By Fareeha Qayoom
ife as usual is hectic; too much to do, too little time. There are not enough hours in a day or maybe I need to organize my leisure activities too with military precision…
I was reading about it the other day (Business, the Universe & Everything, Conversations with the world’s greatest management thinkers by Stuart Grainer and Des Dearlove)…the guy who invented mind maps basically had the same problem before he came up with a short hand to organize his thoughts…Tony Buzan’s output trebled and quadrupled after he came up with this new system…He’s the “original renaissance man, responsible for over 80 books, a business empire and a legion of other activities.” Everything has been organized to the max, he manages his life and gets to do ton of stuff with his mind maps…
Before I come up with mind maps for all my activities, I have to list down all the stuff that’s in my head down on paper first…so here goes:
I have been seriously thinking about learning how to sew – the plan is DIY. I have downloaded tons of books on pattern making. I have trawled all the major departmental stores in search for the definitive sewing machine…Guess what? Hyperstar, Metro, HKB, or Alfatah – they don’t stock them. So we searched the web, you can buy it online, in installments or you can do it the old fashioned way by visiting your nearest Singer store. Unfortunately, the nearest stores are halfway across town! By the way, my favorite machine costs about 10K; (small portable modern looking white Singer). In the meantime, I have decided to recycle my denim top collections – I am going to convert them into waistcoats or vests. I have even discovered a website that lets you have standard patterns for free and you can print them on your standard A4 printer. (A lot of cello tape is involved). I even sat down one day and tried to translate my current waistcoat into a working pattern. It’s a doable plan. In fact, it was fine. Only the measurements were a bit off. Probably, first, I will have to try my hand at hand sewing too…so this plan is swinging along piece meal…by the way; there are loads of lessons available on Youtube! Go figure…
I am also trying to finish my huge pile of books – I have a plan for this too now…first, I cleaned out my bookshelves. Funnily enough, I discovered better copies of some of the tattered titles in my shelf at Readings – so I bought those and found nice homes for my tattered ones. Gave them away to people who I thought might appreciate them and pass them on to other folk after reading them. I also donated a few to the neighborhood (old) bookshop and traded a little bit of pulp fiction in return – it was a dead loss in terms of money but what the heck; I wanted space for my new stuff.
I also discovered my nephew’s handiwork purely by luck and was able to save an entire shelf of books. He has a bad habit of hiding his toys and bits of food behind my books – I discovered his water gun minus the water which had seeped into three of my books with black fungus growing inside them and bits of food that had attracted ants, there was a danger of this spreading across the entire shelf but luckily the damage was confined to three only – unfortunately, nothing can be done to save those three – one was a present from one of my buyers, the other two were on management and office politics. My sister plans to sell them for their sheer weight now! 😀 (She recycles all the pile of paper, milk, juice packaging and newspapers by selling them…)
Second, I plan to read four books at a time. A couple of chapters here or there…if it’s really an interesting book, I might finish it in one go – nowadays, I am trying to complete this book by Anatol Leiven “Pakistan, a hard country” – interesting read but again, thick…third, every day, I am going to spend an hour just reading the news…headlines and stuff that interests me online…also, make time for some fun reading as well…you know a couple of novels every week.
I have to come up with a blogging calendar…there’s a ton of stuff (Print editions of Valuemag) that have to go online – a lot of my friends want their work to appear on line as it helps them cite the work they did for me…but because it’s a slow tedious process, I have been kind of lazy and have not put their stuff on line yet…I just realized that a year passed me by while I was just thinking about this! I have to come up with a weekly plan for my Saturday afternoons to do this…Discipline is key here.
Besides, I have at least a hundred story ideas written down in my log book somewhere. I think I did about 6 out of those this past year…mostly on eXtreme managing. Adnan thinks I can write about 500 words daily for tkfr.com. Yeah…that’s ambitious. Self-expression is a creative process and depends on the mood. Even though, I might have a lot of stuff to say, it doesn’t mean I am in the mood to talk, talk, talk- know what I mean?
I also have to make time to listen to new music. I don’t know what’s hot and happening currently…lost touch with all my favorites’ new works…
Yes, I might be a basic t-shirt and jean woman but I still like to keep an eye on the trends…have to do some research and come up with some easy to do sewing projects…and yes, look for a tailor who really knows how to cut a pattern!
I just realized I had one GT with a couple of my friends during Ramadan – have not made time to visit friends or even exchange time of the day on facebook…I should make some calls and keep up with my friends…it’s been a year since I have had any kind of meaningful GT with a few of my favorite people! Time indeed flies…sigh.
Yes, I like shopping – again, it’s been a while since I have explored the shops for the sheer fun of it…
I have to start with some gentle exercise regime again…luckily, I can save a couple of hours in my day that were being spent in a long commute to work (my division got shifted to my neighborhood – Yay!) …can devote some time to this but have to come up with a plan that’s doable. Looking back, its been exact two years since I gave up exercise. Its the longest period between my turning over a new leaf…;D
Learn how to make quick tasty salads and come up with creative 5 to 10 minute cooking ideas…research on the net to come up with easy DIY. Note to self – make sure these ideas don’t break the bank! Quick nutritious cooking on a budget!
Nowadays when I come home, I spend a few hours just watching the new shows on our so called smart TV (with the help of our smart computer)…you know, it’s the season. I think I will ration this time too – and watch only my favorite shows. Some of the shows are now really boring like House, Desperate Housewives, Supernatural etc., (Luckily, they are on their last legs anyway). Some promising new shows have started this season too…by the way, Terra Nova sucks. Big bucks don’t necessarily mean a good story – Spielberg backed a dud this time…another funny thing I just noticed, all my favorite shows are actually based on novels…huh!
I have to make time for this activity too…balance is key. Too much of a good thing is bad for you. The last movie I saw was ‘horrible bosses’ a couple of months ago…my sister is watching the Three Musketeers right now, by rights, I should be watching this with her but I was too busy spending time with my niece. God, all this frivolous (fun) stuff doesn’t leave much time for important stuff too..
Have to spend an hour playing with Farrah’s kids and make time for my mom. I spend enough time with my brother and sister anyway…we get to do stuff together like watching the shows, commute, and shopping for groceries and stuff. And yes, avoid a couple of family members who bring out the worst in me…
Yes, rest is important too…I need eight hours of sleep time as well! Have to plan this in.
This Saturday, have to create detailed lists of tasks under each project (mind maps) for the above list of stuff. (In case, you are wondering what brought on this sudden urge to plan? Well, my birthday is just coming up. Time to take stock of last year and I suddenly realized, I let a lot of things slide over the past year…).
Planning, planing, planning – the devil is in details unfortunately!