Today’s goal: constructive procrastination

I had intended to write today. And a lot of it, too. Here it is 9:16 and I’m not feeling like it at all. I want to want to write, but it’s not happening, not yet anyway. So… I’m going to try something different so I don’t end up spending the day reading silly articles (some aren’t so silly but I don’t need any more advice!). I’m going to let myself procrastinate, but I’m going do it constructively.

First up, I’ve been watching my “Publishing” folder on my computer grow too large, full of redundant files and backups—the most problematic being the excessive number of GIMP files I have. I’m going to clean it out so I can start backing up to my free Dropbox space again (I do also back up the folder to OneDrive which gives me 1 TB of space, but I like Dropbox and want to back up there too but my folder size had ballooned to the point that I can’t do that any longer.)

Second up, I have an office (upstairs) full of books and other junk that needs cleared out. I’m going to arrange the books on the shelves of the bookcases I moved up there last week, maybe sort them and choose which ones I’m going to take to McKay’s the next time I head that way. (Trade is the way to go—I get enough for books and DVDs that I can then take back and trade again if I discover they’re not keepers.)

I have a lot of books. Some of them I keep for sentimental reasons, most because I still haven’t read them yet. The plan is to turn that office space into a library (and office), and convert my current library (what’s supposed to be the small formal living room in my home) into a study and reading room. I’ve been using it for that anyway ever since I moved a desk into the room, and the office upstairs is more suited to a lot of bookcases and doesn’t have the problems with bright morning sunlight that the room I’m sitting in right now has. The sunlight has already bleached the spines of many of my books, and I really should have moved them out of here a long time ago.

Third, I have access to my 1099s now and most of my other tax documents. Although I’m waiting on a few more 1099s, I can definitely start my tax filing for 2015. I keep excellent records and there’s no reason not to start if I feel like starting. I might reserve today for creating my 2015 file folder and copying all relevant files into it.

And you know what? I think I’m also going to go ahead and run my master backup. It takes a while since it basically copies my entire hard drive and uploads it to OneDrive, but I figure the computer will be plugged up most of the day, so why not? I’ll start that right now, in fact. :D

So, that’s how I’m going to procrastinate today.

I’m actually looking forward to it. I love digging into projects of this kind. I enjoy organizing things. :D

And if something happens and I decide I’d rather do it later, maybe I’ll procrastinate by choosing to write instead of work on one of these projects. ;)

Time spent on post: 9:16 to 9:54

More reading—productivity tips for artists

I’ve been procrastinating again—or, really, I never stopped. I’ve pretty much spent the entire day reading articles about productivity, flexible schedules, fixed schedules, procrastination, and tiny habits. Today’s most interesting find was “How to be Productive When You’re Lazy – A Guide for Artists” at rubberonion.com.

I do just about everything mentioned already, but it set off a few thoughts that I’m still trying to follow to their endpoint.

The thing is, I have huge aspirations for the next 12 months. I want to write a great many books this year, and I’m not off to a strong start. Frankly, in the bluntest of terms, I haven’t started at all this year.

I obsess too much about how productive I’m being (or not being), and I don’t give myself enough real* downtime, which usually sets off a cycle of procrastination that eats up significantly more time than I might have if I’d just given myself permission to be lazier. ;) These aren’t points of the article/post but they’re the thoughts that came into my mind while reading the post.

Anyway, more to think about as I try to get myself back to writing every day.

*TV watching is not real downtime! (Something I’ve only recently accepted.) When I watch television/videos, I don’t ever end the time feeling better, more rested, or more energetic than I was when I started. Comparing it to something else: reading often makes me want to start writing, but TV almost never does.

I am procrastinating, but I used the opportunity to make a decision

I’ve been looking for a good case for using sentence case instead of title case for my post titles, and I’ve finally found one.

I found Are you Team Title Case or Team sentence case? today, and although I should totally have been able to say to myself, “Self, it’s okay to use whatever case you want to use,” I haven’t found it to be as easy as all that. I have continued to waffle on the issue, as a look through my archives could prove. (This is a pattern in my life in so many ways, I tell you.)

My favorite reason from the post?

4. Sentence case mirrors human-to-human communication style

Human beings don’t send each other texts, social updates and emails written in title case – that’s the mark of a corporate voice, someone trying to sell us something or make an official proclamation to a mass audience.

