I used to think that once the kids were grown I’d be the queen of productivity, cranking out quilts and books left and right once I didn’t have little people who needed me 24/7. But I was wrong.

I’m behind on everything. Our two kids at home still need me, though not the way they once did. Having to move twice in two years also messed with my concentration. For a while I spent more time on realtor websites (first trying to sell our house, then trying to find somewhere to go) than working on my own. I’m still homeschooling one child, and people still need to eat, so I don’t have as much free time as I thought I would.

Ultimately, though, the problem is me. I think all the years of living with kids every day (i.e. constant interruptions to my train of thought) left me so scattered and easily distracted that I could no longer concentrate.

To make matters worse, I started hanging out on the Internet, which allowed me to look up anything I was curious about….ever. Once I learned about tabs, I soon found myself opening tabs, even while I was reading something else, whenever an idea occurred to me. I learned a lot, but I also trained my brain to skip from thought to thought like a hummingbird visiting flowers. I think the Internet made my attention span shorter.

It became clear to me that I’d have to make some changes if I was going to be more productive. Having spent almost my entire adult life homeschooling, I do have some information to share with other homeschooling parents, and I’d like to get it out there before I forget it! I’d have to find some ways to become more productive before it was too late.

The first thing I did was to give up the Internet on Sundays. While I had not worked on Sundays because of it being the day of rest, I still surfed, read and wrote email, and basically goofed off. But I decided that I spent enough time online during the week, so I gave it up cold turkey on Sundays. I’m happy to report that not only have I survived the shock of this, but I now do other things on Sunday, things I used to do, like taking a nap, reading for fun, hanging with the family and watching old movies.

Tomorrow: the other change I made.

5 thoughts on “Productivity

  1. Hi Barbara,
    Thanks for sharing. I can’t wait till tomorrow cause I see myself following in your footsteps. 🙁
    One thing I’ve started doing…when it’s my writing time, I use a timer. I set it for 15-20 minutes. That’s all I get online. Once it beeps I set it for another time increment. In that time, I have to WRITE. And so it goes for two-three hours. So far, it seems to be helping.
    Have a great week,

  2. You know, Barbara, I’ve been challenged with the same thing. I used to think about all the cleaning and sewing and other projects that I would do when the kids were out of school. It just hasn’t panned out that way. When the three of them were still living here, it seemed like there was always something going on or someone needed to talk or something. I enjoyed it, for I knew they’d be gone before I knew it, but was expecting bigger blocks of free time.

    Now that we are down to one left in the house (daughter, age 23) I still need to be extremely disciplined with my time. It just gets taken up in so many unexpected places. I’m learning to tune things out, filter calls, etc. And yeah, forget it, you can just get lost on the internet and never look back! The one interruption I allow, besides emergencies and such, is spending time with my grandson. All else can get put on the back burner for that. 🙂

    Looking forward to the next post!

  3. Carol, I love the timer idea! We really have to control the Internet or it will control us.

    Karen, I think “grandson” should go at the top of the good interruptions list….aren’t you blessed! 🙂

  4. Pingback: The Daily Planet » Blog Archive » Carnival of Homeschooling: House Fever Edition

  5. Pingback: The Daily Planet » Blog Archive » Carnival of Homeschooling: House Fever Edition

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