I’m trying new things this summer. Nothing particularly momentous, but I am convinced we need to keep our brain working: I saw the effects of ennui and apathy and they fill me with dread.
So in the last two years I’ve been keeping an eye out: learn new things, explore new ideas, and what else. Keep the neurons firing.
After all, one of the first explorations of new topics I undertook was a course called Aging Gracefully, and they made it very clear that to age gracefully you need to keep the brainbox clicking (and live long enough, of course).
So this summer I’m taking on three new – or not so new – projects:
- I’m trying to refresh my Japanese (target: be able to understand a movie or a song)
- I’m planning my first microadventure (next week!)
- I’m taking a five-weeks plan about time management and procrastination
I already talked about the other two projects, let’s talk about the third.
Procrastination is wasting time.
Now this is a very delicate subject: I am (barely) paying my bills by writing, and when you are a writer you are always writing; writing is not just the mechanical act of typing a text, and we can be doing “writing work” while we wait in line at the supermarket, as we go on a walk, as we watch a movie. We collect and organize idea, find new themes, learn new things, plan future projects.
This means two things
- sometimes we need to find time to do something else, to stop thinking as writers
- we can’t be sure the time we spend looking at the clouds or at a blank wall is really wasted time
So, the point here is twofold: building for myself some downtime in which I can manage to forget about work (that’s a project for this autumn), and identifying the moments in which I am actually wasting time instead of doing something constructive.
Once identified, these true instances of procrastination need to be solved.
This is the current project.
I need to be more efficient when it comes to writing, mostly because I do a lot of work that needs to meet a deadline, and because wasting time leaves me emotionally drained.
But not only – it’s not just a matter of writing: I need to stop delaying the tackling of various issues. Dealing with offices, bureaucracy and banks is something I find particularly off-putting, unpleasant and stressful, and I need to solve that, too.
So I got me a handbook – because remember, I am one of those guys that believe you can learn everything from a handbook. The book in question is called Stop Wasting Time, and was written by time management specialist Garland Coulson, a.k.a. Captain Time – OK, so at least the guy does not take himself too seriously. I like that.
I like the idea of a plan that works in layers, for five weeks. It looks manageable, and so I’ll give it a try.
The text is pretty quick reading, so I can really prepare a chapter on the night of Sunday, and then apply the principles in the following week.
Ideally, by the end of July I should be a new man.
OK, c’mon, let’s be serious – I should have a better grasp of the dynamics that cause me to waste time and feel like I was trampled by heavy horses two days out of three.
I start tomorrow (that’s ironic, isn’t it?)
Week the first: getting aware of when I am really procrastinating, what I am procrastinating, and why.
Sounds like what I mentioned above, right?
I’ll let you know how it goes at the end of the week.
And then, I could always write a book about procrastination for writers…