I’m usually pretty productive on the weekends. I make a To Do list of the things I I’ve been meaning to get done, but can’t find the time and energy to do during the workweek. For example, a recent task was to find a dry cleaner to drop off a dirty sweater, not urgent or terribly important right now, but something that just needed to get done.
I created the To Do List habit to force myself to think about these types of tasks before they pile up on me. If left unmanaged, the mental list becomes too large, and when that happens I get overwhelmed and procrastinate. I find it better to keep things small. (Plus I get an odd sense of pleasure from checking an item off the To Do.)
This previous weekend was different. I consciously decided to NOT make a To Do list because my employer was hosting its holiday party. I knew I would be out later (and drinking more) than normal. So I gave myself permission in advance to be lazy. There was no need to do anything productive. No working on a blog post, no running, no trips to Home Depot and definitely no Bed Bath & Beyond because there wouldn’t be enough time. I could just sit on my ass and do nothing, like Peter Gibbons…livin’ the dream.
But I can’t just do nothing, I get stir crazy when that happens. I need to focus on something to distract me from the fact that I am not doing something productive. In this case, I decided to indulge myself by binge watching Homeland and catch up on season 5.
How was it, you might ask? Well, I don’t know. I should be ready and eager to discuss the calamity de jour that Carrie Mathison and Saul Berenson are dealing with, but I’m not. I totally failed at my goal of a lazy Saturday and ended up being pretty productive.
What the hell is wrong with me?! How could I screw up being lazy? Everything was going to plan. I woke up late with a headache and decided to get coffee. While I was walking to the nearest hipster coffee roaster place in Portland, Heart Coffee Roasters, it occurred to me how to correct my last blog on ordering the Usual, which had been bugging me the previous 3 days. So I jotted down thoughts on my handy note pad and got to work on the blog when I got home. That ended up taking most of my day. There was no time for Homeland.
I have mixed feelings on how the day turned out. I’m glad I could work out my blog post because it annoys me to no end when I don’t put something new out for the week. I’m constantly in fear that my writing habit will wither away and die if I don’t work on it every day.
On the other hand, I know that this fear is unfounded. I’ve written 33 blog posts in 35 weeks since I going public. That work isn’t going to disappear with one missed one day of writing, or one weekly blog post. (Not to mention, I already gave myself permission to miss my self mandated deadline for the blog.)
Friends have mentioned that they admire me for my drive and focus. When I identify a personal area of improvement I tenaciously work to solve the problem. But these same friends tell me I’m uptight and need to relax.
Your biggest strength can quickly turn into a huge weakness in a different context. Figuring out how and when to relax is something is I continue to struggle with. If relaxing was on my To Do last weekend it definitely would not have been checked it off.
Thanks for indulging me.