I am a person who likes to be organized. I like a plan. Plans can be revised or tweaked. But without a plan, you have nothing! I also like lists. There is satisfaction in crossing things off a list. Even if you don't get it done, you can write it on tomorrows list and keep at it. I think this is a part of my personality. I have done some sort of list system for years, in high school, college, teaching, and even at home.
I have a weekly schedule which breaks the tasks and errands which need to be completed into bite size chunks. Sure, things don't get done, but for the most part they get done or at least not forgotten. To that end, I also often segment my life by a timer. How long do I have before we leave for karate?, before I need to start dinner?, to clean the bathroom?, pick up the girls from school? The timer gets set and off we go.
I have a friend who used to come over and constantly notice my timers. He always felt a bomb was ready to go off or something big was going to happen. I was ALWAYS counting down to SOMETHING. I explained my system and how I had to keep organized in order to get everything done. He would remind me that he had a key to my house and would sneak in and clear my dry/erase calender in order to give me some free time. (He struck terror in my heart)
I am not sure when this all started with me. I do have clear memories of my mother setting a timer and sitting down to eat some saltines with butter as a break. She would quietly eat and read a magazine or newspaper. In that same way, I carve out time for me to exercise, eat sweets, walk the dog, or read. So although I am always counting down, dividing my time, accounting for it, I also make time for me. This is what keeps me sane. Right now "me" time maybe a little less, but it is also relished all the more. The reduction in guilt when I sit down with that ice cream and cake almost, ALMOST, makes it all worth it.