Every sunday without fail I make my list of tasks for the week ahead. Some of them are automated and repeat as needed, but most are specific to that week so I need to go in manually and add them. It’s nice to have everything written down in one place, in order, with times and reminders. I don’t have to stress out about remembering everything when I have a nice app on my phone that keeps me informed. Unfortunately there is a downside…
With great lists come great realizations, or something like that. This morning I sat down and I made the list of things that need to happen this week. Some are more mundane than others for sure. I try to list out everything I need to do, seriously just about everything. From showering to packing a lunch it all gets added to the list. Oddly enough I don’t add brushing teeth to the list, but I never claimed to be logical.
Anywho now that you’ve been introduced to my odd system of things, I guess I can explain that in a normal week I will have ~100 things to do. Again, that includes simple things like setting a specific alarm for the next day when I have to be up earlier than my normal alarm, or maybe I have to remember to grab my computer before I leave the house, it’s all on the list. This week however, I have >200 things on my list. * Cue horror music *
Why the sudden jump in things to do? Well there just happens to be a lot going on, that much is true. I have a grant proposal that I need to finish this week, I have experiments this week, meetings with the undergrads I mentor, and a bunch of other things. Most of the reason though is that a lot of stuff that I would have done this past week I had to put off because of surgery!
I try to live a very simple life with a very routine… well routine. Breakfast and lunch are the same thing everyday without fail, that may sound boring to most of you, but I like it that way. I blog daily, like I am doing now mostly in the mornings. Then mid afternoon I hit my stride and get some serious work done. I would probably fall apart if it weren’t for the consistency I try to have in the background of all this chaos.
That isn’t to say my routine isn’t disturbed, I have morning experiments which means I need to try to shift into work mode earlier. I have multiple experiments in a day and those days are particularly trying. Sometimes I don’t get enough time for a normal lunch so lunch becomes a protein bar, which is a previous iteration in my standard routine for lunch believe it or not. Or I have evening experiments, meetings, or some other task that comes after my routine dinner time (plus or minus an hour). Those disruptions are the worst for me since by that point I’ve had the weight of the days work on me and I usually can’t do a lot of productive things.
Then of course there is my twice a year surgery routine. For the past four years or so I’ve had two surgeries a year. That throws off my schedule and frankly I really want to stop having surgeries in general. Especially after the horrid post op recovery from the last one. Unfortunately even that part of my schedule has become very routine (plus or minus a month or so).
All this to say, I have a core routine and I try to stick with it. This week will be hard because of all the disruptions from the previous week. It’s a familiar theme for those of you who’ve been following along, lots of work and not a lot of time to do it in. The difference this week is simply I’m adding most of last week’s stuff to the pile of this week’s stuff to do.
Point of today? Don’t have surgery. No, wait… maybe there’s a different message here. Probably that organization helps take the edge off. Even though I know I have twice the stuff to do this week, I also know that I don’t have to keep track of it all so I don’t have the added stress of worrying that I’m forgetting to do something lurking in the background. That sounds like a better point for this post, right?