DSB: If You Want Something Done . . .

quotation-marksIf you want a job done, give it to a busy person . . .

I’ve heard that said before and, while I was working, knew this to be true. I was stupidly busy on my initial team as deputy team leader and the work load only increased as time went on. I didn’t get any more money (no, I’m not still bitter -_-) but I did get through a hell of a lot more tasks. So I understand a bit of my work ethic.

At home, working for myself, it’s all a little different, but the basics are still the same. I need to show the same level of organisation, forward planning and discipline as I did then, even if the rewards are immediately visible (y’know, in the form of a monthly pay wage).

There are LOTS of things I want to get done and, lately, I’ve not quite been as good at doing. This isn’t because I wasn’t working hard—because I bloody have been!—but because I’m not working in a smart and/or efficient way.

Studying the last few months I see lots of nights tucked up in the house at night, ignoring the other half, hammering at the things I want to get done, working through a list that never seems to ease off.

No more.

No more! no sign from opeclipart

Credit: skotan

In order to look after myself better and to spend more time with my children and my (amazing, supportive and just all-round WONDERFUL other half) I need to be smarter about how I spend my time. I need to identify my best working times and utilise those. I need to understand what jobs I can do well and which ones need to be delegated or outsourced. I need to give less time over to useless and empty activities like trawling my Facebook feed and looking up silly memes.

But . . . I also need to eat healthier and move more and sleep more. Some of those things I’m already taking care of and if you didn’t know, I have another blog which focuses more on me as an increasingly healthy (hopefully) person.

These things are all connected, whether I want them to be or not and I’m test driving a couple of new changes to my lifestyle to see how they affect 1) my health and 2) my writing.

More Sleep

Sleeping blue star from Wikimedia Commons; LadyofHats

Credit: LadyofHats

Sleep is important. I can no longer deny that I’ve not been getting enough of it and that the nights that I’ve managed 7-8 hours of sleep are followed by days that are far happier and efficient. I need to do more of that, which means getting to bed well before 12am which, once upon a time, was not unusual for me.

Yes, yes, I know that in my days as a free and happy single (!!!) I’d go to bed at midnight, wake up at 6am, do my yoga and then go to work. Unfortunately (or fortunately?) I’m not that person any more. I’m a mother now. I’m a writer full-time (ish) and I’m running my own business (yes I am!). I’m also one half of a couple and it’s no longer just me I need to look after. Not that Dave can’t look after himself, he’s totally capable, I only mean that there are more people to be aware of now and not just my children.

Things need to change and for me to be bright, cheerful and functional DSB, I need to be a well rested DSB.

So, from now on, bed no later than 10pm, 9pm would be better if I can swing it. *nods*

Shifting Schedule

closed diary clipart from OpenClipArtWell . . . going to bed so early means I’m going to lose at least an hour of work each night. No two ways about that. But I figure, if I’m strict enough about my bed times, I can put that hour in the morning instead. This way I’ll still be getting my 7-8 hours of rest, but my work time is split across morning and evening.

This is for two reasons. 1) Mornings, apparently, are good for me (if I can just get out of bed). I’m fresh, I’m awake and pretty much unscathed by the trials of the day. It’s a good time to get first drafts down, for instance and means that the most important job of that day (writing!) is done before the day starts. 2) I do a lot of snacking in the evenings. I eat a whole heap of baaaaaaaaaaad foods which all contribute to the problems I discuss on my other blog. Going to bed earlier automatically stops me eating at those late hours because I’ll be asleep! That smells like win, if you ask me, and I’m keen to see what sort of difference this change has on my health over all.

More Time Off

friends, cat and dog from openclipart

Credit: alexanderalexander

Yeeeeah, this sounds crazy, but I’m starting to realise that the more time off I have, the more work I get done when I am working (thanks Maria! You’ve said it to me so many times, but now I’m actually doing it I can feel the difference). It doesn’t have to be much, but at least twice a week, I should be looking into doing something that’s just for me. Whether it’s going to see a film, or hanging out with my friends.

