Cariad Eccleston

Just a gin-filled dork.

Day -173: I want to work harder than this

13 January 2019

I feel a bit like I wasted the week.

I’ve got book to write, and I just didn’t get my ass in my chair and get on with it. In fact, I can’t think of a single day last week when I got home from my day-job, sat myself down, and got a couple of hundred more words down.

Now, let me tell you the two reasons why I didn’t work as hard as I – now, looking back – wanted to:

  1. I was tired.
  2. I let myself get distracted.

Fixing my health

Many, many years ago, I used to do a daily run (by which I mean, jog) (by which I mean, walk) along the beach every morning.

And I loved it! I always felt mentally and physically better afterwards. I genuinely looked forward to it.

The only reason I quit was because it was a struggle to fit into the day. I already had enough things that I wanted to do, and I started staying up later and later to work on them. That meant I started waking up later and later.

Soon, there wasn’t enough time in the morning, so I tried running in the evening. And I hated it. The beach was busy. It wasn’t fun. I came home feeling worse, not better.

So, I quit.

But damnit, it’s time to bring it back.

Map of my run.

Map of my run.

I’m not going out daily. I’m still getting into the routine. But good golly damnit it feels awesome to be out there again.

I’ve given up working as late as I used to. That means I’ll need to focus a bit more, to get done what I need to get done. But on the flip side, the running means I sleep a bit better at night; I guess exercise does that to you.

I’m hoping this’ll help with my health in a bunch of ways. Sure, I want to lose some weight. I want to lower my heart rate a bit, and breathe a little easier. I also want to feel more energised during the day, and sleep better at night.

And so far, I think I’m doing okay!

Fixing my distractions

If I’m aware that I’m distracted, I can quite easily pull myself out of it. This isn’t a matter of me convincing myself that “it’s okay to take a night off”. It’s just that I sit down, start watching YouTube, then suddenly it’s three hours later.

My plan here is two-fold:

  1. Just get back into the routine. Damnit, I know I can do this. I had great velocity last year, before Christmas break. I suppose I just haven’t shaken off the break yet.
  2. Starting titling these blog posts with a countdown of the number of days left before the book needs to be done and the next one on the way.

The passage of time is horrifically unfair. If I’d knuckled down on my goals back when I recognised them, I’d be done and successful by now. I want to punch procrastination in the face.

This year has to be different. For a dozen reasons, this year – after all other yearsabsolutely needs to be different.

I know can I do it. I’ve got the confidence. I just… don’t have the focus to sit down and get on with it.

That’s changing. And Thursdays are a start.

But, Thursday!

I said last week that I was going to start dedicating Thursdays to my personal goals, and I’m gonna say that was a marginal success this week.

I didn’t get up to Exeter as early as I wanted to. I’d planned to get up there for 8am, but I didn’t even get on the bus until 9:30am. I spent far too long fucking around with vlogging.

But as soon as I got to the library, I was in the zone. I got my head down, I worked, and it was awesome. By lunch, I got my wordcount up to 2,676 – which isn’t as much as I wanted, but I was a couple of hours behind.

2,676 words written.

2,676 words written.

I took a break for lunch and wandered around the city to stretch my legs, then returned to the library.

And… yeah, in the surprise of the century, it was crammed. There was nowhere to work.

And so, my wordcount stuck at 2,676 and I went home.

Figuring out a regular working schedule for Thursdays

Relying on a workspace at the library is clearly not going to work out. I don’t want to make a habit of paying for the bus up there, and being stuck without a desk.

I also don’t want to work from home. Well, honestly, I can’t work from home. There are too many distractions, and I’ve never done my best work at this desk.

So, I’ve had another look at co-working spaces. I kinda ruled them out a long time ago, after I assumed the library would be a fine option. But I do need an option that offers me a better chance of a desk.

There are a bunch of options in Exeter, but next Thursday I’m going to check out Propeller:Exmouth.

I’ve never used a co-working space before, so I don’t really know what to expect. These places call themselves “collaborative”, so am I going to be a bad cultural fit if I just want to put my headphones on and work by myself? Does “vibrant” mean “noisy”?

And realistically, what are my chances of getting a desk when I need one? Am I going to pay a monthly subscription, but get turned away once a week? Twice a week? Will I need to turn up at 9am to claim a space, and lose it if I go out for lunch?

I have no idea. Let’s find out on Thursday?