How to make progress

So, maybe it wasn’t quite clear in the other two posts, but I had a rough week. I guess it all culminated with my bf wanting to talk about my situation. Those who know us and him, in particular, know that he is not exactly a chatty kind of guy.

By my situation he meant, among others, my strong willingness to sleep long hours, my high sugar in-take and the fact that I spend way too much time in Stars Hollow when I should be writing.

Now, to hear him wanting to discuss with me about my state was a sign for me that my state is not exactly producing joy for others. By others I mean him. Especially because there are not so many others in my life at the moment, given the fact that I maintain my conversations, be them real or imaginary, mediated by phone or computer, short. In-person conversations are even more difficult to arrange, so let us forget about them for the time being.

So, going back to our discussion, in which I talked more than I listened (of course I did), I realized I felt sad that day. Tired, with a genuine desire to produce quality work, but depleted by realities too far apart from my ideal ones, grateful, while stressed, for the context I find myself in, as I oscillate on a scale ranging from depleted to excited hitting all kind of states.

The talk lead to no results for the evening, as all I ended up doing was to binge-watch some more and get in bed by 22:00 pm. However, it produced some results after I woke up rested the following day.

I realized that there is a pattern. I get sad and feel completely depleted about once per week. It’s when I hit rock bottom. It’s when I question everything I do. It’s when I am totally unsatisfied with all I achieved through work, which at times was not easy. And it’s usually during the “weekends”. This semester, my schedule allows me to be on a “weekend” on Thursday evenings and on Fridays. It’s when I do the least productive work of the week. No, it’s when I do no work at all what so ever. It’s all about the self care, which includes a good portion of sleep and not-so-healthy-self-talk.

I usually feel horrible during these days, because my “self care” includes tons of self criticizing for not putting in the work I should do. So, there I am, relaxing and giving myself a hard time for daring to relax. At times, I am not so hard on myself, knowing that in the next days I will be up at 4:30-5:00 am, switching between projects, eating while working with breaks for going to the gym, walking to/from work and doing some last minute shopping for groceries. But there are these other times when I forget to get some perspective.

This morning I realized that if I want to make any progress, I need to stop looking at my time one day at a time. Instead, I should look at my days in perspective, in weeks or chunks of days, in order to get a more realistic picture regarding how I spend my time. It may be because I was reading about it in my kindle version on the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.*

In the end, I am on an important deadline and it makes sense to experience both deep sadness and deep gratefulness. One without the other is simply not possible. What made my day great though, was the fact that this bf of mine stayed with me for about 30 minutes, until I got into the mindset I needed to get some quality writing done.

*I am not paid to make the reference, but I am a researcher, so I am making it anyway ;)!


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