Blogging Fail and the Cognitive Surplus

Well, I went back to almost full time work (0.9 of full time) and my blogging went out the window. Crap.

I know exactly what caused it, too. I was working Monday afternoon, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. That’s 0.7 . And, crucially, I had devoted Monday morning to blogging. So I had a set time each week to write something substantial.

Changing to 0.9 has meant I now work all business days except Friday morning. Friday morning is also booked up, because I sing in a choir which rehearses then (the Prospect Singers, a community choir run by my darling wife, lots of happy retired folk who own all of their own time, and me).

So, I have effectively sold my blogging time.

I’ve also noticed a massive hit to my personal projects; they just stopped. Full time commitment really hits my ability to do my own thing amazingly hard. And notice, I’ve only increased my work by 1 day per week, which you wouldn’t think was a big deal. But apparently it is.

I think it goes something like this: When I’m working full time, Saturday becomes a recovery day. That only leaves Sunday, and there’s not much of that because family commitments and preparing for the week ahead eat most of it. Also, it’s harder to get motivated at night, because paid work now is a much larger proportion of my waking productive hours, so it dominates my thinking; much more difficult to put work issues aside and do something unrelated.

If you divide the 7 days of the week into 14 half days, 0.7 paid work gives you 7 half days of paid work, 7 half days to yourself. Paid work doesn’t seem to dominate in the same way. I would find that firstly, the paid week was short, so on Friday I wouldn’t have much mental baggage to shed. What there was, would be vanquished by singing on Friday morning, and a leisurely Friday afternoon. Then Saturday, Sunday and Monday morning would be productive mixes of family stuff and my own projects. That turns out to be quite a lot of time, enough so that by Monday afternoon, I was actually looking forward to switching tasks.

I have to stay at this workload for now. But I think I’m learning some useful things. The lesson re: this blog is that it’s not going to work if I don’t schedule some time for it. I’ll do that.

The bigger story is that I need to schedule in time for doing my own thing. I can do it, too. I’ve been watching a lot of tv lately (watching lots of full seasons of really good shows actually), which is easy to slip into, and doesn’t really add to my life. So I think I need to grab a chunk of the cognitive surplus, and make time for my projects of an evening.

Also along with the telly is staying up too late every night, which becomes a vicious cycle. I watch telly until the wee hours, am tired the next day, by the evening am too tired to get it together to do anything useful, only can watch telly, but this is unsatisfying so I do it until late to feel like I have some command over my life, lather rinse repeat. So, the other unintuitive thing is to go to sleep earlier; on the same day as I woke up would be a good start!

It looks like I have a plan:

  • Stop watching tv
  • Start going to bed earlier
  • If I decide to do a project, I must explicitly schedule in time for it

I think these three things will get me back on the path that I want to be on.

Blogging Fail and the Cognitive Surplus

2 thoughts on “Blogging Fail and the Cognitive Surplus

  1. Loretta says:

    Yes I think you and Jon should quit your crappy money making jobs and we could all live in a shed making each other into cyborgs – kgo.

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