Ask The Bears | Where Do You Find the Time?

My inbox gets pretty full these days.

Now that there are so many new readers here, questions abound! So I thought I would start to answer some of them on the blog in the new Ask the Bears section. This first question is one that gets asked most often, on and off the blog.

From Sara:

I am an endless project-doer as well, and always have about 15 in progress at one time – currently they include several knitting projects, many sewing projects, many furniture refinishing projects, painting (canvases AND walls) projects, jewelry making, mobile making, making herbal tonics and cooking healthy whole grains and veggies.

So my question is, WHERE DO YOU FIND THE TIME? I don’t even have a partner or a child, and I can’t do everything I want to do in a day or a week.

No Pants

To find time to blog, sometimes there is no time for pants. Many of these posts were written with no pants. Fair warning.

It’s true that this place is a madhouse. There is a reason I have not done any Home Tour posts until recently, and bits and pieces at that. It can turn into a disaster zone around here, what with all the craft supplies, and my tendency to leave trails of stuff around the house like a snail.

Right now I am working full time as the primary income source, with about an hour each way for a commute, while Papa Bear works part time three days a week and puts in 12-hour days in barber school three more days a week.

In our one day off a week together, we spend as much quality time with Baby Bear as we can, do our grocery shopping, do our laundry (we do hair for a living and Baby Bear is a filthy creature, there is a lot of laundry), cook as much ahead of time as we can for the week and hit up as many errands as possible.

Of course, that’s not to mention keeping up with this little old blog here.

So how do we do it all? Three things. And coffee. So damn much coffee.

1) Tag Team It

Papa Bear and I are both capable of many things. I am better than he is at some, and he is better than I am at others.

For example, I am terrible at keeping the house in order. He is awesome at it. He is not so good at keeping our lives scheduled in a livable way. That’s my wheelhouse.

Some things we can do in a together sort of manner. You see, he is a great cook, but so am I, and I’m faster and more efficient. Reverse that for dishes.

By each working what we’re good at, we can get more done in less time. That’s the only way things stay on the rails around here.

2) Batch It

One of the best ways I have found to get more done in less time is to group similar tasks together.

While some things make sense to do a little at a time, like keeping my clothes put away (one day that will happen…maybe), there are plenty of tasks on my list that are best saved for a big productive push.

When I have piles of emails coming in over the course of the day (junk, things I have to do, things I have to reply to), it is so much easier to save it up and knock it out at the end of the day than it is to do it in bits and pieces throughout the day.

For instance, I am writing five posts a week right now. On Sundays I do all of the work for said posts, Mondays I do all of the writing. But wait, there’s more!

3) Schedule It

Although I batch many tasks, blog and otherwise, without a serious schedule (editorial and life editions), there is no way I could keep our lives running. I may not 100% stick to my written schedule every week, but just having one keeps me more on track than I would be otherwise.

In addition to my Sunday and Monday blog routine, every night I proof and revise posts for the next day. I do my reading and research in the morning before work, and knock out some cooking as well. Papa Bear takes care of some tidying up when he gets home.

Editorial Calendar

So that’s how we do it! It’s tough to keep life running when you’re going a million miles a minute, but we manage. And the fact that our schedules and financial situation have a light at the end of the tunnel (Papa Bear graduates in June!) definitely helps.

Now I want to hear from you! You guys have crazy lives, jobs, kids, and of course, the PROJECTS. How do YOU find the time?

Do you have a burning question for me, Papa Bear, or even Baby Bear?

Ask away!