“What if not just women, but both men and women, worked smart, more flexible schedules? What if the workplace itself was more fluid than the rigid and narrow ladder to success of the ideal worker? And what if both men and women became responsible for raising children and managing the home, sharing work, love, and play? Could everyone then live whole lives?” 
― Brigid SchulteOverwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time

Stuff I Would Like to Do/Be Doing These Days
Go thru Think Python and work on Python coding
Audit the Maps and The Geospatial Revolution course on Coursera
Attend more PyLadies NYC Meetups
Get my eyes checked
See a movie in a movie theater
Blog more often
Buy some new pants

Stuff I Must/Most Need to Do These Days
Go to work
Spend time with my family
Keep house (cook, light cleaning, shopping)
Watch at least an hour of TV a night
Occasional social engagements

All of this (and more!) has been rattling around in my head for weeks as I have been trying to find a moment to write this post. I recently read (or OK, read most of) Brigid Schulte’s book Overwhelmed: Work, Play, and Love When Nobody Has The Time. The book had the overall result of making me feel less overwhelmed. Hey! Look at me! I am reading a book! I am not totally bowled over by life! I do not think it is particularly cool to be busy all the time!  That said, I must admit that I read the book while riding the train on the way to work or laying around on the sofa, but most of the things on that top list are not things that can be done on my morning commute or while I waiting for pasta to boil. Most of those things require a longer and more focused period of time, brainpower, and energy — none of which I have right now.  So, I am just trying to take the time to accept that I don’t have the time to do all the things I *want* to do / feel I should be doing right now this very instant. I am also sitting with the fact that I might never have the time to learn how to code and frankly I have no great need to know how to code nor do I have any problems that I believe I could code my way out of. In fact, I almost think coding could unearth problems that would just open the door to a bunch of new stressors.

So that’s that.

None of this is to say I feel calm and guilt-free about it, but the direction I am going in is not towards finding the time to do the things on the top list but instead in accepting the fact that the life I live and love is comprised of all the things on the bottom list.

Although I think I *can* reasonably squeeze in the pants purchase if I play my cards right.

A Time to Code

A friend of mine recently posted a link to this article on the best and worst times to do things during your workday and on the last D&G show, Dave and Gunnar talked about Red Hat CEO Jim Whitehurst’s excellent productivity tips and the ways that they structure their own days.

Since having a kid, my day has definitely been shaken up. I am a morning person by nature but I almost never get out of the house into the office as early as I’d like to (read: hours before everyone else). By the time I get going the office is full and there is chitter chatter and lots of emails and IRC pings already flying, not to mention my phone ringing or messages to reply to. I also work 40% of the week from home and 60% at our office, which makes it hard to hold fast to a consistent schedule. Some things like getting my kid up in the morning are probably not going to budge any time soon, but I’d like to continue think about how I could better structure my days to make the most of the day and have time for more of what I *say* I’d like to do.

I am an Inbox Zero kind of person and I do tend to let my inbox rule my day/guide my To Do list. Maybe I should set times to shut off IRC and email and just be heads down during the week? I also can go down rabbit holes if I have a random thought or question and sometimes I can just pivot in a whole different direction if I’m distracted by a tap on the shoulder or a particularly insightful or humorous tweet. Is there a way to build in flexibility for tangents during the day and still feel like you are getting *enough* done? I am also the world’s best/worst multitasker.

In the midst of all this thinking, I just attended a NYC PyLadies Python Intro Course last week that reminded me that I’d love to get back to studying Python (I took a Python Intro course through Coursera a year and a half ago). “Learn to Code” events and workshops are great, but as most of you already know, truly learning to code requires lots of independent, quiet concentration. Is it feasible that I could squeeze in a few hours a week for this? I think if I were disciplined I could. Would love to hear your thoughts on these topics. Ya know, when you have the time….