🤽 Scheduling my leisure time

It may seem cliche, like those commercials where the activity planner says, “We’ll have X from 10am-11am. Then we’ll have Y, from 11am until lunch. Lunch will be…” However, I find myself gravitating to that idea.

Working remotely has been fine. I have no issue getting my work done, mostly because it’s all laid out in Jira. I have tickets. The ticket tells me what to do. I write up my results, then move on to the next one. I give my status each morning and the process flows smoothly.

The same has been true for life after work. With the extra time from not commuting, I got tons of work done at home. I organized my physical life, taking care of all those chores that normally had to wait until the weekend.

Then I organized my digital life, sorting files, sorting documents, recovering disk space, installing and removing apps to make me as productive as possible.

With all that out of the way, I find myself at a loss over what to do next even though there are plenty of things I still want to do. For example, I made a mental note to read Haunting of Hill House and Halloween Tree. I made a mental note of several articles I wanted to write. I told myself which apps I wanted to check out.

Then a couple weeks later, I made a mental note to read Haunting of Hill House and Halloween Tree.

Wait, am I going in circles? I wasn’t tracking what I wanted to do in my leisure time, so I wasn’t doing anything. I finished all the big tasks, but forgot all the minor details. My evenings were blurring right back into my work days. There was no separation of home and work. The physical aspect was fine, but the mental distance wasn’t there anymore.

It’s not just books, it’s the Netflix series I keep not watching. It’s the shell scripting book I keep not starting. It’s the game I haven’t come back to in 12 months, when I thought it was a few weeks. It’s the YouTube video I keep putting off watching. Without deadlines, priority or accountability, it’s easy to skip taking time for myself.

So, I’ve started writing down my leisure time activities in TaskPaper. It sounds silly, but it’s already been helpful.

I’ve really made note of the two books, but I’ve taken it step further. Those are big concepts. They can easily be put off. I’ve listed all the chapters. Each week, I can check off the chapter I’ve completed. I can see it. I can note it. I can feel good I did it.

The same is true for shell scripting, the Netflix series and a dozen other things I’ve decide to write down for real.

Now that I’ve started, the list keeps getting longer. I keep saying, “Oh yeah, let me add this…” Even making the list is quite enjoyable.

There is no specific deadline other than “before the end of 2021.” I have broken some items down by month, such as it would be good to read Halloween Tree in October. If it doesn’t happen, it’s fine, it’s still on the list, and I will see it. It will keep at me until I take the steps to move it off the list. Then I will be happy because I read the story, marked it off the list and completed my goal.

It sounds a little odd, perhaps juvenile, but it’s better than finishing each work day and wondering what I should do next. It’s right there. I can pick what I want. I’m not “looking” for something to do. I can jump right in and get it done.

I feel motivated, and I’m pretty pleased with that.

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