I’ve often wondered why I am able to be organized, proactive and on top of things professionally while my home is a mess, my library books are late and I’m in my jammies till noon. I found the answer — and it is simple — in “The Procrastinator’s Handbook: Mastering the Art of Doing It Now” by Rita Emmett.*

She calls it the “Drifting Along” method of procrastination. Because home is less structured, without deadlines or a set schedule, I drift along all day, all week, all month without getting much done.

I’ve tried many tactics to combat this without having much success. But let’s give it another go. Here is the daily schedule I am aiming for. Once I get a daily planner, I will not write to-do lists. Rather I will schedule each to-do item in the appropriate time slot on a given day. This idea came from a man I met at the blogger volunteer event I did in January. He said he writes what he needs to do in his calendar and doesn’t worry about anything not written on a future day until that day comes.

The plan:

8 a.m. – Get up, brush teeth, go to living room, open blinds/windows
8:15 a.m. – Stretch, drink a glass of water.
8:30 a.m. – Make breakfast. Eat it with the kids.
9 a.m. – Dress kids and send them out to play. Dress self and Ellie.
9:30 a.m. — Do laundry and dishes.
10 a.m. – Check email/facebook.
10:30 a.m. – Read to kids while they eat snack.
11 a.m. – Do Heritage Makers work while kids do something creative at kitchen table.
Noon – Make, eat and clean up from lunch.
1 p.m. – Do blog work and check twitter.
2 p.m. – Do home paperwork.
2:30 p.m. – Eat snack and play with kids.
3:30 p.m. – Do housework
4:30 p.m. – Make, eat and cleanup dinner
6 p.m. – Have some me time/redeem rewards from tasks completed.
7 p.m. – Have some family time.
7:45 p.m. – Put kids to bed.

* More to come later on this book, which I have enjoyed so far. I need to finish the last couple of chapters because it is now overdue to the library. Baby steps people.

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Have you noticed that kids’ DVDs have a million previews on them? And on some they are difficult if not impossible to skip? Here’s the solution:

Burn a copy of it (for only your own use of course) but leave off the previews and title menus and everything but the feature film. That way you pop it in and your movie starts immediately. No hitting menu or fast-forward or even play.

Bonus: If your kids scratch the living daylights out of the DVD or smear peanut butter on it or otherwise render it unplayable, you still have the original tucked safely away to make a new copy.

Thanks to a college friend for the idea and a twitter friend for a tweet that reminded me to share it with you all. 🙂

First, thanks to everyone who commented on my denied a job interview post, especially those of you whom I didn’t previously know. I enjoyed reading all your opinions. Thanks to those who said here and on facebook that you would hire me. Now I just need one of you to actually be able to do that. 😉

To those who said I’m probably better off not working there: I happen to know this is a good place to work and really values a work-life balance. And I don’t think they were put off by me being a mother. However, the person I suspect being behind this (not the HR person, as Nik mentioned) is likely not someone I would want to work with. So yes, maybe this was a blessing in disguise. Actually, I think it may have given me the last push I need to pursue something that has been rambling around my head for a while. I’m not ready to talk about it here though.

But this is an issue bigger than me. Questions for jobseekers to consider:

  • Is it fair for a company to use your online persona against you?
  • Is the fairness of it irrelevant because we deal in reality not in an ideal world?
  • In this job market, should jobseekers sanitize their online presence or go underground for awhile? Or should we stay true to who we are with the knowledge that it might disqualify us for some jobs but perhaps make us more attractive to companies where the decision-makers “get it”?

I DO think it is fair for companies to take online personas into consideration when hiring BUT they should thoroughly investigate and understand that persona, not make a judgment after looking at a blog homepage for five minutes. They should also understand, as Missy said, that “online depictions of our personalities are often self-effacing” or focus on just one facet of our personalities.

And even if I thought this was an unfair practice, the fact is that it happens. It was interesting to see the HR/Recruiter types say this didn’t surprise them one bit, even though they think it’s wrong. I wonder now if I lost out on other opportunities because of my blog but this was the first time someone had the courtesy to tell me the truth. (Or tell me anything at all, but that’s a whole other issue.)

So knowing that this is the reality in this job market, will I make my blog private? No.

Will I change the name? Maybe, especially since it doesn’t match the content of my blog as closely as I had thought it would in the beginning.

Will I pretend to be something I’m not and avoid mention of anything that paints me as less than perfect? No way. I am human, not a robot. And I don’t want to work for anyone who does not understand that.

So other jobseekers, what are your thoughts? How do you handle your online presence while jobseeking?

My kids love going to the doctor and dentist. I feel like that is not normal, so I’m grateful for it.

Yes, I let Connor wear this to the "docker"

Connor had his 3-year-old checkup today. He got one booster shot and barely even winced at it. He passed his first eye exam and was very cute telling the nurse which shapes he knows how to draw (circle, cross, moon) and which ones he doesn’t (boat, heart). He also told me to tell the nurse and doctor that he gets to go to “gymnastics school” now. (He starts when the next session starts now that he’s potty trained.)

Ellie had three shots. She didn’t cry until the second one was almost done. And she stopped crying pretty quickly afterward. She dropped down to the 13% in weight, from something in the 20s. Our doctor said we could start rice cereal soon to boost her calories but I don’t plan to do that for awhile. She just seems way too young. She also recommends Vitamin D drops for exclusively breastfed babies. I lied and said we give them to Ellie, just like I lie about her sleeping in her own crib. Any other natural parenting peeps lie to your peds about stuff like that?