My friends . . . they’re so good; they appreciate what writing it is to me and how important it is, but between that and my children I so rarely see them now. And that just kills. I’ve also seen in what was actually a rather upsetting and painful way, just how distant I’ve become from some of my friends. Things were happening that I knew about in a vague way, but the true impact of the things caused more ripples than I knew. People were really, really hurting and I wasn’t around.

I felt—and still do—feel terrible. That’s not the sort of friend I want to be and I know that giving more time to those relationships (that I honestly do treasure and value) will make me a better person and a better writer. Both things I want very much.

Clipart lemon from OpenClipArt,

So that’s what’s happening! I won’t promise to check in with you about how that’s all going, mainly because I’m also considering reducing posts to this blog in the near future. That’s a a post for another time, but be aware that a reduction is on the cards. What I will say is that if this goes the way I hope, the results will be pretty obvious in how the rest of the blog functions when Ileandra and Raven have their turns to speak respectively.

I’m going to be busy. Very busy. But I’m going to be busy in a way that doesn’t drive me into the ground and keeps me a bright and happy person. Wish me luck!


About Da Shared Brain

I am the mind behind Ileandra Young and Raven ShadowHawk. They call me da shared brain (DSB) and I quite like it, so I thought I'd make my presence here known. You won't hear from me much, but enough to remind you that I'm here.
This entry was posted in Da Shared Brain's Posts, Real Life Chatter, Saar's Legacy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to DSB: If You Want Something Done . . .

  1. What a good positive post. You won’t regret your new plans and you’ll feel all the better once you get stuck into it properly. I’ve just completed three weeks of my new writing regime, and as a former night owl, I’m now happy to call myself a lark.

    Like you, I’m busy all day, hell it is miraculous if I get any writing done between 8.30am and 10.00pm such is my lifestyle of work, chores and family life. Starting to write after 10pm is something I could do relatively easily ten years ago, but now I am too jaded. So tired I can’t think straight.

    Now I write at 6.15am for between fifteen and forty minutes depending on my schedule. I do this every weekday, except for Friday’s when I also write for an hour plus in the evenings. Saturday and Sunday I’ll do another couple of hours, but it may be I’m doing other writerly stuff. Apart from taking part in #writingchat on Wednesday, and attending Phoenix Writers on Saturdays, that is my lot as far as writing is concerned.

    Like you, I realised I needed sleep for all sorts of health reasons, and mostly I do try hard to be in bed for 11.00pm these days. Although I want to stay up and watch catch up TV! I’m making a conscious effort to lose weight, and look after myself too. I’ve cut out all the rubbish I used to eat and I feel so much better for it, in all sorts of ways.

    Regards doing something for yourself, I am so glad you’re going to get this back on track. Sometimes, I have to force myself out to go for a swim, or a drink with a mate, but it does me good, and I’m always glad I’ve done it.

    There is always more I wish I’d done. However, I’ve come to realise, I can’t have it all, all of the time. My new plan allows me to do most everything I want to do though…just not at the pace that was making me feel grumpy, overwhelmed, undervalued and knackered!

    Great idea to look at all you ‘outgoing time’ see what you can cut, or cut down on. Get a plan for the week ahead sorted.

    Seriously, I have an exercise plan, a writing plan, a social plan and a work schedule. On top of that, I’m planning all my main meals at the moment too (Healthy Eating Plan) which involves cooking them too, with the exception of Thursday and Saturday when I give myself time out of the kitchen!

    Good luck with your plans.


    • That sounds like all sorts of awesome!
      I’m not nearly as organised as all that yet and I still have a long way towards figuring out what works best and how, but so far I’m glad just to be taking the steps. I’ve had a couple of set backs or ‘bad days’ but largely, this change is doing good things for me all round. This week I should be popping out to the pub at least once and, hopefully, spending my Saturday doing writerly things with like minded buddies, so it’s looking good all round.

      What’s most telling is how I sleep now that I’m getting more of it. I seem to be sleeping deeper and getting more out of it, even on the nights that I don’t get as much as others. Fascinating isn’t it, how starting something can kinda snowball into other good things too.


  2. Pingback: IY: Walking The Razor’s Edge Progress Report | Writing: A Conversation Without Interruptions

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