It was about a month ago now I was proudly declaring the advent of new working practices, in which rigid timekeeping would lead to greater productivity and happiness. Has it been a success? Well … yes and no.
You wouldn’t have thought it would be hard to find two two hour blocks of time in which to work each day, along with two other single hours in which to handle email and business related correspondence. But actually, when you’ve got three kids, it kind of is. Certainly it is to find them at the same time every day. Stuff comes up, time gets nibbled into, and before you know it you’re starting your block ten minutes late, or half an hour late, or having to split it into an hour here and another later, getting called to some emergency half way through, and the ideal notion of rigid timekeeping starts to dissolve. You tell yourself there are exceptional circumstances today, but exceptional circumstances of one kind or another come up with depressing regularity and I’d be very surprised if I’ve managed more than two or three days in the whole month where I’ve stuck closely to the plan.
That said, on those days when I have stuck to the plan the productivity has been ridiculous. Last week I managed 8,500 words, and words I consider reasonably good, including nearly 3,000 in one day, which is my best day in a long time, and I also managed to keep pace with a whole set of administrative tasks as well. It somewhat depressingly reveals how bad the procrastination can be at other times. This week, because of one thing and another, and partly because I’ve spent some time thinking and planning rather than just straight writing, I’ve only done about 1,500 in three days, which is useless. Need some good days today and tomorrow to make up that shortfall.
Overall I’d have to consider it a success, though, just one that needs to be constantly worked at and reaffirmed to keep effective. Right. Now for two hours work. Except I’ve got to pick up the kids at three so maybe just an hour now and then catch up the rest later. Except I do have that stuff about foreign deals to attend to and some paperwork for my accountant and, and, and…