Friday 28 June 2024: Executive decision

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I was at my desk fairly early on Thursday morning as I had a dentist appointment in the middle of the day, for which I had to factor in travel time there and back too. I’d allowed myself 3 hours for this one item, which was ridiculous. It only takes me 20 – 30 minutes to drive there, depending on the traffic, and the appointment itself was also only around the 20-minute mark.

I got back home well over an hour earlier than I’d put in my diary and in future I’ll allow 2 hours for the dentist: 30 minutes to get there, 30 minutes to get back, and up to 60 minutes there (which is important if the person in front of me takes longer than their designated slot or if I end up in longer than expected, or if I need recovery time too).

Because I got home a whole hour earlier, I was able to put some boiled eggs and some pasta on the stove to eat with my salads. I do like a salad in the summer and at the moment it feels like summer in the UK. Once I’d taken my dinner hour as well, I went for a walk around the village. I’m far too sedentary and dehydrated most of the time and it’s having a knock-on effect on my health.

I’d bought a walking fitness app. I could have paid £12.99 a month or £20.99 for the year, so I opted for the annual plan. I think I could have had a 7-day free trial, but at only 20 quid for the year I thought I may as well go for it. I did the first walking workout, going in search of our one and only Commonwealth war grave (I found it!), and when I got back I settled down to my writing with depth workshops.

Each ‘week’ worth of episodes is taking longer than the designated hour, especially when I have lots of notes to write. I’d been one day/week behind all week and was currently on Week 3. But I decided to move that all along by one day because it’s a lot of information already to pack in without making it a double session, and it was wearing me out a bit.

That made me revisit my hourly issue. I DO need to get up earlier and start earlier. But I still have too much to pack into each day and I haven’t given myself any proper wiggle room. So I made an executive decision to remove one thing from my daily schedule. There simply aren’t enough hours in the working day to fit everything in at the moment. And something had to give.

It’s the regular short story. I try to brainstorm Friday, plan Monday, write Tuesday, revise Wednesday, proofread Thursday and submit on Friday, starting again with the next one, each one a week apart from the last, so that I eventually have a new story going out at least every week, and 5 stories on the go at any one time.

But with a novella to write, a non-fiction to write, a client book to edit, and (currently) extra learning, that’s already 8 hours a day. I was allowing myself 1 hour for the learning, but with the notes as well, it’s taking up to 2 hours.

I’ll still write a short story every month for 12 STORIES IN 12 MONTHS, but I don’t have the full 5-week window in which to schedule this as we don’t get the next month’s prompt and word-count until we’ve submitted the current one, and they’re 4 weeks apart. That one really messes with the OCD at the moment and I have to lump it all together into one week to get the brain to feel comfortable with it.

I’ll still write stories for assignments too, as and when. Some of those I have a week to write it in, sometimes a day. Anything else, I’m going to just try and write it when I get the urge. Perhaps I ought to reserve an hour a day or half-an-hour a day for ad hoc story work, or organic work, or something.

I mean, it’s not as if I’m not doing *any* writing. But the books need to take precedence at the moment.

With admin too, though, I could do with each of the time-allocated jobs taking less than their full 2 hours. Perhaps I can do Just One Thing every day, to keep on top of it all.

I was a bit disappointed I couldn’t get it all to work, but also relieved. I shouldn’t have to be chasing my tail all the time and I don’t want to any more. But next week’s diary will be filled in with 2-hour slots, which I’ll be working on today.

Grand-doggy #1 is coming today, though. Around midday. And he’s staying the night. This is the giddy nutcase who zooms around the garden and the house because he loves running through open doors and thinks our garden is a dog park. Do I foresee yet more work that doesn’t get finished…?

Have a super weekend!

3 thoughts on “Friday 28 June 2024: Executive decision

  1. It’s a good decision. I also think taking it off the schedule will free your brain to think up more stories, because there’s not the pressure to create to schedule, but the freedom to create around the schedule.

    Have fun with the dog!

  2. Thank you – watch me suddenly get inundated with inspiration to start writing copious numbers of short stories!

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