Last week, instead of setting specific writing goals, I set bottom lines. They didn't work as well as I would have hoped.
1) I will only do one thing at a time by monotasking with a timer to hold myself accountable for all things prone to attention splatter: dissertating, tweeting, reading blogs, writing my own blog, and doing Yogademia work.
This actually worked out okay. But I have to become even more focused on the monotasking within a task, like sticking with one webpage at a time instead of moving on to something else while I'm waiting for the site to open.
2) I will not postpone yoga because I feel I should be blogging or reading first. Practice first; blog after.
I didn't postpone it; I actually just didn't practice twice this week, but made it all other days. The first time it was because I was blogging, and the second was because an emergency bike repair offered Darcy and me the chance for a spontaneous mini-date while my bike was in the shop. I'm still not getting in the time I want to, though.
3) I will limit my tweeting to 30 total minutes per day, and limit e-mail time to a maximum of 90 minutes to be batch-checked ONLY at 7a.m. 11 a.m., and 4:15p.m.
With all the links people put into twitter, this doesn't really work. So I regrouped it into my daily inspiration-gathering time, but to be honest I fell off the timer wagon for that one as well. Batch-checking e-mail only at limited times is going pretty well though.
4) I will spend at three hours working on Yogademia daily, but NO LESS THAN two hours of that will be spent writing and drafting posts, and NO MORE THAN one hour on inspiration-gathering.
Crikeys, that was ambitious. I ended up spending WAY more time than that on Yogademia last week, and that really didn't work so well for my pursuit of balance. I need to learn to write shorter posts and spend time revising rather than perfecting. Perfecting has officially become a problem for me.
5) I will dissertate for five hours daily and cross 20,000 words this week (about 2300 each day).
I made it to 15k words, and really can't go any further for the moment. This is the conclusion chapter, but the problem is I'm still waiting for supervisor comments on three of the other four chapters I've written in the last six months. Without those comments and working through my other chapters first, I have to stop where I am for now. So the chapter will ultimately go well over 20k I imagine, but not for a good few months yet.
Sometimes I felt like rather a hypocrite last week, blogging about balance when I wasn't feeling terribly balanced myself for all the time I was spending on the computer. Saturday was spent doing a ton of post writing and drafting for the coming week and the last week of August when I'm away from my computer for five whole days. I didn't do my Artist Date (unless you count Saturday as an all-blogging retreat) this week, didn't sort out a reward (which, let's face it, I didn't earn), and missed yoga twice on top of all that. [Cue Bronx cheer.]
The problem is, because I spent so many years moving around for research, I started putting everything on my computer: yoga classes, blog, work, play, skype, music, running maps, fun creativity exercises, recipes, etc. Literally, my entire life is on the computer, and you can't write about life and balance and all those other wonderful things unless you're away from the computer. Well, duh, but why is that so freakin' difficult? The last thing I want is to be attached at the hip to my laptop, which I will admit is more true than not.
Any tips on how to step away from the computer? Without feeling guilty?
Goals August 16-22
1. Complete conclusion chapter draft and send out to advisor by/before Friday.
2. Complete Yogademia posts for this week by the end of Tuesday
3. Complete Yogademia posts for next week by the end of Friday
4. Begin a blogging-free week on Saturday
5. Daily yoga practice, with 75-90 minute practices at least three times this week, preferably four.
6. Move away from my computer as much as possible within all that.
Artist Date: an hour spent streetcombing
Reward: To celebrate the completion of my full dissertation draft! Five days of computer-free cycling holiday in Scotland with Darcy staying in a 16th-century tower (our original plan to cycle along Hadrian's Wall wasn't going to work out schedule-wise).