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Refocusing the Summer Schedule

School has only been out for a week and already my work schedule had been suffering. It isn’t that the kids cause any problems or distractions, at this point they’re self-sufficient. It is just that my brain knows I don’t actually have to get up when the alarm goes off. It knows that I can hit snooze multiple times without real consequences. So I do. And then it is 9am before I’m really moving on my day. Which means noon arrives before I’ve gotten much done. And then before I know it, I’m at 5pm. Focus is hard to maintain, the days have all gone ….mushy.

Howard is having the same problem. We have it every summer. I’m just getting a double dose because the urgent push to get a book off to print ended at about the same time that the kids got out of school. I’m cast adrift twice over, while simultaneously being very aware that if I don’t take care of non-urgent tasks during this space of time, they will become urgent right about the time when books and game screens arrive to subsume all my hours into shipping 3000 packages. I need focus. I need to make good use of my days so that I’m getting things done in advance of shipping.

So I’ve begun to schedule things on my calendar in new ways. During the school year the only things that go on my calendar are the fixed points: pick ups, drop offs, appointments, meetings. Then I let the other tasks flow around these fixed points. During the summer my calendar has almost no fixed points. So I have to take all those tasks which would usually flow and declare them to be appointments. Tomorrow at 8am I have an appointment with writing the bonus story. At 10am I have an appointment with the Planet Mercenary Game Chief secrets PDF. At noon there is an actual appointment with a child and an orthodontist. From 2-5pm I’m going to deep dive into improving our online store. By putting them on the calendar I’m trying to tell my brain what to focus on. Sometimes it works, other days I still get lost in the drift of the day.

The good news is that Howard and I had a conversation about all of this and we’re both going to be making a greater effort to help get each other up in the morning and to make sure that we have our morning business meeting where we talk about what we need to get done during the day. Hopefully that will help.

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4 comments to Refocusing the Summer Schedule

  • >>I need focus. I need to make good use of my days so that Iā€™m getting things done in advance of shipping.

    Focus is good! But, um… you may also need rest so that you’ll be ready to tackle all the big things coming up. (The morning snooze-fest might be your subconscious brain’s way of saying it’s time to veg for a few days and recharge the emotional batteries.)

    Which is a long-winded way of saying that if you give in to the dark side and do nothing at all for a while, perhaps the enthusiasm will return spontaneously. šŸ™‚

  • Ben Hunsinger

    I have found that meeting someone out for coffee/herbal tea, some one else self employed, to be beneficial in the snooze dept. When some one is meeting you it provides the forward momentum needed on those “#%&% it” days.

  • Derek

    Time to start a 15min “start the day” club at a local coffeeshop or the like?

    I’d be down for that! (of course that could also be prohibitively expensive come to think about it.)

  • Erik Berglund

    We solve the kids problem by keeping them in school. The third grader actually has more activities now than during the school year. The little one goes to daycare, and we make work, well, work.

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