Tuesday started really late for me. This was too bad as it was the first day of the new year and I had great plans to follow.
The problem was, we got up late, and we got up late because we binge-watched the first series of Happy Valley on Monday night. I didn’t bother suggesting we watch it when it first came out because I thought it was going to be a bit happy-clappy. And then we saw the trailers over the Christmas period and decided to watch it from the beginning and if we didn’t like it, we could discard it.
But we liked it. A lot. And we watched all six episodes of the first series, finally going to bed at something like 4am Tuesday morning. Not a great start, especially when the poet also had a three-day business trip to set off on.
The good news was that the three-day two-night trip was shortened by one day and one night and brought further north, so he didn’t have to drive so far and he didn’t have to be away for so long. So we packed him up and off he went.
It’s not just us who have to get used to the working regime again after a three-week holiday. The pets have had ALL of our attention, pretty much, for the last three weeks and they’re not used to having to wait their turn. The cat in particular was a bit shouty. The dog soon settled down.
The poet bought me a lovely new Smart watch for Christmas and one of the things I set up on it was a pomodoro.
It’s fine having the pomodoro on the computer, but if I’m not working on the computer, then it doesn’t work so well. It’s fine having the pomodoro on the mobile phone too, but if a call comes in, the incoming call over-rides the screen and I can’t pause the pomodoro.
Now I have it on my wrist, I can work anywhere, and I can pause it if the phone rings… although if the phone also comes in over the watch then I have to wait until I’ve answered it on the phone before pausing it on the watch.
Despite being late to my desk, I was determined to work down my tasks in order, starting with my own work for the first few hours and client work for the last few hours. The only time constraint I have at the moment is walking the dog at sunset. On Tuesday, this was at around 4pm.
I started with an easy one, ‘daily competitions’. I’ve not done this since the end of November, so there’s a lot on there to catch up with. I was determined not to fritter the entire day on this, so instead set a pomodoro and did what I could within that time – which is set at 50 minutes working, 10 minutes break + 60-minute long break every 3 pomodoros. When the bleeper went off, I finished the one I was currently on and closed down the competitions site. I’ll start again today and should soon catch up.
For my first break, I went to make a cup of tea, but then I skipped the remaining break time and started the next pomodoro straight away. This was partly in a bid to claw back some of the time I’d lost starting late. I started the next pomorodo and drank my tea at the same time.
Pomodoro 2 was a Dean Wesley Smith video workshop. As part of one of the kickstarters I backed last year, I ‘won’ three quarters of monthly motivational Mondays. In yesterday’s pomodoro, I was able to fit in two weeks’ worth of these motivational videos, including a general introduction to the series. Topics covered included:
- time management
- ignoring critical voice
- planning ahead
- setting a schedule
- what to include on the schedule
As I was coming to the end of this session, the dog decided he wanted out. So I paused the pomodoro on my watch, paused the last of the videos, and took the opportunity to follow the dog’s lead. When I came back to my desk, I restarted everything for the last 2 minutes and when the next break came along, I skipped ahead to the next pomodoro because I’d already had my break.
Next up was starting this blog post. I have a folder for my date work and as this date work won’t be starting until July (thinking ahead), I’m using the first six months to jot down what I’m doing (how I’m spending my time) and what I want to include on the blog, ticking them off as I go along. This will continue throughout each and every day, but I’ll update the blog as I go along.
The next thing that was part of this session was this week’s book review – yesterday’s blog post. I’d already created the graphic for this post on Canva, and saved it, so that saved some time. Then I drafted the review on the blog before copying it to everywhere else on the internet:
I started to go off on down a rabbit hole on Medium and had to drag myself back, then I added what links I could to the NetGalley review and updated my Trello board for NetGalley books just as my bleeper went.
I grabbed something to eat and caught up on some friends’ blogs before taking the dog on his sunset trot. It had just started to rain, so he wasn’t very happy about that. He did have a bit of a shout when he saw two other dogs, though. And we were greeted by what looked like an alien steaming towards us that actually turned out to be a female jogger in hi-vis clothing and with head and hand lamps. On our way back into the house, I brought the grey wheelie bin in with us.
It was dark by the time we got back from our walk and even though I hadn’t done very much work, I was feeling tired. So for the last pomodoro of the day I decided to head down that social media rabbit hole after all and start to tidy up all of my platforms.
I revived my SubStack, deleting a load of old material that isn’t really relevant now, and I added some content to my KoFi page. I also chose a nice photograph the poet took from our last holiday and made it my cover photo on several pages.
Really, I’m trying to reduce my social media time, so I’ll be looking at ways to streamline all of these platforms and perhaps convert one or more of them to generate income. I can do that on KoFi, SubStack and Medium. But first I need to come up with content that merits such fees.
I had my tea in front of the computer while I carried on with the tidying, and I stacked the dishwasher so it could run overnight. Eventually, I switched everything off at 10:30pm.
Today needs to be much better, and it will start by me hitting my desk a lot earlier than I did yesterday. I have to get back into the swing of doing some of my stuff in the mornings and doing client stuff in the afternoons… or I have to decide to dedicate just whole or half days to one or they other.
I’m already thinking about allocating whole or half days to writing, admin or client work in order to get into the right mindset for whichever type of work I’m doing. I do like the variety of switching between work types, but I can also see the value of getting into one mindset and staying there.
I have an errand to run today, but as the poet is going to be around at the end of the week now, I might see if he wants to drive us over instead. It depends on how well the workload goes – better than today, said she hopefully.
Games & TV
I play two games on my tablet. One of them I only play in the evenings, the other I play throughout the day, although I’ve recently started to only play that one in the mornings after my social media surfing and during the evening when I play the other one. I had three worlds in this particular game too, and it’s one I abandoned more than for years ago and came back to about six months ago. (Fool!)
I need to stop one or both of these time-suckers and perhaps spend the time reading (with earphones in if the poet’s watching something on telly), or knitting, or sewing, or watching telly with the poet, although I think I already watch too much television. Once upon a time I wouldn’t even turn the telly on until about 9pm and I still try not to watch telly until after tea. Now the telly’s on in the background while I play my games and watch it over the top.
This needs addressing… I’ll fit it in somewhere, along with faff time. I must include faff time so that it doesn’t impact on everything-else-time (too often).