Sunday, 9 October 2016

Well That Was Enlightening!

Last week, I decided to keep a log of what I did with my time. It's been an eye opening experience, and a complete fail in terms of getting things done. I'm hoping that last week was just one of those awful out of control weeks when nothing went my way, because I got hardly anything done on my 'to do list' and on top of that, I ended up doing loads of extra stuff too.

However, I've remained fairly calm about the whole thing, probably because I've been dealing with the fall out of the week, but mainly because I know, that this was an experiment, and whatever it showed I was going to have to deal with no matter what...

What I've learnt is;

# A big chunk my life is spent at work, or travelling for work.

# I go to bed far too late.

# The best laid plans go awry.

# I'm maybe too ambitious

This is what I didn't and did achieve;

# No early morning writing sessions, not a one due to being far too tired to get up at the crack of dawn, or because I was traveling (driving) to work early.

# No #writingchat session due to travelling back from work.

# No Phoenix Writing Challenge (I didn't go - see why further down)

# No letter writing.

# Restarting Phoenix Subs Club didn't happen.

# No Pilates, no sessions in the pool, and no visits to the gym.

What did I do? I missed going to my writing group, and spent the time working on my novel instead. Then in the afternoon I went out walking. Throughout the week I listened to about an hour and a half of my audio book whilst driving or cooking.

What went wrong? 

Too many things to individually list here, albeit to say, it was one of those weeks! And I'll leave it at that. I have realised a few things though - I need to get more sleep, I need to take a long hard look at where my life is going, and perhaps not make such ambitious plans.

I suffered from what I call the 'knock on effect' a lot last week. For example, I went to bed late because I stayed up to watch something on catch up TV, I woke up tired the next day, and couldn't face my early writing session.

The work day was manic, I skipped lunch, or had a late lunch on other days, the roads were horrendous, too many vehicles, too many roadworks. I was late home, far too late to cook meals I had planned, and often had to go with plan B, different food, that I could prepare quickly.

By the time it was served, I had missed my Pilates, or gym sessions too. I was much later starting necessary chores, like laundry, cleaning and shopping etc and the day and evening just disappeared.

I'm going to continue with the time log again this week, as I want to get a true reflection of what is happening to my time. As for making a 'to do list' I think I need to keep it very simple.

Goals for the week ahead

# Work on the novel

# Restart the Phoenix Subs Club

# Take part in #Writingchat on Wednesday over on Twitter at 8pm - 9pm  - Do join in.

# Do some exercise, any exercise!

# Derby Writers Day

What I was grateful for last week

# Fresh fruit - Lots of it, pears, apples, grapes, banana, pineapple and raspberries which kept me going.

#  The friend who sorted out some administrative stuff, and saved me time.

#  The walk through the deer enclosure at Calke Park

That's it! Hope your week went better than mine and you've made plans for the week ahead. Do share them with us here at the First Draft Cafe.


  1. Sounds like you had a really tough week, Maria. I hope this week goes more smoothly for you and your plans work out well. Take care.

    1. Thank you Nicola, a better week is in progress now. :-)

  2. You're probably too hard on yourself, Maria, especially when you have to travel to work as well as writing and everything else. But what a good idea to log your time and activities for a week or two - have never tried that and suspect I'll get a shock at the time I waste!

  3. This is very brave. I suspect that were I do this I would discover I spend far too much time faffing about! It's interesting that you imply that many of your problems would be solved by better sleeping and eating. I guess if we get the basics right the rest will follow.

    1. Hi Julia, having kept a food diary for the last four weeks, I've decided I may have been a bit harsh on myself, and my diet isn't as bad as what I think...
      The same can't be said of my sleep pattern. That definitely requires alteration.
      Small changes slowly and I think I might get there.

  4. Sometimes doing less is the right thing. Trying to fit in too much and ending up exhausted isn't good for creativity or happiness.

    1. You are so wise Patsy - I am listening.

  5. Hi Maria
    Your life seems very busy but I'm glad to hear that you managed to work on your novel and have a walk through Calke Park. Driving really is a pain in rush hour, so I should count my blessings that I leave the house at 7am for work and miss the jams. Keep recording and hopefully you'll be able to jiggle a few things to make time for yourself.
    Ange xx

    1. Yes, it's enlightening Ange, I'm beginning to see pockets of time that I could put to use for other things.

  6. I only have monthly plans now as weekly ones became too restricting. Three cheers for lovely deer park walks and fresh fruit... Yum!


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