Time management. Such a tricky concept when time is flexible (and arbitrary*). Sometimes the clock moves quickly, and I am filled with purpose. Other times it moves quickly, and I am filled with despair. Or the time barely seems to change, and I am as languid as a summer afternoon. There is also the way the clock never changes, and nothing I do seems to make any difference. (Except change the batteries in the clock. That worked once.)
The times I accomplished the most were also the times when I was busiest. There was simply no time to faff about unless I scheduled it in. (Which I did. I love my downtime.) It meant that extraneous options slipped away. This or That? It had to be THIS now to hit THIS deadline, and THAT later to hit THAT deadline. (Deadlines are wonderful things that I find quite focusing.) Multitasking – TV and ironing, instead of reading. Or reading and eating, while the washing machine was going, the biscuits were baking, and photos were uploading. Sorting things out NOW, at 3 minutes to midnight rather than waiting until the morning because I'm a night person – if I was tired now, there was no way I'd be able to do anything but the essential stuff in the morning. It helps if the tasks that need doing are finite rather than ongoing, but it is possible to break the ongoing tasks down to finite ones.
When there is no need for me to be as focused then I am not as clear about what needs to be done now. If it doesn't need to be done today then why not tomorrow? And if it doesn't need to be done tomorrow then why not in a week? This sometimes leads to the terrible situation where I want something for the next day but have realised it too late.** I still hold some of my habits from when I was busy – I don't dutifully read library blogs anymore (I figure if it's important it will come to my attention somehow); the flat is at a level of tidy and clean that is never quite tidy or wholly clean; I get things sorted in the evening no matter how tired I am. I've given up the thrill of being the first person to link to an interesting post, or being able to eat at the table without having to shift something first. What I have is a sense of the things that I value. And that helps me work with time instead of trying to bend it to my will.
** "Be prepared" the Guides motto is one of the principle ways to sort out one's time, especially if one is busy. Calendar everything. Think about the detail of those things and organise accordingly.