It’s sentence case for my titles from now on.

Accountability Check-in: 1/21 Thursday

Yes, I’ve skipped several days from my last accountability check-in, for a couple of reasons: there hasn’t been anything to post and I’m still not liking this set up and I’m thinking of axing it (already, I know!). But it’s actually been kind of hard to remember to post when I’m not getting things done, and that’s really the only time I need the accountability. When things aren’t working, it doesn’t make sense to continue them, and this was started on an impulse, so there’s that too.

The one thing I’d definitely like to mention is that I have stuck to my coffee ban and I’m still quit. :) My mood has stabilized and I’m feeling great about the decision to quit coffee again. I hope I stay quit for a very long time.

  • words I’ve written in 2016: 668

Accountability Check-in: 1/17 Sunday

Accountability, a day late. :)

  • Wrote 25 words (scraped them out into Evernote at bedtime to continue the new “write every day” challenge I started Saturday)
  • Read at least 2 pages of fiction today
  • Daily learning: 1 Spanish lesson
  • Did not drink coffee or any other caffeinated beverage!
  • Watched a lot of TV (too much really): Galavant (which I adore, bought at Amazon), The Mysteries of Laura (on Netflix, first episode, not bad, will definitely watch more), Parks and Recreation (on Netflix, much funnier than I imagined and I like it a lot more than I thought I would), State Fair (an old 1945 movie musical). I like TV, but I want to watch LESS in 2016!

My caffeine headache returned with a vengeance yesterday afternoon, although the morning was okay.

My ankle is very sore in several places still and still swollen, but it is definitely healing. The stairs are still a problem, but only when I’m going down. I’m going to try driving today, so we’ll see how I do with that.

I wish I was doing more, but I think I’ll get back there soon. I’m starting to feel like this is me recharging for another run at a period of high productivity. :)

 

Accountability Check-in: 1/16 Saturday

  • Wrote 164 words (began a new “write every day” challenge)
  • Read at least 2 pages of fiction today
  • Watched 2 design tutorials (see below)
  • Did 2 push-ups and 2 sit-ups for the Tiny Gains Challenge (week 2 day 2)*
  • Practiced another language lesson (Spanishduolingo). I finished basics 1 today. I now know what “Yo como” means. I apparently still do not know how to say “I eat bread.” “Yo como el pan,” maybe? What I’d really like to be able to say is, “I’m going to bed early, tonight. Goodnight!”
  • Quit coffee and stayed quit today. :)

I’ll figure out something different for these accountability posts tomorrow. Tonight is done and done. See ya!

*My challenge is to do the sit-ups and push-ups 3 times a week, increasing the number of push-ups and sit-ups by 1 every week.

Both of these design tutorials showed me how simple it is to add a background. There are definitely tricks to making the images blend, but it’s not scary at all to do. The next biggest thing I’ve learned so far is to not be afraid to play around with the images, lighting, colors, etc, to make the composition come together. It’s art.

Caffeine Withdrawal—Again

Last night I decided I had to give up coffee again. I started slipping up about a month or two ago, having a home-brewed cup every so often. Then I gave up grinding beans and using my coffee press in favor of single-serving bags as a way to drink just a bit without the hassle. Just a bit turned into morning coffee 6 days in a row and afternoon coffee once. And yesterday, I had an episode of irritability that really reminded me of one of the benefits of quitting caffeine/coffee for me: mood stability.

So here I am, going through withdrawal—again—and struggling with a headache when I’m supposed to be writing.

I hope this is the last time. It might not be, but I have so many reasons to stay away from caffeine, if I can only remember them (and think them as important!) in the moment.

Accountability Check-in: 1/15 Friday

You could say that my fiction reading habit took over my life on Friday. I read most of the day and enjoyed the rest of the book I mentioned reading on Thursday (Frost Station Alpha).

I also read many articles about procrastination, because I feel like procrastination has a stranglehold on me at the moment. I just cannot seem to get restarted with my writing—or anything related to it.

Friday evening is when I realized that caffeine is doing me no favors and that I was starting to develop a coffee habit again.

  • words: 0
  • fiction reading: >2 pages
  • falling behind on my tiny gains challenge!