Tag Archives: #postgradpregnancywoes

How I Use my Filofax: time management for work/life balance

Back at the end of June I shared how I use my agenda to manage tasks for work and life. Since that time I have taken on a new job and encountered a stack of barriers regarding my academic life. I have had to adapt my agenda (and ‘one true Filofax’) to suit.

I still rely heavily on a two-pages-per-month calendar for scheduling tasks. And I still write things in black pen, then highlight over to define the task/event further (personal, health, uni, Guiding/work, bills, holidays). I also use this overview to keep track of what week it is in the school term (Guiding and work related) and in my pregnancy.


August 2012

In conjunction with this calendar I use a two-week timetable from Philofaxy to track recurring tasks. My work ‘week’ is actually a fortnight, which explains the need for two weeks of timetabling. This also allows me to track which rubbish bin goes out  and when (we have three bins now!)


Timetable (week 1)

My day-per-page diary has been replaced by Philofaxy’s enhanced TM two-pages-per-week calendar. This format works best for me as I am able to easily record the handful of appointments I have each week on the left-hand-page and daily (or weekly) must do tasks on the right-hand-page.


3-9 Sept 2012
(I don’t usually highlight my weekly calendar but did so to show the variety of appointments and tasks I track via this layout)

In each day box I also track my husband’s work schedule (above the day name), the start of my work ‘week’ (red dot sticker), what bin needs putting out (green or yellow dot sticker), the school term week (the number on Tuesday), and the current week in my pregnancy (the number on Wednesday).

Further to this system I have dedicated ‘running to do’ or ‘capture’ pages for the various aspects of my life. My MA has two (LitReview and Masters/general), one each for my work projects (tracking both my tasks and those assigned to other stakeholders), one for my Guide Unit (for program ideas, etc), and one for my OBP Award. These are simply downloaded from Philofaxy and edited (either by hand or in Word) to include the appropriate ‘document’ title.


LitReview running to do list

Although looking at my time-management system in this format it feels overly complicated, it really does help my manage my time efficiently in order to balance work and life. If I can see I have a work trip coming up, I ‘write off’ the next day (basically just to recover!) And if I am away or having visitors on the weekend, I know not to schedule big tasks for that time. And sticking with my ‘one true Filofax’ I know I always have all important information on hand to make notes, take calls, and run errands while I am out and about – meaning I rarely ‘waste time’ when I am out of the house.

Advertisements

Goal Setting: September 2012

Being accountable is my primary motivation for keeping to my goals. Thankfully I’ve the lovely Jenn keeping me on track (and enabling me to produce more Filofax inserts for keeping myself organised!)

This month I set my goals as part of the #Filofax 365/30 challenge. My goals include academic, personal, fitness, and work related tasks.

  • Do 1-2 hours of reading for my LitReview each day
  • Set up the nursery for BabyGirlC
  • Walk Charlie (the dog) 3+ times per week
  • Walk myself 4+ times per week (this can be doubled with dog walking)
  • Start attending antenatal fitness classes (each Wednesday)
  • Arrange library displays for my 4 work projects

Like the massive Filofax nerd I’ve become, I had to find a way to track my goals in my Filofax. I decided to do so on a month on two pages calendar (homemade insert from Philofaxy) using coloured dots to track the repetitive tasks.

So far so good! And knowing I need to ‘show’ my progress to Jenn each week keeps me accountable and motivated to complete my goals (and, hopefully, form some new habits).

It’s gotten to that point in the pregnancy…

That’s right, dear readers, I have embraced the ‘use a hair tie to expand the waistline of my pants’ phase of my pregnancy:

But soon I fear I will need to fork out the money to buy a Belly Belt (about $26 – !!! – from my local BigW). Perhaps it shall be my first purchase with my first paycheque from my new job…

Coping with Pregnancy Hormones as a PostGradMama

A brain dump on my current #postgradpregnancywoes

Contrary to my initial thoughts and feelings: growing a thesis and a baby IS hard. Harder than I thought it would be. Today I hit 21 weeks down and 19 to go with my pregnancy, and my postgrad/mama life balance isn’t getting any easier.

I am tired.
I am teary.
I am irritable.
I am subject to constant mood swings.
I am suffering from ‘baby brain.’
I am having trouble prioritising my life.
I am lacking in academic self-confidence.

And this lack of self-confidence means my academic productivity has slipped. Greatly. I have been avoiding my LitReview like the plague. But considering a) I want it done before Smeagol arrives and b) it won’t do itself, I need to somehow get myself out of this  rut and get my LitReview mojo back on track.

My goal is to read 2-5 articles every day (including weekends) with the average goal being to read 3 articles every day. Part of the reading includes transferring my notes to my LitReview notes document (I take notes as I read in Mendeley, but am starting to arrange them into something somewhat somehow someday structured in Word).

My other daily goal is to take time out to remember ‘Hey, I am pregnant’ and to stop stressing over the little things. The most important things are my well-being, the well-being of my little one and my husband (and my furbabies), and then worrying about academics.

Sometimes I feel like I need a similar wall mural to this infamous one by Homer Simpson:

Other PostGrad/Mamas:-
How do/did you cope with the postgrad/mama balance?

Help?!