20 for 2020: week 34

My 20 for 2020 list.

Monday beach walk

What did I want to do better this week?

  • Go to bed on time.
  • Plan my days and stick to the plan. This will be really important over the next two months as I complete my uni work.
  • Abandon the idea of 15 minutes creative time every day and find two time blocks within the week when I can work on my creative projects.

So, how did that go then?

It went well! I was in bed no later than 10.32 every night. I think I need to start packing up slightly earlier that I have been though, so I don’t find myself jumping in to bed at 10.30 and getting changed into my PJs in bed just so I’m in bed before the clock ticks over. (Yes, I really did that one night.) That is really lengthening the bow. Even five minutes earlier would be enough.

I have been doing a lot better at planning my day and sticking to the plan. At least for the first half of the day. By the end of the day I’m getting tired and am less likely to do it. But I’ve made progress.

And I feel a lot less guilty for not doing 15 minutes of my art every day now that I’ve decided to stop trying to do that. I achieved my goal of doing two longer sessions during the week and together they added up to a lot more than the hour and three quarters I would have done if I’d just stuck to the 15 minutes (that I wasn’t doing anyway).

Friday waterfront walk

On to 20 for 2020

I picked up the book Indistractable (thing 13) again this week and had a flick through to see where I was up to.

“Up to” implies I’ve been systematically working through it and doing everything it says. I haven’t. I’ve randomly implemented ideas that I think will work for me rather than try to religiously stick to doing everything in the book chapter by chapter. Some of the chapters aren’t relevant to the situation I’m in and some of the things I’m already doing.

This is especially true for work now that I work from home four days a week. A lot of the interruptions I used to get just don’t happen any more and we don’t have as many meetings as we used to.

One of the things that has been causing me issues though is work email. I manage a shared email box that gets a lot of requests for information from other areas, often at short notice. Most of the requests are things I have to send to other people rather than being able to deal with myself, which means a lot of things on my task list require me to wait for someone else rather than being able to do them myself. I’m not good at waiting. If something’s an open loop like that, I like to close it as quickly as possible, so I struggle with sending stuff out and not knowing when I will get a response. I get quite anxious and unable to settle to focus on other things because I’m always thinking about what’s in the emails.

I know this is something I do to myself and I’ve been working with my manager and colleagues to find ways to manage this better. One of the things I’ve started doing, which is partly based on chapter 15 of the book, is to actually schedule blocks time for checking emails and dealing with them so that the emails don’t leak through my entire day. This means I can also schedule larger blocks of time during the day to work on my projects undistracted, knowing that I will get to the emails at regular times.

So far, it’s working well.

Farewell to the Parliament Square crane

I had a win on my uni project (thing 8). I had submitted my draft proposal to my facilitator last week without knowing if I had any support from work to do it. This week, I met with the relevant senior manager to talk about it and she gave me the green light to go ahead as long as I can do it in a way that addresses the concerns that she identified. (She actually talked to her boss about it before she spoke to me. I won’t be sneaking this one in under the radar. It is Out There now.) She’s going to work with me to help me develop a project that meets the needs of the program, is of value to the workplace and is doable in eight weeks. As a former graduate of the program, she understands what’s needed and I think she will be a good sponsor for the project.

I got feedback on my draft proposal from the unit facilitator on Monday. She raised some issues I’ll need to address in my final proposal, which is due at the end of next week. We have the face to face workshop next week for four days, so I have a lot of reading to do over the weekend to prepare for that. I’m expecting my life to be fully engrossed in this work for the next two months.

The best thing is that, after 12 months of study, the end is in sight! I’m still trying to get my head around how I’m going to transform the concept for the project I had in my head at the start of the program into a 3000 word report in two months, but I keep reminding myself that I don’t have to know all the answers now, I just have to keep taking the next step and I will get there.

I spoke to the sewing machine people (thing 2) and ordered my new machine. It should come next week.

What did I achieve?

I overcame the voice in my head that told me I wasn’t good enough to do something and did it anyway.

What didn’t go so well?

Being organised enough in the evening to be able to pack up without rushing.

What do I want to do better next week?

Focus on sticking to my 10.30 bed time, I want to start packing up with enough time to actually be in bed before 10.30 rather than leaving myself less than ten minutes and rushing to get into the bedroom while the clock still says 10.30.

Continue to stick to my day plans and try to be more consistent in the afternoon. Maybe I need to take a proper break in the middle of the day to give myself time to regroup and refocus. I’ll try that.

The week’s reading. Highly recommended.

Summary for the week

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 11 (1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 20)
  • Things I progressed: 3 (2, 8, 13)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 4 (7, 11, 17, 22)
  • Things not started: 4 (9, 12, 19, 21)
  • Days I worked on my art: 6
  • Days I read a book: 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches: 0
  • Days I was in bed by 10.30: 6

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