Bad carrots, spiral movements, time eaters: a peculiar language about time management


this title sounds ominous, but stick with me, ok?

There are no two ways about it. Being the mother of a toddler, the owner of a small business, and an adult human with many interests means that my time is not, to put it mildly, what it used to be. At the very least, it doesn't feel like I have endless amounts of it anymore. Each passing hour feels weighted. Not because I feel as if every second has to be spent in service of reaching a goal or milestone, but because I have so many ideas and things I want to be (and need to be) working on, creatively speaking. Plus, I don't want to continue living with this feeling if I can help it. At the fresh start of 2023, I decided that taking some kind of action to corral my time and to-do list into an understandable and likable shape and structure without freaking out about it was a very good way to begin a brand new year. A welcome reality check. I have so much I want to do, see, learn! Why not try a new system for cramming everything in? My old ways aren't working in this new time world. I'm sorry, Hobonichi. 

I researched ways in which others make schedules, use planners, and create systems for time organization, but one method sticks out in the sea of time management. My friend, Danielle, has a terrific and particular recipe for time classification (you can read about it here on Catapult's site!). Since she is a close friend of mine, time—and how to deal with it—is also something that dominates a whole lot of our conversations right now. One of those phone calls is where the term "bad carrots" comes from, same with "spiral movements" and "time eaters." Bad carrots are ideas or opportunities that shouldn't be followed or chased. Spiral movements is a term for any kind of weekly physical movement. Time eaters are tasks that we both despise. We laughed about each of these truly insane phrases that are just jokes, but in some ways, we're both searching for new ways to talk about, collate, and use our precious time. New words and bizarre phrases are welcome. Especially if they make us laugh.

Here's a very brief rundown of the Danielle method. A bit about her, first: Danielle is a writer, a parent, and a person with a busy mind who wants to see where her time goes. Does her time go to the things she actually wants to do? Or needs to do? Is it balanced? With Danielle's system, she generally sees where her time is spent each week by noting a simple "x" within each category of her responsibilities, whenever she spends time on a particular category. This calendar is done monthly, so she can then reallocate hours to the things that need her attention during the next month, or understand why she feels mentally inspired or physically depleted. It then becomes easier to address her own personal needs along with the requirements of her craft, her clients, the life of her family, and her children's individual demands. Her system makes sense to me. So, I'm trying it. TBD if it will work for me, but I am liking it so far. It's simple, useful. It's a good way to see how I spend my time.

The other thing I'm thinking about is how I want to feel this year. Rather than putting all emphasis on my vast individual goals, focusing on the overarching way I'd like to feel throughout 2023 seems like a better bet for personal growth and happiness. Of course, I have specific goals I have to set for the business, my kid, and my budget, but isn't it more useful to focus on a larger feeling rather than a set of actions? I think it is. Right now, anyway. How are you feeling this year? How do you want to feel? Let me know how it goes. I'll let you know how it all shakes down a few months from now. 

Here's a mood board for you. Happy New Year!

1). A nice dash of the checkerboard pattern that is (still) everywhere. But it's a classic. So. Did it ever go away? I'd put this around my neck for sure.

2). Winter time is record listening time.

3). My second favorite pens! Very soft and lovely to write with.

4). Garden Apothecary tea is my favorite tea. Simple, fresh, and they're grown by my internet friend Jennifer in her beautiful town of Half Moon Bay. I drink a cup of peppermint in the morning, chai in the afternoon, and chamomile at night.

5). It's January. You need a notebook. These are my favs.

6). Warm soup season. Such a wonderful season. I prefer shallow soup bowls. We don't have any in our home, so I've been casually looking around the internet for my ideal soup bowl. LMK if you have a favorite. I'm short on time (obviously!) so it would be great if you have a shortcut to a great shallow bowl.

7). A girl can dream, can't she? I want to tootle around in this. I think it's time to re-watch Two for the Road.


Payton Turner

Leave a comment