If you were picking an optimum day on which to be productive, it would be a Monday. I know I favour Mondays myself for cracking on. And then I generally follow it up with a nifty Tuesday, a stonking Wednesday and a fabulous Thursday. But by Friday, I’m usually giving myself permission to slack off a bit. Often I am scheduled for my regular appointment at the beauty salon starting at 4 p.m. which means I am on my metaphorical bike by 3.30. Poets’ Day.
Normally I wouldn’t pick a Friday for giant-killing tasks. I might pick something itty-bitty instead. Filing, emptying my inbox, preparing the ground for a fast start on Monday morning; small chores like doing my expenses or even going for coffee or lunch out. I use Outlook for my calendar and it’s so easy to shift appointments I’ve made with myself to do certain jobs from today till tomorrow till later in the week and then before you know it, it’s Friday, and phew, that means I won’t have to do The Big One till Monday after all.
Do you play that ridiculous game with yourself?
But last Friday was different. I started by doing something in the morning, a sales letter, which I had been putting off for a while. You know, the sort of job which needs three hours at a stretch and the focus to bat away distractions and Just Get It Done. It went more than well, I was relatively euphoric and it felt good when it stopped. And flushed with success and momentum I went on to attack another couple of chores in the afternoon. Two sets of accounts! I went into the weekend on a holy roller sort of high.
When this level of productivity breaks out chez Judith, I find it difficult to know when to stop and, rolling up my sleeves, I begin to attack all sorts of nasties which have been hanging around far too long. Someone usually has to force me to slow down otherwise I am likely to turn this energy towards Things Which Simply Do Not Need Doing, like clearing out kitchen cupboards.
What are your strategies for ticking the evil nasties off your To Do List?
I have experimented recently with waiting for The Muse. Dream on! Working with the Better Blogging team over the last year or so, we’ve realised that no-one can do anything unless you give them (a) accountability (b) a challenge or (c) a deadline. And even if they overrun the deadline, they still seem to have a commitment to themselves to turn in their work eventually. It’s different from Sometime Never, it’s just sometime a little bit late instead but at least it does get done.
But I must report some success with the all-new wait-for-the-muse strategy too. Its hit and miss and it’s early days but I am going to go with the flow a bit longer. Some days I just seem to wake up with the passion for it. Today’s The Day. I can feel it in my bones and though I may fritter the first hour or so creating optimum conditions and stoking up on juice, I know it’s going to happen.
Sometimes it even happens in the middle of the night. I am woken by some Universal nudge and I just go to the keyboard and it simply flows out of me, with me frequently in awe. How did that miracle happen?
So here’s what I’m thinking… now I know Fridays can be productive, I might choose to end every week on a high with a final push. There will be some Fridays, I know already, where this simply won’t wash, but now that my gap years are well and truly a memory and I am back in flow and all fired up on beetroot juice and lentils and gorgeous new clients, look out. You have been warned; don’t slow me down on a Friday – I’m going for The Burn!