You’d think taking a break from work means a vacation. You’d think of long hot showers, getting lost beneath the shadows of skyscrapers in New York City, watching the people go by. Window shopping for hours. Reading at a cafe, where you sip a latte, its frothy milk shaped like a leaf. You’d think of enjoying video games (and actually finishing them!) for hours, just like you did during high school, when you had no responsibilities.
But that’s just the thing. Taking off from work doesn’t mean you also shed your responsibilities…actually, it just brings even more to the surface. Without work to exhaust me, there’s no GOOD excuse for me to avoid getting things done.
Things I have been trying to accomplish on my time off:
- Plan a Philippines trip for me and my sister. Less than 30 days till it happens!
- Create a new demo reel to become employable again.
- Construct my first Halloween costume in years!
- Finish all the random errands I put off for months.
It sounds like a small list, but everything has become infinitely complicated, with branches and branches of smaller-but-still-important decisions growing out of each. Add to that, despite having an awesome L-desk and monitor set up at home, it is incredibly hard to concentrate here. Not only does my computer house my work tools, but it also has my Steam games and the INTERNET (goddamn you all), and all the temptations to draw something in Photoshop. My 2nd screen is also a TV, connected to my PS3. Pokemon X and my 3DS XL are always just an arm’s length away. And worst of all….MY BED IS 2 STEPS AWAY!!!! I constantly feel its gravitational pull, sucking away my self-control. And once you’re in it, this full-sized bed expands to 10 x 10 miles long. There is no escaping it, once it has you in its fluffy clutches!
What Keeps Me Sane
My To Do list, pictured at the top of this post. I need the constant reminder of what I’m supposed to be doing, else I just squander this time. I could have all of eternity to do something and still not get it done, if I’m here in my room! I also use Evernote to jot down non task items that I want to remember. At first, I tried to just remember them….because as my high school history teacher often said,
“We don’t take notes to remember – we take notes to forget.”
I tried remembering. But you know what happens when I do that? “Hmm….there was something I was supposed to remember instead of putting it in to Evernote…what was it?” How sad is that – all I remember is that I was supposed to remember something!! Pointless! So I give up, I’m jotting down everything I can. And if you never used it before but have a similar problem to me, Evernote is AMAZING. They have a desktop version and a smartphone version, for all platforms, and they synchronize to each other. So whatever I write on my computer-Evernote will show up on my phone, and nothing gets lost. It’s got a cool “web clipper” function too, where you can take snapshots of webpages and read it later on your phone, without internet access. Great for subway reading :) Oh yeah, also it’s free!
But getting back to my To Do notebook, I do find that the routine of writing with a nice pen on real paper is something that really helps me. It’s like when you’re studying in school, doing rote memorization…the only way I could do it was by writing my notes over and over. The act of writing it helps my mind remember and, most importantly, focus on what I’m supposed to do. No computers to look at. No distracting game apps on my phone to “accidentally” boot up. It’s just me and this notebook and the things I have to do.
My goal is typically to get 3/10 things done from my list. Anything more than 10 is unrealistic. Anything more than 3 is bonus. If I don’t get 3 things done, well, I’ve officially squandered the day.
Welp, I’ve written too much already and procrastinated too long. Back to my non-work work!