection.

I sometimes get a little bit of free time, but if I get a phone call from someone who just wants to talk, or if I have to run an errand in town, then there definitely is no time left to do what I want.  The three main activities I like to do when I have down time are work on writing a novel, work on fabric arts projects, and ride horses.  They are all time consuming and require concentration.  I definitely cannot write if anyone else is in the house talking to me, so I have to write on the week days when family members are at work.

People in public places have been trying my patience lately, because they act like they have all the time in the world, and they don't think twice about sucking up my time with their personal agendas.  Some days I want to scream, "Come on!  I only get about half an hour of free time a day.  Stop burning it up."

But much of the problem is me.  I am incapable of getting back on track once I am distracted or interrupted.  For instance, I ran out onto the bridle trails just to see what kind of condition they were in after two days of rain, because I intended to ride a horse.  I got distracted by some hoof prints in the mud and decided to follow them, because I was curious about where they came from.  During that sleuthing process, I kept stumbling upon garbage -- mostly beer and soda containers and Mylar balloons, so I picked up the trash until my arms were full and carried it all home to dump in my trash can.

By then I had walked a mile and was too tired to ride a horse.  When my energy returned, it started raining again.  I keep telling myself that I have to stay focused, because there's no guarantee that I will be able to ride a horse tomorrow or even in an hour from now.  I have to do the things that I enjoy while I can.  So, I wake up the next morning with the intention to ride a horse as soon as the horses are done eating, but I get tired of waiting for them to finish, so I get started on some chores.  Next thing I know, the day is over and I still haven't ridden a horse.  What is wrong with me?

I do a lot of blogging, but I usually do it while I'm eating, so I can't be sewing or riding a horse at that time anyway.  I suppose I could work on my novel then instead of blogging, but writing a novel burns way more brain cells than writing a blog post, so I'm not good at multi-tasking when I work on my novel.

I wish I could make sense of it all.  Hopefully, the cobwebs will clear away and it will come to me how I can better manage my time.  Last fall through spring was so disappointing for me because it felt like I hardly got out to ride the horses compared to the year before.  Every time we had nice weather, the power company took over the bridle trails.  Two years ago I was riding every other day.  I'm not getting any younger and I need to ride while I can.

Every night I go to bed literally dreaming of riding horses, and every morning I wake up with the intention to ride, yet it just doesn't happen.  Another day goes by and I'm like, "What just happened?  I'm missing time.  Did I get abducted by aliens or something?"

I'm also supposed to be working out on the gym equipment for at least an hour a day, and so far I've been lucky to get ten minutes every other day to do that.  Maybe my goals are unrealistic, and I should just accept that there is only enough time in the day to feed and clean up after animals.


achieve1dream said...

I feel your pain!! My circumstances aren't exactly the same, but I'm feeling the same way. Depressed and frustrated that I never have the time or energy to ride my horse. We put so much work and money into them it really sucks when we can't enjoy them.

I've been looking into time management too because I never have time for anything I enjoy. One thing I'm going to start doing is clean for ten minutes (at least) when I get home from work. After a ten hour day of loading feed and taking care of a three year old that's the last thing I want to do, but I'm so sick of spending my entire days off cleaning!! So far it's working out well (only been a few days haha). We will see how much time it frees up this weekend. The other problem is I spend the weekends working on projects like building our barn and I'm too tired to ride.... ugh! This weekend it is supposed to rain every day I have off so there goes riding this weekend after all of my hard work after work lol. Hopefully it will pay off in the long run.

I wish I had helpful suggestions for the focus thing, but I can't think of anything. The only thing I have figured out is that multitasking is BAD!!! It makes everything take longer and you don't get nearly as much done (it's also helpful to take a ten minute break between tasks to reset your brain, but who has time for that???). So what I've been doing is writing lists of the things I need to do and then picking one. I don't do anything else while doing that one thing until it's done. Working from home and having to answer the phone would probably make that a little more difficult, but I truly believe that multitasking is just not a good thing. It stresses me out and I never accomplish anything. I love lists though (especially getting to check it off when I'm done lol) so that helps keep me motivated and on track. It doesn't work for everyone unfortunately. For some people lists just feel like more work. I'm lucky that it motivates me and gives me a sense of accomplishment.

I also can't multitask while writing and I definitely can't write with someone talking. I like complete silence or relaxing music and that's it.

For the dogs is there a reason Stewie and Scrappy have to eat three times a day? I know Midge does, but maybe feeding the boys less often will help with the not eating thing. I could be wrong (too tired to verify it), but I'm pretty sure I read somewhere that fasting is good for dogs. Their systems are different from our. I don't remember the reason why, but I remember reading something about it. The only reason I feed Jackal twice a day is because he has reflux, but if your dogs aren't eating they may genuinely not be hungry! Jackal will self regulate himself. He skips meals all the time if he's constipated or hasn't had enough exercise and he's a voracious eater. It used to worry me, but now I just know he doesn't need it so he doesn't eat it (having one dog is nice because I can just leave his uneaten food in the bowl... he waits until we get home from work to eat... I think he's too lonely during the day... :(...).

I'm drawing a blank and can't remember what else I was going to say, but this comment is long enough so that's okay lol. Good luck!!!

achieve1dream said...

Oh one other thing I was going to say is feeding less often might help with less frequent trips outside and less accidents in the house too. When they eat one big meal they are stimulated to empty their bowels completely and then they are usually good for the rest of the day. It's kind of abnormal for a dog to need to poop more than once or twice a day. Obviously that doesn't help with peeing.... but who knows, it might save you some time!!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

achieve1dream - You are right in that Midge needs the three meals a day because of her diabetes. I offer the other two dogs a little bit at the same time to avoid having them descend on Midge's food. They usually decline. If they aren't interested right away, I put their bowls up on the counter for the next offering. I hand feed them if they've go a whole day without eating. At least that's what I'm doing now. It seems I have to keep changing my routine as they come up with new ways to drive me crazy.

We figured out that the poop problem was caused by this Hill's W/D prescription dog food that some vet prescribed for Scrappy's bladder stones. It's super high in fiber. We had this huge bag of it, and all the dogs hated the stuff. It was so expensive that we didn't want to just throw it in the trash, so we forced all of them to eat it before it went bad, and that caused all the dogs to have to constantly poop. Thank God we finally finished off the stuff today, so the future looks brighter.

achieve1dream said...

Yay!! I'm glad you finished the bag!!! I hope you can find a good alternative. They definitely have some deal going on with science diet like you mentioned in your other post. The word thing is if you look at the ingredients it's not even very good dog food... Yet it's the number one vet recommended brand. I've heard people so those special ones like k/d and c/d make a world of difference for their dogs but it just seems like there has to be something better.. I've never compared there ingredients to see what it is that is supposed to make them so special. I might do that sometime this weekend while it's raining just to learn something about it lol.

P.S. if there are a bunch of typos is because I'm barely awake and on my tablet... It's likes to autocorrect using the wrong word and I don't feel like proofreading lol! These early mornings are getting old then I don't sleep very well.