Time Management: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Time Management: Seasonal Affective Disorder

I have Seasonal Affective Disorder.  It’s something that developed when I move to Massachusetts.  As a result, I hate February because that’s when it hits me.  This is the time of year when I am moody, a little depressed, and prone to big changes.  The changes typically come after I have acknowledge that I am suffering from SAD.  In the past, I got the job here in Lowell after a nice run with SAD.  I quit Toastmasters after a winter of SAD. Big things typically happen in March and April because of the reflecting I do during my SAD period. My decision to get Modern Persuasion published came from last years run of SAD.

Filling Time

Another thing I do during a season of SAD is take up new projects.  I find things to fill my time.  I like to knit, so one year I started a Harry Potter knitting challenge.  I went into 2017 with a lot of meaningless goals and challenges mixed in with real projects.  When I realized the depression had hit, I was already feeling the need to shed the time fillers.

If you read this blog enough, you know I have an addiction to a seemingly meaningless challenge.  Good things can come from them, but I become overly attached to the challenge, not the purpose it has.  These days, I don’t have time that needs to be filled.  I have time that needs to be freed for more important things.

How I Shifted My Time Management

Bullet Journaling has been helpful in learning more about my time management issue.  I don’t need to track how I spend my time, like many people do.  I simply need to look at my daily lists to see there is too much to accomplish.  I can see the things that get migrated and never completed.  I can see the things I push to forward.  I have these time priorities:

  1. Myself (this will always come first)
  2. Cedric/Sabine/family
  3. Full Time Job: Librarian
  4. Practically Full Time Job: Writing and Marketing my book (this includes this blog)
  5. Wikipedia work

Nowhere in that is reading or knitting.  These are suppose to be part of my first priority and ways to help me be mindful of taking care of myself.  The problem is that reading challenges and knitting challenges have been competing for spots 3 & 4.  As I reviewed how I was spending my time, I knew these meaningless challenges had to be put on the back burner or given up.  At the very least, they need to change.

Feeling lighter

My final decision was to give up on the challenges for now.  This is not my only shedding.  I am shedding social media.  As I try to focus my book marketing efforts, I am beginning to feel the need to really focus on specific priorities and have designated time for specific activities.  Work stuff is only done on work time.  I have writing/marketing time that I am specifying.  I am going to start tracking my time daily to see how it works out for me and if I need to be more specific.  The goal is to find those time fillers and discard them.

Help me out: how do you manage time?  Do you have a way of tracking time that is very adaptable and useful?  Tell me in the comments!

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