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Friday, 3 February 2012

A Harsh Lesson In Time Management

For the past week and a half I’ve been really ill.  I think I caught a bug and, having M.E., it became quite severe.  At my worst, we realised that I about 3 hours each day that I could use to do things in; but only low-energy activities (like watching an episode of Buffy) and if I rested every 30-40 minutes for a couple of hours (I even had to stop Buffy mid-episode to have a lie-down a few times). 

I won’t lie; it wasn’t a great week for me.  I hated having to rest properly just so I could watch an episode of my favourite TV show (especially as usually I use the time spent watching it to rest).  I hated not being able to shower.  I hated constantly coughing, which used up a lot of my energy.  And I hated that I couldn’t seem to sleep at night, no matter what I tried.

However, I was actually just as productive last week (if not more) than I usually am.  Having such a short period of time to work in meant that I treated my time with way more respect.  I still tried to do my 750 words most days.  But I also managed to get some important designing done by working for about 10-15 minutes and spending about 6 hours (some before, some after) resting.  And as I couldn’t just mindlessly sit in front of the TV, I realised that as I still chose to use my time to watch an episode of Buffy (seriously, one of the greatest shows ever), it must be important to me.

Of course not every day looked like the one above. Some days I didn’t do any writing.  Some days I didn’t do any designing.  Some days I managed to read a little.  Some days I listened to a radio play instead of watching Buffy.  Yet I am proud of myself for getting something done.  It made me realise that I am capable of doing something important if I really want to (I am terrible with procrastination).  And it helped me put in perspective how much energy and time certain activities take (for example, 10-15 minutes of designing uses the same amount of energy as listening to a 45 minute play and therefore needs the same amount of rest time in ratio to it).

My health seems to be improving a little now but I’m trying to continue using the resting strategy in the hope that I will be able to maximise my active time and start making progress at the speed I originally planned on.

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