Achieving the Impossible: Day 24

Hello my lovelies and welcome to Impossible Towers where you’ll find the air is a lot clearer and calmer that it has been of late.

I rose late, refreshed from a  good night’s sleep and made a list of things I needed to do. I started work full of good intentions and within a VERY short space of time found myself demotivated, fiddling around and DEEPLY pissed off as a result of something very innocuous that had come my way.

Interesting, I thought to myself, what’s going on here? Whatever it is it’s not going to be solved by sitting here steaming about it, so maybe it’s time to go and do something different?

I had some errands to run to off I went – 2 lots of hoover bags, a birthday present for my god-daughter and some jiffy bags later (I lead SUCH an exciting life!) I found myself in Cafe Nero with a huge mug of Chai Latte in front of me and a blank notepad, about to write another conversation with the Universe.

This was a long conversation and by the time we’d finished chatting my hand really ached – I don’t know about you but I don’t do much sustained writing anymore and this was VERY sustained.

Oh, the things we talked about! The Universe is a VERY good conversationalist, I’m finding, and a very wise one. I realised that I was uncomfortable with the notion of taking things easy and giving myself a break, because I felt that I should be working at least 10 hours a day. I have been doing just that and I’ve ended up in the state you’ve been reading about this week because I’ve worn myself to a frazzle and lost sight of what’s really important, but there’s still a party of me going “Work, Damn you, Work!” and cracking the whip.

The Universe very helpfully suggested I look at how much of the stuff I’ve been doing for 10 hours a day has actually proven to be useful, and I had to admit that actually a lot of it was either not useful at all, or just reinventing the wheel. Part of the problem is not having a deadline to work to. I’m very pressure-prompted so when I know I have a deadline coming I produce a vast amount of really good stuff on time in a very short space of time. When there’s no deadline, I can footle around till the cows come home, changing things here, reassessing things there and generally not ever actually completing anything. Not helpful really, and certainly not conducive to making me feel like I’m actually achieving anything.

Well, said the Universe (not sounding one little bit like Mr T today) why don’t we think of some deadlines for you? Would that help?

Why yes! I replied, and instantly a deadline hove into view. I’m spending next Tuesday with the lovely Eli, my new Fairy Dust Sprinkler-in-Chief, and I want to have a good solid wedge of stuff to give her to start work on. So that’s the best kind of deadline for me – it’s not too far away, someone else is relying on me and I have something to achieve that I know is important.

Immediately I felt better, and went straight into planning mode. Instead of sitting there for another half hour going through all the other things I could do, and not deciding on any of them, within 5 minutes I had a plan of what I would do and I’d made the decisions I needed to make.

Then I got up, went home and got stuck in to 3 hours of solid work without looking up once.

And that felt like a good days’ work.

Funny really, I’ve always been a believer in the fact that it’s not about how long you spend at work, it’s what you produce that matters. I used to chafe against having to record the number of hours I’d been at work because that doesn’t tell anybody anything – and yet here I’ve been, getting hung up about “not working enough hours”.

I think I shall continue my conversations with the Universe – it’s seemed to me for the last couple of days that the Universe has been coming to me and telling me it’s time for our chat, so I shall keep heeding its call.

For now though, I’m off to heed another call – that of cake, laughter and friends!!

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