Managing Time and Swallowing Frogs

Overplanning Activities
Overplanning Activities

There are days when I fall prey to my own consultancy speak. There are days when I believe that change is a finite process which can be managed, that time is a resource which can be planned down to the last details, that all that is required to make me a writer is more discipline.

So I scrabble and scramble, over-schedule, try to fit it all in and end up feeling very foolish and guilty, no matter how much I accomplish.

On Monday I had ten items on my To Do list. I only managed to complete 3 of them. I was very downhearted, of course, on Monday evening and resolved to do better. On Tuesday I had crossed off 9 out of the 10 items (plus a few minor ones that had cropped up in the meantime). Did I feel triumphant? Did I celebrate? No, I just started worrying about the next batch of ‘Must Dos’, about all the unformed unpronounceables threatening me with their ghostly presence.

One thing that is becoming obvious to me is that there are two categories of ‘difficult’, even though the fear of them may start out in a very similar fashion. Darkness in the morning, reluctance to get up, odd little procrastinating rituals to get started (reading your blogs with a cup of coffee in my hand is the main highlight of my day!). But then…

DSCN6616Category 1 Difficult (as in Writing is hard…)

Once the muscles are flexed, once the first half hour has passed, the love of words and ideas takes over. I pace about, mutter, write some more, get a bit distracted with research, get into the flow… and I am the happiest person on earth when I go to bed, no matter how much I have written. Such a privilege to spend the whole day thinking about writing!

Category 2 Difficult (as in I’d rather be writing…)

To use a bit more consultancy speak – it really is like swallowing frogs. I keep on dreading it, putting it off, doing it sloppily or half-heartedly until the deadlines are looming. And after a day of work? I am just tired and dissatisfied. What is worse, I don’t know what would make me feel I’d accomplished something in this field.

So, have you ever felt like that: Dissatisfaction, no matter how many results and rewards you get… and complete bliss when doing something else, without having very much to show for it?