Thursday, August 7, 2008

All the Time in the World

I have written about Time before, as the poets have described it. Today, I'm after concrete suggestions, not imagery.

In three weeks, my husband will retire from his 30-year career in a corporate environment. He plans to devote more time to art, painting en plein air and building up his free-lance portrait business.

At the end of the 2008-09 school year, I will also retire from one position to pursue another, moving from teaching as a school librarian to facilitating online profession development workshops for educators.

Both of us will be home-based and setting our own schedules.

I know from my experiences as a stay-at-home mother and a 10-month school employee, that it's easy to get distracted, wander off task, waste time when the days seem to stretch ahead without (visible) limits.

So I'm asking for some help: how do those of you who are retired or work outside of a fixed calendar manage your time? Do you find it helpful to give yourself deadlines, plan an agenda, or block out activities by the day, week, or month?

I don't want to be chained to a clock or a desk, but I don't want to squander this wonderful gift of time either.

Your input is gratefully accepted.

"Life at any time can become difficult: life at any time can become easy. It all depends upon how one adjusts oneself to life." -Morarji Desai

"In Search of Lost Time" by bogenfreund


loonyhiker said...

My husband I have retired this past year and we have finally settled into a routine that works for us (but it took months to find this routine). We also have a calendar with our appts. on it so we both can look at it when scheduling other things. I have to have my own "quiet" time and since I'm a morning person and he isn't, I'm up at 5am every day and he usually gets up about 6:30 or 7. It will take time so be patient!

diane said...

Thanks for the advice, Pat!

Tim will have a 10-month head start on me, but I think his will be the more difficult adjustment, since he'll be self-employed while I'll be connected to an education company.

He claims he'll take over the housework and cooking...we'll see. I'd settle for shared duties.

Glad to know that you and your husband have been able to settle into a routine that works for both of you.

Anonymous said...

Make sure you each have your own work "space" and ensure that you plan for your own "heads down" time to focus on work material. Getting Things Done by David Allen is a good primer for being productive. I have an extra copy if you'd like it.

diane said...


Those are great suggestions. I've already noticed that I get more done upstairs watching a ballgame & using my laptop than I do in our shared work area.

It will help that Tim has a separate studio space. Maybe we can plan periodic outings or talk a walk together to foster couple time while maintaining dedicated work time

I've read excerpts from GTD - if I can't get a copy through interlibrary loan, I'll take you up on your generous offer.

Shelley said...

Read Zen Habits on this topic.

Tons of great and doable ideas!

And do enjoy!

diane said...


I will read and enjoy! I feel energized just thinking about the possibilities.

Anonymous said...

I've been telling you personally about my struggles with this :-) My biggest advice, since I know you're as connected as I am (was) is to make sure that you schedule NON-work time. I've found, interestingly enough, that I get very absorbed in my at-home work and it's easy to let work and life melt together. Make sure you take the time to turn work OFF and just live at home instead of letting home BECOME work. Make sense? I'm doing a better job lately of turning off my computer when my kiddos are up and when my husband gets home from work - the same way I wouldn't be working if I worked at an offsite location. Also, as much as I hate to say this, lots of online distractions caused me a lot of timecrunch, leading to my decision to stay off of twitter for a while. There's a blog called Freelance Folder and another called WebWorker Daily that have good tips on managing time when working from home on a self-created schedule. I'll get you the links :-)

Blogger In Middle-earth said...

Kia ora Diane!

The man that made time made plenty of it! How wonderful to have the opportunity that you have.

I wish you well to enjoy your time.

Ka kite

diane said...


Thanks for the links - it's nice to get insight from those who are already experiencing the daily joys & challenges of working from home.

Blogger in Middle Earth,

The title is, in a sense ironic. The song containing this line was the theme for a James Bond movie in which Bond, unfortunately, had very little time with his new wife.

No one can predict how much of their "limitless" time they'll spend living in this reality. It's up to each of us to balance the satisfaction of meaningful work with the joy of human/family interaction.

I want to make this time of my life the best time of my life.

Thanks for stopping by.