Yeah, this has come up again. Obviously, this is something I’m still working on. I need to get a better handle on it.
Yesterday was an incredibly productive day for me. I haven’t had a lot of these since Christmas. But I’ve started filling out my productivity planner again, and actually doing what I’ve written down.
So while I did things on Sunday and Monday, yesterday was the first day I felt as though I was finally focused again, as well as doing the most important things on my list. It was a really nice feeling.
I’m still reading for the anthology workshop. 1.3 million words this year. Lots of words. I’ve been reading four short stories every night. Once I finished last night, I was supposed to then go back to reading for the mystery workshop that I’m taking in April. I’ve done this on more than one night – finish the anthology reading and just switch over to the mystery reading.
However, when I finished the anthology reading for the night, around 8:45 PM, my brain basically said, “Fuck off.” I wasn’t not going to do any more work that night. No amount of pushing or discipline would have gotten me there.
Of course, my first reaction was that I shouldn’t be so lazy. Fortunately, I’ve learned to listen to myself when I say those sorts of things, and made myself look at the reality of the situation.
I don’t want to say that I’d been working since 8 AM. That isn’t accurate. I was, however, focused for most of that time.
For example, I did a bodyweight workout yesterday morning. That wasn’t work. It was focus, pushing my body. I also wrote for a few hours, did 3700 words or so. Focus, not work. And so on through the entire day.
I did take off some time around lunch, as well as some time around dinner. But that was about it.
So last night, more than anything, I’d run out of focus.
Yesterday, I fell into one of my bad habits of just working without taking any breaks. I have timers on my computer. 30 second break every 20 minutes, 5 minute break every 55 minutes.
I didn’t take any breaks, though I worked for a few hours. I need to respect the timers. That’s part of why I ran out of focus last night. I hadn’t taken enough breaks. I do respect them when I’m writing, just not when I’m working.
So I keep falling down when it comes to taking breaks, resting. I’ve gotten better. I’ve made progress. But I’m still such a work in progress when it comes to these sorts of things.
I’m actually a pretty productive person, despite the old tapes that say I’m lazy. (And yes, I’ve figured out who said that to me and am working on it. It’s going to take a while.) I’m not looking for productivity tips. I’m more looking for resting tips. I’ve started doing more physical stretches when I take a break, toe touches and such.
What do you do when you’re on a short break to re-energize yourself?