habits, life, observation

A Day to Myself = A Day I Get Nothing Done

On the days when I work, I can accomplish the following:

  • Practice martial arts for at least a half hour
  • Read 50 pages or more in a book
  • Write three pages for a story I’m working on
  • Film a couple videos for my YouTube channel
  • Run errands
  • Post 3 times EACH on Facebook and Twitter
  • Spend time with my girlfriend

And what do I do on a day like today, when I have it off and I could accomplish anything I wanted?

NOTHING!!!

Oh, wait. I texted a contractor about some work he was supposed to do on my house, took down some recycling, and texted hello to my kids. In other words, nothing out of the ordinary.

Why is that? I don’t get it! How can I have more ambition on the days when I have less time?

Can anyone help me solve this mystery? I really need to solve it because there are a lot of holidays that will go to waste if I can’t figure out where my motivation goes. It doesn’t even do me any good to project into the future and imagine the regret I will feel; I just sit there thinking, “Well, I’ll deal with that when the time comes.”

I just need to figure this out!

busy, habits, observation

Being Too Busy or Too NOT Busy Causes Me Anxiety

I’m sitting here in front of my computer, wondering what to write. I have no idea. I’m stumped. This is the only thing I have to do this morning, and yet my blank mind means I can’t get it done. The funny thing is that if I left for work before writing it, then I would have anxiety all day over how I had to finish it when I got home.

That seems to be how my mind works.

One weekend per month, my kids don’t come over. This is that weekend. It also happens to be a holiday weekend. Since neither my girlfriend or I work on Monday, I decided that I was going to kick some major butt when I got home last night, and I would complete all the tasks I planned on doing over the weekend. That way, when I get home from work tonight, she can have me all to herself.

I made this decision around noon yesterday, while I still had four hours to go at work and could therefore get none of it done. What were the tasks at hand?

  • Finish writing a new novella
  • Submit my old novella to a whopping 65 review sites
  • Discuss some money plans with my girlfriend
  • Rearrange some things around the apartment
  • Format a few more pages of my novel for publication on Amazon

For the last four hours of the shift, I was neurotic about getting home to get all this done. When I got home, I was a whirlwind of activity. My girlfriend made dinner while I tore through the apartment. She told me dinner was ready, and I didn’t want to stop long enough to eat, even though my stomach was growling so bad that it hurt. I just wanted to get everything DONE.

And you know what? I did. I completed all those tasks I just listed and then some, making it so the only thing I had to do this morning was write my usual Friday blog post. So how do I feel about that? Do I feel relieved? Accomplished? Proud?

No. I feel bored!

Now is this because I think clearing my schedule so I can go straight to spending time with my girlfriend is boring? No. Not at all. It has nothing to do with her. How do I know that? Because I have been this way for YEARS. If you ask “how many,” then my answer is: “as long as I can remember.” For some reason, I just can’t be without a dozen projects to complete, even if I know that dividing my time means I take that much longer to complete each project.

I can’t explain why. Maybe it has been the fault of my ADHD, but then again I am on medication for that now. With that in mind, I would say that my need to spread myself too thin is a habit. Now it’s my goal to break that addiction!

Do any of you have a similar compulsion: anxious when you have too much to do, bored when you have too little?

I’d love to hear about it. Please comment below!

~~~Steve

 

everyone, habits, life, observation, universal

Strange Habits We All Have

Ugh…I didn’t get to do anything that I wanted to do this morning because, for some reason, my alarm was set to go off only on Saturdays and Sundays. Luckily (or unluckily, depending on how the day goes), I woke up just in time to get ready and not be late for work.

Still, it irked me to no end that I missed out on my morning ritual of getting up, having a cup of coffee, and then taking care of various tasks. Writing this blog is one of them. The other two are: (1) submitting my novella Maybe the Dream Knows What is Real to ten blog sites that accept submissions for reviews and (2) properly formatting at least 5 pages of a novel I uploaded to Amazon.

Out of everything I just wrote in that last paragraph, there is one word that stands out: “ritual.” Routine. Habit. This is what inspired today’s blog because it got me wondering: “What peculiar habits do other people have?” I just revealed a few of mine, although you might not realize it. Let me describe things a little deeper, and you will see what I mean.

Submit to at least 10 book review websites

How is this a peculiar habit? Simple: I have a list of over 600 websites that accept submissions for review. However, I can’t think of the list as a whole. If I did, then it would be too overwhelming for me. (“My God…600 websites to submit my book for review!!! I’ll never finish!”)

Also, aside from having to submit books I already wrote for review, I’m also thinking of ones I want to publish. When I upload them to Amazon, I know the formatting doesn’t translate exactly how I want it when I view it on Kindle. That means having to revise and reformat (more on that shortly).

Last but not least, as of this writing I do this only on weekday mornings. That’s because I have my kids on the weekends. The last thing I want to do is ignore them while I type away on a computer.

Therefore, I had to break down the list to a number that would accomplish three things:

  • It wouldn’t feel so daunting.
  • It would leave me with time to work on other things.
  • It would leave me with a sense of accomplishment by the time I was done on Friday morning.

I settled on the number 10. Multiply that by 5 weekdays, and you get 50. That means in two weeks, I have reached out to 100 sites. At a rate of 100 every two weeks, that means I will have contacted all these sites in approximately 12 weeks/3 months. Then I can give myself two weeks off, and start from the top again.

Formatting at least 5 pages of a novel I uploaded to Amazon

In MS Word, the novel comes to 195 pages. If I do 5 pages per weekday, that means I do 25 per week. 4 weeks would be 100. That means I would finish reformatting in about 8 weeks/2 months. That might seem “long,” but believe me: it takes me a while to slog through those 5 pages because I am very particular about how the writing will look on the Kindle. This means I agonize over those 5 pages. If I tried to do more than that, I’d burn out.

Miscellaneous

Here are some other areas where I have strange habits:

  • When it comes to debts, like a credit card, I plan out how much I am going to pay them by dividing the amount I owe by 10.
  • When I read a book, I count the number of pages and divide that by 10. If there is a remainder, then I read a couple extra pages on the first day. (EXAMPLE: A book is 303 pages long. Divided by 10, that would be 30 days, but there are 3 pages left, so I will read 13 pages on day 1.)
  • Let’s say I come up with a list of CDs, movies, and books that I want to buy. What I will do is look at my calendar for my next few paydays, and I will pick one item from each list to buy on those days.

What quirks/strange habits do YOU have?

Please feel free to share them below. I promise: there will be no judgment here!

~~~Steve