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Scheherazade in Blue Jeans
freelance alchemist
I don't even have time to be writing this post BUT HEY 
9th-Aug-2011 02:12 pm
Sell You All for Experiments
There's a confluence of Stuff What Makes Me Stabby lately, and it is all interrelated stuff, and I have been speaking to people who are doing it individually, but people keep doing it. So. Here's a post.

The big connection here is time management.

1. You need to give me advance notice.
I've had a few times recently where people assume my same-day availability. This is me telling you that you should not assume that. Ever. Even if you are one of my bestest friends, even if you're a partner. It's okay to invite me to spontaneous stuff! That's just fine, and if I'm free and interested and can get there, I'd love to see you. But I seem to be having a rash of people assuming that they can just announce with an hour or two's notice that they expect time with me tonight, without giving me any prior hint that they'd been thinking of that, and getting snitty when I don't drop everything. No. Stop that.

2. You need to not put me on hold.
Again, very often lately. "You're going to do X? Oh, wait for me! I want to do that with you!" And then several months go by and you never find the time, and I've missed my chance to do X, or just significantly delayed it. This makes me seethe at you. As recently suggested, from now on, if you want me to delay doing a thing without you, I am going to ask you to make a date to do said thing. If you can't commit to actually doing it, I'm going to do it. This is not just about me missing my chance to do X, it's about the fact that my life is large and complex and I have to shuffle multiple units of time constantly, and when you do this, you're adding significantly to the number of things I have to juggle. And when most of the time you don't follow through at all, it is not worth my time and energy and brainspace to keep reserving that time for you.

3. You need to remember that I have multiple jobs.
I no longer work at BARCC, but I'm still doing a lot! And at least one of my jobs, writer, requires multi-hour blocks of dedicated time. I know that there are writers who can write marvelous stuff in Starbucks or with a group of friends. I envy them and am categorically not one of them. I need to go into my office and shut the door. Beyond that, I also have a lot of other things I'm doing. And for the next month, I'm also constantly engaged in the "get off chat and clean your room/do your summer reading/go for a walk" battle with the teenager. Who is about to lose her computer. Between Elayna requiring constant supervision and Adam being home on Mondays this summer, I already have very little time to get any work done. Very, very little. So I am not at your beck and call just because I'm home at 2 on a Tuesday.

What it all boils down to is that you need to respect my time.

People ask how I can do everything I do. A lot of it just comes down to organization and time management. When multiple people are visiting multi-hour disruptions upon me, that becomes considerably more difficult. And then I get stabby. And you wouldn't like me when I'm stabby.

Do me the respect of making plans with me in advance, understanding when I cannot drop everything for you, et cetera. And when I'm trying to make plans with you, don't say "yes" or "no" if the real answer is "I don't know". "I don't know" is a perfectly fine answer, and if you give it, I will not build an entire day around a thing you said you'd do.

To be clear: the problem is not that people want to see me. The problem is that people assume that all of my time belongs to them, and they get upset when I point out that it doesn't - or that their lack of commitment means that all of my plans get snarled up and I'm sitting around wasting time waiting for answers/not getting to do X while they dither, and therefore I fall farther behind on my to-do list because I'm waiting instead of doing.

And speaking of my to-do list, I am going to get back to it.
Comments 
9th-Aug-2011 06:44 pm (UTC)
As somebody who continually has the "we should do X and then I put off X and it never happens" thing happen to me (Often with a side order of "we should do X" "Sure, cement down a plan" "Hey, what happened to the plan about X" "Oh, I went and did it with someone else and never bothered to tell you"), I understand that one completely.
9th-Aug-2011 06:51 pm (UTC)
This is excellent.

While my situation differs from yours in notable ways, do you mind if I take the general message in this and riff on it for my own purposes?
13th-Aug-2011 04:09 pm (UTC)
Go for it!
9th-Aug-2011 07:07 pm (UTC)
I'm playing with the concept of logistical load, which would come in several different flavors. One is doing the planning, one is dealing with disorganization (one's own and/or other people's), and one is handling the effects of not wanting to get things settled. There may be additional flavors.
9th-Aug-2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
I have also been dealing with this, with the added "Just because you pay me for some of my time does not mean ALL of my time is available for you to use as you wish". Fury fury snarl snarl.
9th-Aug-2011 07:36 pm (UTC)
yes, yes, yes, with a side order of "Hey, I'm dealing with exciting new health crisis and that takes so much time" My need for time alone to just learn new stuff has gone up by 1000% and anyone's understanding of that has gone down by apparently 2000%. GRRR.
9th-Aug-2011 09:12 pm (UTC)
Are you me? I just read all these things and nodded so hard I hurt myself.
9th-Aug-2011 10:30 pm (UTC)
I am sometimes crap at figuring out that I'm going to be doing something until the moment is upon me, but I do at least try to be good about the necessary counterpoint, which is that if I invite someone else to participate in Delightful Event Happening 45 Minutes From Now, I am fully prepared to accept "No" as a valid answer, and not a judgement on anything but my time management abilities.
10th-Aug-2011 03:10 am (UTC)
Double and triple on #1 if you have any kind of low spoonage. It's the part I hate worst of having chronic illness - I seem to have completely lost the ability to be spontaneous because unless I know to save energy for an event, I'm likely to have spent it already by the time someone proposes it.

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