It’s been a hectic summer.
Kicking off with an enjoyable convention trip in May, my last few months have been wrought with trips, a promotion that increased my weekly hours by about 40%, various assorted weekend obligations, Long drives for short visits, a 48 hour film challenge, and then a two weekend recovery period from all the motion.
And that’s not me complaining. Contrary, actually: I love it.
I’ve always pushed myself, loaded my schedule with activity in an urge to be busy. I keep myself just near overworked. At any given time, I’ll have multiple writing projects going at once. I take on extra, more leisurely busy tasks to fill the gaps, like prepping RPGs for my friends or finding chores to be done around the house. Researching trips for my Wife and I to take. Scheduling future events in my life.
I just decided years ago that I preferred to be busy, to always have options of what to do at any given time. I think it’s important to keep your plate full. Maybe not full, but at least have more than a few chicken tenders on said metaphorical plate. If you replace one completed task with a new task and consistently build on top of your work load, you rarely/never stagnate. You’re constantly able to strive for something, achieve goals and checkpoints. You’re constantly rewarded with progress.
Granted, there are obvious downsides. Overloading yourself can leave you stuck in a constant state of incompletion. I’ve been there, for sure. It sucks. You have all these projects and none are reaching their pinnacle. I’ve learned the easy balance there is simply making sure at least a small portion of your dedicated tasks are easily achievable. Mix short term goals in with long ones. If you find you have a very hefty load of intricate, duration heavy tasks, simply agree to place one aside and bring in some lower risk/commitment tasks as backup. The balance is important to avoid fatigue and even anxiety that can form from being endlessly short of a finish line.
The second thing is just general fatigue that arises from being mentally and physically busy all the time. This is something I had to learn the very hard way and honestly didn’t learn on my own. It took the help of my friends and my wife to get me to realize that from time to time it’s okay to just slow down. I’ve always been obsessed with utilizing my time to its full potential. As I’ve said in an earlier post, I became OBSESSED with constantly being productive. Leisure time left me full of regret. It’s important to remember that taking time to heal and rest mentally IS productive. Productivity by definition is “the quality, state, or fact of being able to generate, create, enhance, orbring forth goods and services.” Resting, recovering and generally rebooting IS a service, just one that you give to yourself. In much that way I’ve slowly broken down the wall of hate I have against sleep. I still don’t get much, honestly, but once I know when I need to take the time to catch up and recover.
Anyway, this isn’t a “I’ve figured out the secrets to a productive life” post, because who has really? This is just my method. One among many. I stay busy. Keep my plate as full of delicious projects so that I never feel like I’m lagging. The hard part was learning that lagging sometimes has its place on that plate. It’s like the dessert at the workaholic buffet.
Now excuse me while I enjoy this tall glass of workahol.