Last September I gave up my full-time job in favour of part-time freelancing from home. Life had become too frenetic, too stressful, too full, so the plan was to put the family first and take a break for a while. Sure, I’d have to work – that gin won’t buy itself, you know – but the idea was to do the bare minimum, just to keep things ticking over.
Those of you who know me won’t be at all surprised to learn that things didn’t quite work out that way. A tentative paddle in the shallow end of freelancing soon became front crawl in the deep end with the wave machine turned on. And because all work and no play makes Jill a dull girl, at the same time I’ve launched a new WI and organised a literary festival.
So despite my good intentions I am once again working flat-out and desperately seeking ways of adding hours to the day. Before you leap in with your ‘making lists’ and ‘getting up half an hour earlier’, let me make one thing clear: I am a long way past conventional time-saving tips. In fact, having exhausted all the methods I have found of ‘doing things quicker’ I have now moved on to ‘things I can give up’:
- Sleeping. Terribly time-consuming, it’s also extremely unproductive. I have managed to get night-times down to about four hours and am working on doing away with it altogether.
- Food requiring a knife and fork. If I can eat it with a fork, I can open post with my free hand. If I can eat it standing up, and therefore walk to school/load the dishwasher/clean out the chickens, so much the better.
- Showering. In favour of baths. You might think showers are quicker than baths, and therefore a better option for a time-deprived mother, but you can’t send emails from the shower, can you?
- Going to the loo. Oh, I know, it’s impossible to give this one up altogether, but really there’s no time in the day for endless wees. If someone could turn my office chair into a commode that would be awfully handy.