I had a pretty rough week with regards to how I felt about my productivity. Now, I completed some tasks, and that feels good, but overall, I barely scraped through my must-dos. In the past, I would have just shrugged and moved on, but I thought I might try to figure out what had happened, and see if I could prevent it in the future. Or, barring that, keep noticing it until I can train myself out of it.
That in mind, I thought up a simple little review to help me figure out what went wrong—or, not quite right. I’m calling it the Resistance Evaluation. I took the list of all the things I said I wanted to do Monday and broke them into tasks I made progress on and tasks I didn’t.
For the things I didn’t, I asked myself “Why didn’t I want to do the things I planned?” For the things I made progress on, but not as much as I hoped, I asked “What would help me do better?” And then I asked both questions in general.
Some of them were really interesting and I’d thought I’d share.
Why Didn’t I Want to Do the Things I Planned?
- The daylight-savings time-change made me exhausted. Not just for one day—for the whole week. I’m still feeling it now!
- I wanted to read a good book instead. This one, I’m deeming perfectly wonderful. Reading is good, y’all. I have no problems with it.
- Didn’t want to gather supplies and tools to start.
- Needed to take measurements
- Didn’t quite know all the end-requirements of the task (put another way, didn’t know what I actually needed to do). This came up multiple times for multiple tasks.
- Rain. Rain all week.
- The work area was messy. Yes really.
- I was frustrated and needed a break longer than I gave myself. For the record, this one is also perfectly fine.
- I was overwhelmed by what needed to be done to finish this task.
- (Re: starting a new self-care related project) Felt as though I’ve already got a lot on my plate, and wouldn’t know how to fit it into my life.
What Would Help Me Do Better?
- Less phone time. My screen crimes were bad this week. Bad.
- More mono-tasking. I was bouncing all over. Usually because of my phone. 🙃
- Building stronger habits and routines so I know what I’m doing and when.
- No phones at the writing desk. I repeat: No phones at the writing desk!
- Moving a routine into the afternoons and make sure I’m mono-tasking.
- Move a separate routine into the time before my daily standup meeting. Otherwise I delay.
The conclusions are easy once I have a list. First thing’s first: catch up on sleep this weekend. I’m not sure how much longer the time-change will affect me, but I’m hoping a little sleeping in may solve the problem. Second, my phone needs to be less attached to my hand. It is the culprit in a lot of scenarios because it’s easier to check social media or read an article than it is to face something hard.
Other things of note: I need to remember that if I’m avoiding a task over and over, it’s probably because there’s a prerequisite or I don’t know what I need to do to be able to say I’m done. A mind map or other brainstorming tool would help, as would making “gather all the tools” or “clean up work area” sub-step one.
The one that worries me is feeling as though I’m too busy for a self-care project. There are two things at play here. One, I am critical to all of these tasks, so I must take care of myself. Two, I’m not that busy. If I worked through my must-dos every day (without my phone and mono-tasking), they would only take about an hour and a half. There are so many more hours in the day! So what’s stopping me? That one is going to take more thought.