Saturday, March 16, 2013

Finding Time

Time is a funny thing.

I've spent the better part of the last two years whining about not having enough time to do everything I want to do. Novels have collected digital dust on my hard drive, sketchbooks buried in desktop clutter, unread novels stacked in a tower to heaven... "I'm too busy!" I said. Between the day job, my semi-regular D&D group, and voice lessons, there was just no time.

Then, all of the programmers were conscripted to work Saturdays for February and March.

Since then, I've done some things:

  • Learned the basics of mixing and mastering music and started applying it to some old recordings

  • Started working on a video game with a coworker. I've done some coding, rough plotting, and mediocre sketches

  • Read 1.5 novels and most of the Hyrule Historia

  • Recorded a couple of (exceedingly) rough musical ideas

  • Spent several hours brainstorming a novel with Sarah

  • Started Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword and Double Dragon Neon

  • Started doing regular writing exercises

  • Started exercising semi-regularly (started C25k today!)


(I think you get the idea)

So what's going on? If I didn't have time to do anything before, how am I doing even more stuff now? Sure, everything I've started is moving pretty slow, but I don't consider anything stalled at this point. What's going on with that?

I recently learned about a concept called structured procrastination. I have accidentally given myself so many things to do -- things that are important to me -- that on a given night, there is one thing that I really want to do that is kind of intimidating, and roughly seven thousand "lesser" things available to take my attention. I procrastinate on one project for a bit and make progress on several others.

When I'm trying to focus my energy on a single project, it gets scary and I stall by watching Power Rangers on Netflix. But, multiple projects just bounce me around like a pinball, leaving me to watch Power Rangers on Netflix at my leisure. And! I'm currently reading Getting Things Done, so in a few weeks I expect to have a better system for managing all of this stuff, which means I'll be able to make even more progress -- plus, I'll be back to regular work weeks.