I understand the concept of structuring your time around your priorities. It makes sense---cut out the noise and you're left with a whole lot more space for the things that really matter---career, family, relationships. Sometimes that trivial stuff just has to get done, however. You know that stuff---buying things, returning things, alterations, grooming, organizing activities, home repairs, selling outgrown stuff or taking it to the donation store. Its not possible or practical to outsource many of these things, and even outsourcing requires a great deal of time & energy---find a contractor, call him, call him again when he doesn't show up, repeat.
I've had a huge pile-up of this kind of stuff lately, and am struggling to figure out how to get it all done without taking away from my family/work time.
I wonder sometimes if this is what finally pushes a family over the edge into deciding that someone needs to quit or scale-back their paid work. It adds up, creates mental clutter, and eventually leads you to fantasize about how nice it would be to have some time off to get it all done.
I have a friend who works part-time (50%, alternating 2 and 3 days a week, as a primary care MD) yet sends her two kids to daycare 5 days a week. I asked her what she does on her days off. One day she cooks for the week. The rest, is just this sort of miscellany. For a minute it sounded divine, no worrying and negotiating on who would take that giant box to the post-office or how to fit in a haircut or a doctor's appointment! On further thought...REALLY? It takes 2-3 days every week just for chores and errands? I would think one day a month would be sufficient. Wait a minute...I could probably swing that!
So instead of worrying about how this crap is going to get done, and wondering each day whether I could fit something in on the way to or from work, I'm just keeping a list and marking off a day on my calendar. Errands, appointments, shopping for anything that isn't emergent...all of that will happen on that day. Without this stuff in my head and on my to-do list, I really think I can be more productive and less stressed on the other 29 days of the month.
Anyone else have any strategies for dealing with the miscellany of life?