My work week post-Time Travel in Screen feels very weird. It’s not stopping me being productive, but it’s more of an adjustment than I thought. It’s like all the brain muscles I’d use for anything else have atrophied, and I need to rebuild them. I think it’s also that when I started the book, I was still working on Demand Media stuff, and now I’m not. Writing articles for them always imposed a mandatory “you need X dollars, so work X hours on Demand” structure to my week and it feels odd that at the moment I’m completely freewheeling. It’s nice to have unfettered freedom on my writing time, but hard to learn to use it effectively. Random observations:
•If I went as far as I could on one project during one work period I switched to something else. Which is smart—smarter than wasting time on unproductive work—but it’s very easy to start bouncing randomly through projects (this one! No, this one! No, this one!) and lose time that way. I need to just switch to one thing and stick with it, but it’s hard to know which thing it should be (especially if I’m tired and all things seem impossible).
•When I wake up in the very early morning, I’ll often fool around for a bit before starting work. I think I need to start work ASAP, so that I can get as much done as possible before my body notices I got no sleep. More generally, being tired is much more disabling than when I was able to watch time-travel movies and count it as work.
•I’m trying two different approaches to structuring my work day. One is the Pomodoro method: 25 minutes focused work, five minutes break, repeat; at the end of two hours or ninety minutes, take a big break. The other is to work 45 minutes, then take a 15 minute break (this only reduces hourly work time by about five minutes). The latter makes it a little easier to do things during the pause, but I must admit the Pomodoro seems to keep my focus up as I have more frequent breaks.
•Giving the dogs heavy petting and stroking before they start asking does seem to keep them happier — i.e., they’re less likely to demand attention while I’m working. However this seems to wear off around 3:15-3:30 when Plushie decides it’s time to go out (not for urgency, he just feels like it). I’m going to see if refusing and/or ignoring him will teach him to wait patiently for when I say we go out.
•Afternoon is definitely weaker writing time for me than morning or evening. I don’t work evenings because TYG is back and I want to devote the time to her. However next time I know she’ll be busy in the evening, perhaps I’ll try a long afternoon break and make it up in the evening, then see if that ups my productivity.