So the first two weeks of my new time-management method have gone pretty well. For anyone who doesn’t want to click through, I calculated that my regularly scheduled breaks for various reasons (stretching, making tea, petting dogs, walking dogs) equals about 2.5 hours on a 9.5 hour day. So if I just take 2.5 hours total during the day, without worrying about when, I’ll get as much done and have more flexibility (for when dogs freak out, I need a nap, whatever).
(Yes I’m using Dali’s Persistence of Memory, courtesy of wikiart, again. What can I say, I like the painting. Copyright remains with current holder)
I’ve found going this route makes up much easier to keep track of my non-work time and not go over (I had some troubles Tuesday—heavy napping—but I made it up the next day). I’m also finding that as I have a single pot of time to work with, I’m less likely to start browsing stuff online and reduce the total pot (which tends to go down pretty fast).
Unfortunately this doesn’t help with stuff that shouldn’t be optional, but is. Getting up to stretch. Breathing exercises. Meditation. These are all things I try to work on during the day (stretching particularly) but knowing I’m taking out of the big pot discourages “optional” short breaks. And as usual, “the puppies are sleeping so soundly, if I get up they’ll start needing attention” and similar thoughts discourage getting up at all. I know, it’s a bad decision, but once I’m on the couch between a dog panini, there’s a sense of immovability that seizes me. Even though sitting with the dogs most of the day makes stretching even more desirable — to keep them comfy, I sometimes wind up contorted into some awkward positions.
Another problem is that if I’m taking five minutes at regular intervals, that distributes the non-writing time throughout the work day. Thursday, on the other hand, I had a whole 2.5 hour block in the morning (take the pups to day care, exercise, deposit at the bank, stop off at Rite-Aid). I find it annoyingly difficult to recast how much time to spend on different projects the rest of the day when something like that happens.
Overall though, so far so good.