Monday 8th February 2021
I fall for this every year! I get past the financial glut that is January when everyone is poor, reach February, and start craving new tools.
I tell myself that if ONLY I had some device or other then my work would benefit. I’d be able to do X, or be able to do Y more efficiently.
Nine times out of ten it’s a trick your brain plays in order to justify procrastination. I can write with just a basic computer and notepad if I needed.
The trick is to identify the itch that want is trying to scratch. I’d like to be more productive in the evenings when I have distractions all around me. I need silence (except music) to write, so the idea is that I use the evenings for planning and admin when there isn’t the need for such solace, and in doing so free up my days for more writing.
I also am trying to take more notes this year. I’m doing pretty good at those. I wrote a ton of notes from the Netflix zooms from last week. But what I haven’t done is tidy them up. I’m watching Youtube videos of people who make their notes look beautiful and I’m a bit jealous.
Yes, I’m sure my notes could be tidied up to make them more digestible, but it’s not like I need to memorize them. They are just there for future reference if I need them.
And after reading a bunch of comics at the weekend, there’s part of me that feels I need a decent tablet. One with a stylus so I can highlight things to edit in prose I’m revisiting, or make pretty notes with.
And there’s my issue. Because there’s a good chance that a tablet might be really helpful in freeing up a lot of my day. But I can do everything that I potentially could do on a tablet on my phone, and do I use my phone to do half the tasks I think I could, even though the screen size makes it more difficult?
I hate this, because it eats up so much brain space and if it was a cheap purchase then I’d just buy a tablet and be done. But I’ve done the maths and for the setup I’d realistically need – even downgrading slightly – it’s still quite expensive.
The danger is that you end up chasing productivity, through the need for software, hardware and gimmicks, rather than knuckling down and doing the work. My way of dealing with it is to let it sit for a few days. Sometimes I’ll wake the next day and the need will have disappeared. Other times the need will persist. That’s when I’m more likely to cave in to myself.
One thing is for sure though. I need to take a look at my tasks and review them. Am I trying to ask too much of myself in a pandemic? I mean, stuff IS getting done. I am being productive, but I’m not being hyper productive. That might be a problem with scheduling. That might be to do with task clutter. Or it might just be general pandemic lethargy.
And no new gimmick or tool is going to fix that.
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