Sammul’s Log: July 21, 2018
I’m writing this log at 11:10pm. I’m tired, and I have committed myself to a few too many projects.
I spend at least a few of my waking hours every day working on those projects, which usually turns into going from project to project from when I wake up to when I go to bed.
It’s exhausting living life one day at a time. With barely enough time to confirm what my next plans are. Usually, I have to figure that out while on my way to my next plans.
When I can manage it I love to have a weekly schedule that I hold to. Something that I can look at in the busy times and get some respite from the chaos. I’m always willing to change that schedule, but if that’s the case, then I want to keep to the new schedule and make those plans work.
I was joking earlier in the summer with my brother about how my plans typically change multiple times on any given day. Not that other people’s plans don’t change, I understand that I’m not the victim. I just want to understand what is going on and what I can do to keep them from moving around so much.
What’s worse is that it’s not even huge plans that change. It’s the little things that make the whole sequence of plans shift. The annoying things. Like someone needing a last-minute ride to work, and I have to put down the project I just got started and go help out. Or maybe I plan to spend an hour between events that day preparing for something else and run into an acquaintance who likes to talk. Or maybe the project I’m working on takes longer than I planned, or maybe I slept in past my alarm, or someone can’t make it to rehearsal when I specifically planned on rehearsing their scenes. I end up re-working my plan, or my schedule, in mid-execution. As aggravating great practice in multitasking, and I enjoy the challenge.
The other day I was at work using those multitasking skills to work on two or three projects at once and making good time. A coworker walked in and commented on my work
“It’s just like bowling,” she said.
I said I didn’t know what she meant and she responded: “You’re setting them up, and knocking them down, just like bowling pins.”
I smiled a little to myself a little because I hadn’t ever thought of it that way, and it was an amusing way to look at life.
“It’s just like bowling” she said.
I recognized that these stressful situations and constantly changing schedule has been a help to me. It’s helped me to attain a valuable skill. Multitasking, intensive scheduling, punctuality, and respect of others who create their own daily grind.
But living this kind of life isn’t always a 90s montage. Often it’s stressful and running all day long to meet commitments. It’s exhausting.
I find myself every once in a while needing to take at least a full day to just sit back and intentionally do nothing. Not in practicing laziness, but just to recover. I have also found that if I don’t listen to that urge to chill out, I end up sick, and it takes a couple of days to really recover from that.
Another lesson I’ve learned through this busy life of overcommitment is that rest is a very important aspect of productivity that I don’t think everyone uses correctly. Often if I don’t give myself one day, or most of one day, out of every week, it only takes a short time before I need multiple days of rest to feel 100% again.
Rest is a very important aspect of productivity.
Even after all of the time off, I’ve found that it usually takes me even more time after that just to “get the engine warmed up” so to speak. It’s like you have to “rev up” to be creative, or productive, or something. For me, that typically involves music in some way, shape or form, and if I can spare the time, it probably involves some exercise as well.
Point being, rest is good, when it’s used correctly. If you let yourself run dry, then it’s more difficult to get the proper rest you need and you end up wasting time, or sick. It becomes a more difficult task trying to get back to that fast-paced lifestyle again. I’ve found that I work the best if I give myself about one day, or at least most of a day, once a week to spend resting and taking it easy at home. To recharge and prepare to kill it the other six days of the week.
So all in all, remember this when your life seems to be off the rails:
It’s ok to take some downtime, even if you aren’t fatally ill. Watch a movie, or go for a walk. Give yourself time to recover from the past and prepare you to take on the future, because rest is good when it’s used correctly. Appreciate the moment you’re living in, and make that your focus.