posted January 30, 2015 8:38 PM
About ten years ago, I had a very high profile job. I carried a Blackberry (when that was a new, cool thing), was on call all the time, and regularly handled work issues at night and on the weekend while doing something else. It was not unusual for me to be working while I was at book club, or away for the weekend with my husband, or at the beach. I totally thrived on the stress and excitement.
Then I had kids, and realized that talking to a newspaper reporter while my children were in the bathtub was not something to be proud of, so I left that job.
I stopped multitasking and honed my scheduling and time management skills. I ditched the Blackberry, and waited several years before I got an iPhone. I realized I not only loved doing just one thing at a time, but I performed better when I did things one at a time. I was present, in the moment, with my kids. I found interesting freelance work that fit my schedule. I waited to answer emails and calls until I was ready to answer them. My mind was happy.
Then I signed up for an online class.
Everyone says that online classes let you do the work on your own schedule, but that's not proving to be the case for me. It's only the second week, and I already feel like I'm behind. Because people can do the work whenever they want, I can see who has already signed up for a presentation topic or contributed to a discussion in Moodle, and I have a constant feeling that I'm missing something. Sure, there were two snow days this week, and I worked twice the shifts I usually work at the library, since we're down a staff person, so I've had less (read: no) big blocks time for my schoolwork. And it's been really hard to get any schoolwork done in the pockets of time that do appear. Every time I say, "oh, the kids are playing quietly, I'll just log on to Moodle and do part of an assignment," I see how much everyone else has done and freak out. Or I post something, and then get overwhelmed with all the emails telling me other people have posted replies, because I don't have time to read the replies because the kids are no longer playing quietly and in fact are screaming their heads off and I need to make them dinner and their school is closed again tomorrow and we need to shovel and the house is a disaster.
I know it will get better and I'll find a groove with the online class. I can schedule smaller chunks of time for schoolwork throughout the week, rather than fewer, larger blocks. My time management skills are sharp, and I really enjoy school, work, and, most of all, my family. Making all of those things fit into a week is totally doable (as long as we don't get another blizzard anytime soon... I refuse to look at Monday's forecast...).
Wish me luck.