Back when I was doing my undergrad at Berkeley, one of the sayings I heard floating around from time to time was that "Between sleep, school and friends, you can have 2 but not all 3."
I count myself lucky that my personal version of the saying was, "Between sleep, school, exercise and friends, you can have 3 but not all 4." And the list would change each semester, which 3 won priority or, alternatively, which 4th found itself at the bottom of the list and therefore the current loser.
And I think this general guideline has shown itself true through most of my life: I tend to stretch for more than I can handle, which is probably why one of my main resolutions for 2008 is to Simplify. And that's probably why, when I was trying to apply 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to my life, I was having no success, because when you find yourself occupying 8 different roles and you create 2-3 weekly priorities and these are not 1 or 2 hour priorities, you really WILL drive yourself crazy trying to get it all done.
So. I think that for this year, I will keep a couple constant priorities, and rotate the rest through the my "3 of 4" count. Exercise is a constant, for sure. I guess since I'm at work 40 hours/week I should maybe kinda count that as one? And then there's the cooking, which is rarely really elaborate but usually scratch cooking [plus LOTS of leftovers].
OK, maybe we are "4 of 5." On the rotation list for sure:
-This thing I call "professional development" which is anything from applying to grad school [sigh] and related tasks, to half-heartedly studying anatomy in case I really DO decide I want to be a doctor
And where do I throw in sleep? And time with Alex? with friends? Argh. I think this system is going to need some work.
But essentially I'll have one major "outside" activity that I rotate through each week. Rather than trying to juggle a bunch of interests and make creeping progress in each, I'll just pick one weekly and focus on that one, and if the others trickle through in their off-weeks, well, it will still feel like fewer balls in the air.
This week it was crafting. My goodness I was in for some major crafting therapy. I made Neha a bag over the weekend and Lisa the Artsy Clutch from Bend the Rules, I cut out and sewed 10 patchwork coaster tops and then realized, who would EVER need TEN coasters? Someone who entertains a lot? Should I just split them up into two batches? They actually look pretty good as a mini crazy-quilt-type work, but who wants a quilt that's 10" by 25"? Should I improvise a couple place mats to match a set of 6 coasters? Yeah, there's lots of crafting-decision-angst going on. Oh, and I'm partway through another Artsy Clutch.
Next week? Next week, we'll see. This week, I'm super happy to be at my sewing machine, or on Lisa's floor testing out patchwork bird patterns freehanded by none other than my doppelganger herself.