One thing I’ve learned about schedules during the last week — they MUST be flexible! My schedule, however well intended, wasn’t practicable. Not that I’m giving up on it. Oh no . . . I plan to continue with this attempt at fixing my life. In fact, there were some positive results. But perfection is impossible so flexibility is a necessity.
This past week I took a lot of scheduled morning walks… which was a great way to start the day. I enjoyed coming home and getting right into watering the garden before making breakfast. I did good at writing the three morning pages every day but that takes me so long I’m often late to get to the computer at 10am for blogging. Sometimes I felt I was ‘running late’ most of the day.
Making that morning routine more difficult, Bob started a new prospecting project that involved having me drop him off at the river most mornings. The reason is that we noticed a truck parked downstream from us that had been vandalized recently — rocks thrown through the windows. We don’t want that to happen to our car so it can’t sit there all day while he’s working. Of course driving back and forth to his prospecting place wasn’t part of my schedule. I told myself that I must be flexible — that too rigid an attachment to the schedule wouldn’t work for either of us. While there I enjoyed watching him kayak across the river each morning, and managed to take photos of wildflowers while I was waiting around. The flower in the photograph above is St. Johns Wort – the well-known herbal depression remedy.
One day he wanted me to go out of town with him. Around here, going out of town means a two hour drive each way, minimum, unless we go over the hill to Oregon (summers only) which takes only an hour. Any direction we head out, it is time consuming. Out of town trips are not in my schedule. Again, flexibility is needed to work around the unexpected needs of life.
On Sunday he wanted me to go swimming with him! Swimming isn’t in my schedule either! More flexibility needed! However I managed to take my Alphasmart Neo to write about the swimming hole we were at. Now that’s double-dipping!
Now I’m about to revise my new schedule for the first time. I will definitely allocate more time to writing. It seems strange that I gave it only one hour. I need more than that to be effective at revising my novels. When I start a revision, I like to complete one chapter daily. It doesn’t make sense for me to do any less. Customarily I speed up at the end of the novel and revise two or three chapters each day. That’s because toward the end I get excited about reading and the revision work comes easier.
As to what works well, concerning the schedule… I found it took stress off my relationship with Bob because (1) He can see I’ve devoted my computer time to real work; (2) He can see when my breaks will be and has adjusted to using the computer when I’m not using it; and (3) He knows I’ll take time off during the day to do ‘real world’ things around the house and garden.
My challenge now is to revise the schedule so it allows more time for writing and flexibility. I know if I stick to the plan more things will get done. Efficiency is my goal.