Week 09/2022: Digging too deeply

Week of 28 February 2022

Making progress and digging around

An orange sunrise sky over the beach
Saturday sunrise

What did I want to do this week?

Here’s a sweet snapshot of what I wanted to get done this week.

  • Catch up on my TAFE work.
  • Review the feedback from the work event and summarise the outcomes.
  • Capture all the things to do next and what needs to feed into my project plan for the next stage.
  • Follow up with the portential writers group and get that happening.
  • Finish my last Open House Hobart 2021 blog post.

Did I do it?

I had a mixed week.

I managed to catch up on some of the TAFE work but on Tuesday afternoon the whole of Tasmania was hit with the Great Internet Outage of 2022, caused at least in part by a worker’s failure to heed the “Dial Before You Dig” advice that many of us had grown up with.

I was making jokes about it at the time, before we knew what had happened, and found it mildly amusing to read the next day that this was actually the case. Anyway, you can’t do an online course without internet, so I spent some time working on a whiteboard task instead.

I made some progress on the work tasks but didn’t get them finished because other things came up that I had to do.

I think this is one of the main reasons I don’t get my major projects done as effectively as I want to, because I get trapped in the “tyranny of the urgent”, which I allow to stop me working on the tasks are important but not urgent: the “big rocks” that I wrote about in week 4. My reason for developing my Deep Work rituals and routines (thing 12) is so I can manage this better.

The work continues.

Speaking of thing 12, I did my weekly reviews at work and at home, and I refined the routines to remove a couple of surplus steps. I also wanted to make sure I put the things I want to do better the next week somewhere I can see them rather than writing down on Friday and forgetting about them until next Friday, when I see them and think, “oh, was I supposed to be doing that . . . ?”.

In this week’s weekly review, the thing I identified as wanting to do better was to pack up and finish work on time. The last few weeks, because of the high workload around the event we held, I had been working much later than I normally do and I could see that starting to become a habit if I didn’t reign it in. I wasn’t doing my end of day review either because it would get to 6.00 (or later) and I’d just want to escape. So my focus for next week is going to be to make sure I not only do the end-of-day review but to start this 15 minutes before my scheduled finish time and leave work on time.

This way I’ll still have time to do my afternoon walk as well as work on my own projects in the evening if I want to, without being super exhausted from a long day at work. Well, that’s the idea anyway.

I did follow up with my potential writers group and I wrote the Open House blog post on my photoblog. I also did some work on the Cosmic Calibration course (thing 22), which I hope to finish next week and write a post about in the coming weeks.

As I’ve been writing about the last couple of weeks, I’m still playing around with to-do apps and deciding whether to upgrade my Evernote to use it as a task manager. I’m not 100% sure it will work for all of my tasks. I like how Todoist (thing 13) has the recurring task function where I can keep my routines and check them off step by step. So even though I’m not using it for any other tasks, I’m not planning on getting rid of it.

I also like the Pomodoro feature of Focus To-Do and how it lets me grow plants, which I wrote about last week. This feature kind of relates to a section of Cosmic Calibration called “Gameify Your Growth” and the idea that people who share some of my personality traits can benefit from habit trackers that have video game-like features. Habitica is a popular habit tracker like this but I didn’t really get into it and haven’t used it for months.

So I’m still in the experiment stage.

22 for 2022 summary

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things I worked on this week: 5: (8, 12, 13, 21, 22)
  • Things completed to date: 3 (10, 11, 18)
  • Things in progress: 6 (1, 8, 12, 13, 21, 22)
  • Things not started: 13 (2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20)

What do I want to focus on next week?

  • Study: TAFE work (catch up on topic 2, complete topic 3 and make lists of specific things I need to remember)
  • Personal: Finish Cosmic Calibration
  • Personal: Finish the Matt Black photography course
  • Personal: Complete unit 2 of the Urban Photography photo course that I signed up to a couple of weeks ago after promising myself I wouldn’t sign up to any more courses . . .
  • Work: Finish writing the summary from the event
  • Work: Make a list of the next actions to discuss with my manager
  • Routine: Finish work on time

I think I have over committed myself, but let’s see . . . .

Weekly overview

What did I learn this week?

My covid anxiety hasn’t gone away, and I had a session with my counsellor about it this week. She said I feel the way I do because of who I am, and it’s perfectly fine for me to be me. But this means that situations that are okay for other people are not going to be okay for me, and I need to be aware of this. Knowing this, I have to continue doing what I need to do to not overexpose myself to situations that I can’t cope with. She also pointed out that we can only do things to minimise our risk, we can never eliminate all risks.

It was such a relief to get acknowledgement that being who I am is okay, rather than the “get over it, stop living in fear, it’s only a cold” messages that are prevalent in social media (which I have stopped looking at as one of my strategies to keep myself calmer). Accepting the consequences of being the person I am is a far less stressful thing to try and do than thinking I have to fight against my own nature.

This is a work in progress, for sure.

What was the best thing about this week?

I’ve enjoyed working through the Cosmic Calibration course and learning how the way my brain is wired doesn’t necessarily fit with a lot of the traditional productivity methods. I’ve also liked noticing how the battle between my desire to go out exploring and my strength of thinking and gathering information that I’ve identified elsewhere has come up in this program too and is clearly a battle I need to continue to work on.

What I’m reading this week

  • Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
  • 7 1/2 by Christos Tsiolkas

Habit tracker

  • Days I went for a walk in the morning (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 5): 5
  • Days I did controlled breathing (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did jaw stretches (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did my post-work pack up routine (Goal = 5): 4 (though to be fair, it’s hard to do an online routine when the internet is down across the state)
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 2
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 5): 7
  • Days I shut my computer down before 9.30 (Goal = 6): 6
  • Weekly review at work: Yes
  • Weekly review at home: Yes
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