Tag Archives: Productivity

Being Okay With Lazy

The past two days, I’ve been a bit…lazy. Instinctively, I felt like I needed to beat myself up about it. My To-Do List wasn’t getting any shorter and there was so much time that I was wasting, especially after having such a productive Monday. But I’m writing this post to remind myself that this is okay.

Here’s what an ideal day is like, for me, in the summer:

Wake up at 9am. Either run or go to the gym. Stretch. Lay out by the pool for an hour and hopefully read for a bit. Shower. Make lunch (and dinner, since I work through dinner time and need to prep it beforehand). If I have enough time before work, sneak in some PS4 time. Then, go to work, where I’m lucky enough to also have time to write, blog, do things for my internship and various other stuff from the To-Do List, on top of daily work stuff. Come home, maybe sneak in some more PS4 time or an episode on Netflix before going to sleep. Smile, rinse, repeat.

Here’s what the past two days have looked like:

Tuesday, I work up to my alarm at 9am. Snoozed it. Woke up at 9:30am, felt good, still had time to run and swim and eat and relax before work. But I really just wanted to stay curled up in bed. So I did, dozing on and off (with bloody weird dreams) until about noon. Then, I played Shadows of Mordor until it was time for work, frantically getting ready because I just wanted to kill a few more orcs before I left.

Today, I got up at 9:30am but instead of going to the gym or swimming like I planned, I went straight back into Mordor and slayed, once again pushing it to the brink, time wise, rushing to shower, dress and grab some stuff for dinner all in thirty minutes.

That’s two days where I didn’t work out at all but had plenty of time to. Didn’t swim or tan (and I’ll be honest and admit I’m really digging working on a tan), even though the weather was totally perfect for it. I didn’t use some of my free time to actually accomplish some things so that there wasn’t so much pressure crammed into my evenings. Instead, I just relaxed and got way too invested into Shadows of Mordor, which I’m replaying (and will hopefully actually beat this time) before Shadows of War comes out in the fall.

I keep telling myself I should feel guilty, that I wasted all this time. Except I shouldn’t. And I didn’t.

Sure, if every day could be as productive as my Monday was, I’d be pretty jazzed. I’m obviously very capable at being productive. I’d also get burnt out, really fast. Plus, is all that productivity suddenly ruined because I consciously decided to let myself just be lazy for a few days and enjoy one of my favorite passions? Especially knowing that, once I go full-time next week at work, that free time with the PS4 will be much more limited? Am I abandoning my goals because I chose to be lazy instead of pursuing them?

Not at all.

I’m choosing to believe that being lazy for a bit is okay.

Granted, if I started to give up all my goals for weeks on end, then we might have an actual problem to address. It’s a fine balance, staying productive and chasing dreams and goals, while also letting yourself unwind and relax. If I was choosing to not pursue my goals because I was in a massive depressed rut, that is also something else entirely. But I’ve been generally pretty okay the past couple days, emotionally, and instead of forcing myself to work out or swim or be hella productive, I’ve just let myself give into some orc-slaying pleasures and be lazy. I have a feeling I might even let that laziness continue into tomorrow, before I drive into a busy weekend. And next week, I can get back on track with routine and knocking my goals out of the park. Because a little indulgence, every once in a while, it’s okay.

It honestly is.

Plus, those orcs aren’t going to slay themselves. (Maybe each other, sure, but Talion and I have work to do.)

Cheers.

Advertisements

The Power Over Your Own Mentality

I got a lot of positive feedback regarding my The Demons of Doubt post from yesterday (which I really, really appreciate; thank you). It also brought up an idea inspired by my own musing and discussions that I–having that writer’s soul–decided to craft a blog post around: mentality. But not just that, but pointing out the obvious–yet still difficult to wield and control consistently–power you have over shaping that mentality.

Today was a good day for me. I slept in (despite having weird dreams), took a shower and shaved (Lord, that was overdue; also, you’re welcome for that slipped in TMI moment), picked up the house, did some laundry and started replaying the Trespasser DLC from my favorite game, Dragon Age: Inquisition, because I just want to understand those twists a bit more (and get killed by Qunari again, apparently). All of this I did before work, which I’m currently at. While at work, I managed to reply to some emails, learned a new aspect of my job I didn’t realize I needed to know, completed my To-Do List for work, did some critiquing for a new writer I’ve connected with and now am writing this blog. It’s been a solid, productive day.

