I have, in these last few months, been trying to work out a schedule for myself that allows me to work most efficiently on my book. In my fantastically procrastinatory fashion, I have spent more time wondering about how to efficiently work, than efficiently working.
Stuff keeps getting in the way. Things keep happening. Highly mundane stuff and things – the stuff and things flimsy excuses are made of. Like grocery shopping, or bathroom breaks, or playing pool, or rediscovering ancient games – I’m looking at you Baldur’s Gate, or laundry, and of course the classic – checking email and just going to look at that news site for a minute. Oh, I forgot a doozy – going for a walk/ to the gym – these are virtuous activities – so it isn’t wrong to do them, right? I mean I have to look after my body and not turn into a pudding in a chair! It’s crazy how they seem to put three hour holes in my day – from half an hour lifting, half an hour cardio and fifteen minutes walking at the gym, or a fifty minute walk in the glorious out of doors. Three hours. It just happens.
But I set myself a deadline, and it is now looming. October 31st. I have in my lizard brain accepted that the deadline cannot be met, but that does not mean I should just down tools. I want to get the job done, so I am using the deadline as a last push to get me to keep working consistently, as I can still persuade myself there is an outside chance if I put in a Herculean (Heraclean for the purists) effort, I can make it.
I am not a nine to five guy. My wife puts in astonishing amounts of work during the working hours of the day… because she works. I have tried to synchronise to this timetable, but managed to fritter each day away until it is time to make dinner and watch forgettable TV I have already seen. Gym in the morning, work afternoon, work morning, walk afternoon. Get up way early, play games, work during day. Partial successes all.
So I’m going back to the old deadline basic – working the late evening and into the night. I have always been a night owl, and the only times I ever successfully worked to a deadline was when the paper was due the next morning. I still occasionally have dreams that I have forgotten an assignment and wake up freaked out until I happily recall I am not in academia and need never worry about getting an essay in on time again. I enjoy my tea that morning, let me tell you!
Thus far I am making progress. If I can squeeze some productivity in during the day too, I may get somewhere close to being in danger of catching up. (This post counts as productivity!) Okay, the sun is shining, maybe I’ll take that walk now, and the lawn does need mowing…