Whew. That's enough introduction, isn't it? 10 things, some mundane and some creative, that an inveterate but ambitious procrastinator has learned this year about fitting all that you want to do into the time that you have:
(10) If you want to learn more about a subject, especially language, but don't have lots of time to read, look online for audio lectures and lessons. Listen to them instead of music while you work out or do boring but necessary tasks like filing, cleaning or data entry.
(9) Concerning workouts, it can be hard when one is a newly-employed urban dweller to get to a gym before or after work without its taking up absurd amounts of time. Anything is better than nothing. Walk on your lunch hour, or do crunches in the morning before you shower.
(8) Prepackaged frozen food does come in healthy versions and, to a young worker with only one or two people to feed, can be very much worth the few extra pennies because of the many minutes they help you save.
(7) Whatever you're doing, keep your priorities in order. If you don't make enough time for other things that are important to you besides work, you'll begin to resent work for "keeping you away" from those things, which makes you veer toward the danger of slacking off.
(6) Perfectionism can be the kiss of death to efficiency. Trust your ability, proven in the past, to get it done and do it well without major agony. Do the best you can with the time you have -- and don't let fear of doing otherwise keep you from getting started, or you'll have even less time to make it good.
(5) Whenever possible, do the thing you're most excited about doing first. Even if it takes a long time, it will go much more quickly than something you aren't as motivated about -- and you'll feel so good about your work that you'll have
(4) It's a bad idea when it comes to relationships, but a good one with work: Think quality, not quantity. 30 minutes spent dashing through some revisions are better than two hours staring dully at the screen because you resent being there and don't know where to start.
(3) Don't fall into the trap of thinking that because you only have 20 minutes here or 10 minutes there or a half-hour somewhere else in between other tasks, you don't have time to do something. Fill it with whatever fits; and if all of your tasks are too big, break them down into bits. Say to yourself, "I'm just going to make this one phone call" or "I'm just going to put these few things in the mail" or, as the case may be, "I'm just going to write tomorrow's blog."
(2) When you are lucky enough to have large, unstructured blocks of time, find landmarks within them to help you create structure. If your environment doesn't provide landmarks, make them yourself: a coffee break, a trip to the gym, lunch with a friend. Plan them into your day and your week so that they're regular enough to lean on, to work around, to keep you going.
(1) The single most important key to doing everything?: Give yourself enough time to do nothing. At some point in the evening, call it quits. Say to yourself, in some variation, these words of 20th-century German philosopher, Jewish martyr and Catholic saint, Edith Stein:
"When night comes, and retrospect shows that everything is patchwork and much which one had planned is left undone, when so many things rouse shame and regret, then take all as it is, lay it in God's hands, and offer it up to him. In this way we will be able to rest in him, actually to rest, and to begin the new day like a new life."