Yesterday was less insane. I got all the assignments finished. I even went outdoors into the beautiful day at one point (bank, post office, grocery for snacks to fill up the box once I saw how much room was left after I put in the books, back to the post office). And I quit work at 5:30.

This was a tiring week. I read an article this morning that claimed that “Organising your time is all about introducing some rhythm into your life. Our brains love working in patterns, so if we can start implementing some tasks that recur at regular intervals during our week, our brains will quickly snap into the right mode for the right task at the right time. This is the first step in establishing some structure to your week.” I’m going to see whether I can get my brain to snap quickly into the right mode for packing my lunch and getting to the gym.

He says further, “Each of us would have a set number of tasks that we have to complete each week to ensure our business runs smoothly. This could be marketing, sales, accounting or business development just to suggest a few. By defining these key tasks and working out when we will do these tasks each week, we instantly gain focus on what needs to be done and when. For example, if you decide that on Tuesday mornings, you will focus on marketing, each Tuesday morning, you’ll wake up and your brain will instantly click into marketing mode!

It’s important that once you define this rhythm, you never stray from it. If you get some ideas to market your business, write them down and keep them for your marketing time. If you think about an account that needs to be balanced, save that for your Accounting time. Doing this will actually motivate you more and will allow you to think about those ideas a little further before rushing into them.”

On the other hand, it is possible that I’m not having problems with productivity or organization, but with my expectations. For example, I like to do two or three projects a day. It’s possible that three articles on various subjects requiring research and interviews don’t actually equal one project just because they were all for the same person. It’s possible that teaching college classes isn’t something I do in my spare time. It could be that I’m now running a business, and that doing so takes some time beyond the time involved in doing assignments.

Back before I decided that my payments weren’t going to arrive before the tuition due date (which may not be true at all), I ordered some stuff from Japan. You may recall that #2 daughter and I both felt that our bento boxes weren’t really large enough (mine actually holds exactly 1 cup; hers holds 2 total). I have since read how to put a healthy, balanced, 500 calorie lunch into a little bento box, but initially I went in search of a 2-cup box. I didn’t find any meeting my qualifications (cheap, excessively cute, with engrish on them) though I certainly found plenty of elegant executive bento boxes with room for a proper lunch.

I did find this sort of Japanese dollar store, and the things I ordered from it arrived yesterday. There I was able to score another little 1-cup bento box (the white thing showing in it is a moveable divider), plus one with nesting boxes which seems useless for packing lunches to take somewhere, but just fine for packing lunches to be ready when you get home, or escape from your computer. I also succumbed to the weird hardboiled egg mold above, which also makes a nice little onigiri rice ball. You’re supposed to seriously compress your rice so it takes up less room, and while mine didn’t look like a bear,it was nicely compressed. This is my husband’s sticky rice, by the way, not ordinary rice.

Also, in the frenzied  dollar store way, I bought these bento accessories, which I plan to share with #2 daughter, my partner in the bento box = healthy lunch effort.

Here you see an insulated carrying sack for a water bottle, soy sauce bottles and wee elephant dividers and an odd hippo-shaped thing which they sent to me gratis. I assume it’s another soy sauce bottle, and it also has with it a little plastic cocktail pick.

The object is to pack your bento box very full, with things divided up neatly using these various accessories, and then nothing moves around or leaks during the morning and your bento lunch is still lovely when you eat it.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

I also have these Japanese office supplies.  There are Post-it flags shaped like hedgehogs, hedgehog magnets, and paperclips like both hedgehogs and elephants, as well as a handy folder with smiling coffee cups on it. They also sent “soda candy” in a cute traingular container.

If I am $33 short on the tuition and textbooks, we’ll know why, won’t we?

However, this was a fun punctuation to the day.

It’s tempting to imagine that having the proper bento box accessories will magically cause me not to end up eating fast food at the computer, but I must resist this idea. I think that will require getting enough sleep to make good decisions, and not being panicky about the tuition, and not spending all day Monday saying, “Sure, I’ll have that for you by the end of the week.”

Today I’m going to Janalisa’s kick-off party. I intend to turn off my phone so it won’t beep at me whenever I have email.