Some days are deadlier than others. The procrastination book tells me to pencil in fun things in my schedule, to make sure I keep up my commitment to having fun. I have been blocking out entire evenings with art classes and gym sessions. This seems to be doing me good; indeed, I haven’t cried in weeks and I don’t feel guilty about having free time anymore. Nor do I feel guilty about spending money on it (which, once upon a time, I would have felt very guilty about). I now know that the most important thing in the world isn’t my PhD, nor is it fretting about unwritten articles and non-existent jobs; no, the most important thing in the world is that I get to my drawing class tonight, and if I make it to the gym for a quick swim on the way, then that’s an added bonus.
The thing is: in the morning bit of my schedule, the bit which is blissfully free from activities and which has been set aside for work, I often just can’t seem to get much work done. (the procrastination bible sets the bar very low: it says that if you have managed a solid half-hour a day, then that’s something. I can usually manage to sit still for a paltry half-hour. So I get to pencil that in to the schedule, once I have done it, and I get to feel good. It’s not much, though. There is a chapter sitting on my desk that I just can’t seem to stomach; it was meant to have been finished two weeks ago. It spilled over into the previous week. And this week. The thing is, there are other chapters whose turn it is this week for some alone-time with Mummy. I can’t let things just spill over indefinitely. But I can’t seem to finish it, and the hours – the blissful daytime hours, before the scheduled fun starts – slip away, every day.
Today I have a plan: do two half-hours on that chapter, then save it, print it and give it to someone to read. Stop doing it. Then do two half-hours on the next chapter. Save it, print it, stop it. Then see where we are.
You could really just go on faffing indefinitely with one bit of work, never quite get into it and never finish it. The procrastination bible says that this kind of procrastination requires a good, hard look at the value of real, finished, imperfect work, which you can do in the time available to you, as opposed to perfect, unfinished, ideal work that doesn’t exist (yet which you COULD do if you had ore time, more resources, more… whatever.)
How I wish that I could listen to the procrastination book properly and just DO WHAT IT SAYS and start early every day and get shit done.
Oh God, it’s eleven. Right. Two half-hours. That is my aim.