True, it has resulted in my not finishing the essay I had set out to finish today, and if I don’t get it finished – well, that’s it. It won’t get finished, and unless I decide that I don’t want to hand in this essay worth 30% because I’ve gone insane, this is untenable. Thankfully I have some “whatever” scheduled after 10pm every evening this week, so it will get done. I think it says something about my procrastination habits that I actually have the privilege of scheduling “whatever” time for myself – 4 hours of it altogether – and still have so much trouble getting work done, but that’s not the point. The point is that this essay is over halfway written today, when it was sitting at about a quarter for the past 3 days, and what got it done was knowing that I only had a limited window of time in which I was even allowed to work on it. In fact I kinda cheated by pushing the deadline to 5pm; it was originally 4pm, but I thought it was 5pm originally anyway. I think I will move it back to 4 for the rest of the week, just so that I don’t go insane from overwork.
The point is that I stuck to schedule, and am now enjoying 2 hours of “whatever” before moving on to novel revision for 3 hours. Something tells me that 3 hours might actually be too long for what I want to get done, but worst-case scenario here is me finishing what’s left of my character-arc maps a day or two early. Which is not really something I’d complain about.
I’m liking this. It’s not so much scheduling tasks as scheduling time, and it works a lot better for me. The next step is to apply this system to the final six weeks of semester I’ve got coming up, over the course of which I have 5.5 assignments to write (one of the assignments I have to write this week is kind of split in half, serving as the body of a tutorial exercise that then gets developed after getting feedback from said tutorial). Which is less than one a week, and depending on how I go – I’m thinking that I’ll need a week’s worth of non-study time to finish each assignment, but that might not be the case. I might be able to finish them sooner, which means I’ll get more than a week off come end of semester.
I also want to have enough time every week to spend on my novel. I’ve had the time and just haven’t used it, and it may be that with essays to work on I just won’t have that time. I may have to settle for weekend writing, which is not what I want. But it would still be more than what I’ve got going on right now, so I can’t exactly complain. And having weekends free to completely devote to novel-work may work better for me than doing it in drips and drabs over the course of a five-day study week.
Anyway: the window strategy is working, and now that it’s almost 7pm it’s time to go revise this novel I keep complaining about not being revised yet. I remember the six months of anxiety last year over not knowing how to move forward; after this damn thing is submitted for publishing – no, once it’s published – I’ll have to read back over these entries and see how I managed it. I don’t even have 300 posts on this blog yet, and not all of them are even about Tallulah, so it shouldn’t be too hard.
And now …
I mean I like ending these posts with some kind of finalising statement, but I got nothing. Just going back to work. That’s just how it goes I guess.