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