Oh, I’ve also been stuck in a limbo of putting off reading the last 200 pages of the book I’m currently devouring and finding the perfect moment to sit down and read those last 200 pages. Because I know once I open that book again, I’m not closing it until it’s done (I won’t have that much self-control). Yet I’m also not ready for it to be over, since the next book doesn’t come up until November. But that’s a blog post/review that I’ll be hitting you with this weekend, so stay tuned.

Throughout the day,  my situation–and the fears and stresses paired with it–came up in my thoughts over and over. Sometimes, I shut it out. Yet commuting, I failed to shut them out, so I contemplated. I mused. And instead of focusing on what was stressing me out, I thought about some of the goals I want to work towards. Writing wise, I not only want to write more consistently, but I have a work-in-progress to complete, a finished trilogy to trim and polish and another series (perhaps two or even three!) to draft. In other aspects of my life, I want to find another job. I want to start working out again. Eventually, I’d like to find an apartment or tiny house that I can nerd out in by decorating with gaming posters and LOTR décor.

These goals, and more, I want to accomplish. And my mindset this weekend would have set me on a path of impossible thinking; a path believing that I couldn’t accomplish all of those goals (some of which are needs) because of all the Catch-22’s punching me in the throat. Repeatedly. Yet today, instead, I thought about how I could make things work. My monologue went something like this as I drove down the back roads that had become so familiar:

So, there is this job as an international student advisor I’m stoked about and really wanna apply for. Need to do that. If I get that, commuting is going to be hell. So will eating. How am I going to work out? Well, the Rec is open until midnight, so if I bring my gym clothes and go run for 30 minutes and shower at the Rec, I could drive home afterwards and get roughly 5-6 hours of sleep. Yeah, that’s not happening until I move to Lawrence. I’ll walk Shadow until then. I really need to start doing that again. Oh, sleep. I miss you so much already. Better sleep as much as possible while I can. Meals…geez, that’s not going to be fun, but if I cook four meals between Saturday and Sunday, I could pack leftovers for dinner most of the week. Portable lunches are easy and cereal? Easy. Writing time? Part-time job. Bam, done. Weekends, too. Gotta keep that high on the priority–ohmygosh, look, a beaver! 

One: I know, it’s scary inside my head while I’m thinking. Two: I really did see a beaver on my way to work tonight and yes, I was really, really excited about it.

I’ll sum up what those thoughts actually mean, in the grand scheme of things. I do have a job in mind for a second job that I’d love to apply for that works 8-5, which would make my work day 8-5 and 6-10. So yeah, commuting would suck, sleep would disappear, long hours loom and trying to eat healthy might become even more challenging that it already is. But it is obviously doable (as my ramblings above eventually got to). And it’d be easier to manage once I moved and financially would help, a lot. And, if I got that job, I’d be working two jobs where I would be happy, which is a big deal to me. Plus, I am really lucky to have a part-time job currently that, once I complete the To-Do list left for me and after I make sure the students are on-task, allows me to do whatever else I please while I’m there, as long as I’m present and available. So blogging and writing time can easily be squeezed in there. If that is suddenly taken away, that’s what my weekends are for. If NaNoWriMo has taught me anything, it is how much time you really have for anything, if you give it priority during your time. And I’m not afraid to give writing that priority, any more.

So what does all of this have to do with powering your own mentality? This weekend, I focused on how difficult life is and will continue to be for me. Tears ensued, my mood was glum and I wasn’t very productive, to be honest. Today, I faced the same facts–life is difficult and some aspects about my situation are hard–but instead of focusing on how hard they are going to be, I focused on my goals and tried to plan around the difficulties. I tried to find solutions, even hypothetically while I drove and got excited about spotting tiny animals. And that is a switch in perspective from my weekend and it shows, not only in my mood today (which was great!) but also in my productively levels and the hope and excitement–and yes, of course, still fear–I now feel towards the future after making these tentative plans and potential schedules.

Does this mean that I’m going to be Miss Positive Thinking throughout this entire process? Nope, not at all. Are tears still in my future? Definitely. Will I still get stressed out, feel shitty and believe everything is impossible? Yep, occasionally. Yet I also got a solid reminder, reflecting and juxtaposing my two experiences and mentalities regarding my current situation, that I do have some control on my mentality. I can actively work to have a better mindset, even when things get hard. And when I fail to do so, that’s okay. It’s important to remember that, because those emotions–that stress and fear–are just as valid and important to feel as elation and joy and courage and hope. It’s a mixture of all those emotions that will help me be successful, especially if I believe that I will be, despite whatever wants to get in my way (if this concept is completely missing you, watch Inside Out. Go. Right now).

So that’s what I’m going to refocus and do: believe in myself and actively work to keep my mentality positive, open and flexible.

Cheers.