But know what’s even better than how great the kids were? We were EARLY to the appointment by about 7 minutes, and we got called in to the exam room before we even sat down in the waiting room. We had appointments for 1:15 and 1:45. We were on our way home at 1:54. NICE. I really love our pediatrician but had been considering switching to a smaller, closer clinic. I’ve had some long waits and rude receptionists here in the past but our pediatrician kept me coming back. I love that she genuinely remembers our family. This time, the receptionist was friendly, the wait was non-existent and the nurse was exceptional with Connor. So we’ll be sticking with Health Partners-St. Paul for awhile.

I got an interview for a job I was really interested in. It sounded like a really interesting position that fit my skills well. The pay was good, benefits were great and it was in St. Paul. Pretty much everything I could ask for.

Twenty minutes after receiving the information about who I’d be interviewing with, I got a call. I couldn’t get to the phone, and I listened to the voicemail a few minutes later. It left me in shock.

Someone checked me out online in preparation for my interview and “found” my blog. I say that in quotes because I put the url right on my resume. I think it’s a good blog with a decent following and shows off my writing and social media skills. So I figured it could only help my case for the types of jobs I’m seeking.

But someone had a problem with the title.

The voicemail was from the HR person I’d been talking with. I bear no ill will toward as she had the courtesy to tell me the truth. She said, in a nutshell, that the position requires someone very detail-oriented so it probably wouldn’t be a good fit for me as a procrastinator and they didn’t want to interview me.

After about an hour of shock, I consulted with a couple of people and called the HR person back. She said it was very hard for her to call to cancel the interview but the position I was applying for is very public and requires a lot of project management. She said “perceptions matter” and that is why “the decision was made.” She said this perception problem wouldn’t keep me from being the right fit for other jobs in the organization, just this one. She encouraged me to apply should another position of interest to me open. But let’s be real, this was their first position fitting my skills in nine months so I doubt another is going to be popping up any time soon.

I’m still not sure how I feel about all this. Yes, I am a procrastinator. At home. I’ve always been very focused, organized and hard-working at work. I told her this and told her she could ask any former employers/coworkers. But it was clearly out of her hands. I don’t know whether it was just one person or more who thought the perception of me as a procrastinator would be a problem.

The part the bothers me most is that whoever it was that has the problem didn’t even read my blog. This is clear by the short time between confirming and canceling the interview, but I also know from my blog stats that nobody at that point had gone beyond the home page, which has posts about finding grocery deals, creating a proactive morning routine, organizing a closet, making mac and cheese from scratch. Clearly problematic, right?

The last few times Mark has taken care of Ellie while I’m gone, she has refused to take a bottle. I had thought maybe she just wasn’t really hungry. Maybe she was crying because she was tired and Mark interpreted it as hunger

She has taken a bottle for a couple of sitters without a problem.

But the other day, I ran to the store. Mark called saying she wouldn’t stop crying and wouldn’t take a bottle of breastmilk so he tried a bottle of formula and she wouldn’t take that either. I came home and she latched on and drank like no tomorrow.

So what gives? Why will she take a bottle for a sitter but not the exact same kind of bottle for Mark? Any ideas of ways to get her to take one?

The other two kids were drinking breastmilk from bottles regularly while I was working starting at 6 weeks and never refused one. Ellie only gets a bottle maybe once or twice a week. She is 3.5 months old.

Here’s our weekly shopping list, put together with weekly ads a little help from lists at Minnesota Coupon Adventures and Pocket Your Dollars. I didn’t list where my coupons came from, but you can find sources for most of them at those two sites. Tomorrow, I’ll figure out what I can make from these things and what we have on hand and I’ll publish a weekly menu. Maybe we’ll actually eat something off it this week.

Update: My meal list is now up on Facebook but I need suggestions for Saturday’s meals.

Rainbow (on double coupon day, Wed)
Zucchini .99 lb
Roundy’s Fresh Carrots .49 lb
Romaine Lettuce .99
Michigan Jonathan Apples 3 lb. bag $.98
Deli ham 2.98/lb
Tilapia $7.49? – $1Q
Kemps Milk $3.99 – $1Q doubled
2 Yoplait tubs $4 – .55Q
Roundy’s Large Eggs $0.78
Coke, 2 ltr. .99 – 1Q doubled
2 Suave 24-Hour Protection Deodorant $3.32? – $3
Dial Liquid Hand Soap $3? – $1Q doubled
Tostitos 1.98 – $1peelie doubled
OreIda Fries $1.98
Palermo’s Pizza $4 – $1Q doubled

Walgreens
3 Huggies Pullups 26.97 – 3 $3 off coupons (get 5RR)
Theraflu 3.99 – 1.50Q
3 Campbell’s Chunky 4.50 – 1.50Q
All Laundry Detergent $3.99 – $2Q

Cub
4 Post cereals, $7.12 – $1Q, get $3 catalina
1 Rice Krispees 1.98 – $1Q {side note: This is one of many “healthy” cereals that are WIC approved yet don’t meet Cub’s Nutrition IQ criteria. Food for thought}
2 Raisin Bran 3.96 – $1Q
1 gall Milk free w/ previous catalina
½ gall choc milk free w/ Q
Pint Int Delight creamer free w/ Q
Blue Bunny Ice Cream $2.49 – $1Q HERE
Fruit2Day 2 pack $2.49 – $1Q HERE, HERE

Aldis
Cantaloupe. $1.49
Pineapple. $1.49
10 lb bag of Russet potatoes $1.69