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  • Writer's pictureRobert Lynch


For the last couple of months, I have been struggling to find any balance. Crappy night job hasn’t been very stable, and I haven’t been able to build a routine. Here’s the thing. I need a routine. If I have a routine, I’ve done the work of knowing what I should be doing and when I should be doing it. If I’m in a “Work on any of the seven things you want to get done” sort of a plan, then I flit from one project to another and never make any progress on any of them.

Finally my hours at Crappy night job have stabilised again, so I have spent the last couple of days planning to plan. I made up a spreadsheet with all of the days of the week in half-hour blocks. Then I filled in my work shifts, commuting time, volunteering time, bath time, sleep time, eating times, exercise times, and eventually writing time. This process is a trivial but depressing exercise. I want to have more exercise time than I can fit in, and I don’t want to have too many hours filled in for work. The volunteer season has just ended, but I don’t want to make a plan that cannot accommodate it when it starts again.

There are 168 hours in the week, and so far, my hours break down to 49 hours of sleep (about 7 hours a night is my goal), 22.5 hours of Crappy night job, 20 hours of Volunteering, 19 hours of writing, 10 hours of eating, 7 hours of bathing, 5.5 hours of exercise, 3 hours of driving, and 32 hours that are unassigned.

I want to try to maintain 10,000 steps per day on average, which is about 14 hours of walking alone, but I can’t really fit much else in during the week, and 9 hours of walking on the weekend doesn’t sound like something I’ll maintain, or enjoy.

This first draft is only an idea of what I think I can do and may not represent reality, so I plan to try to live to the routine and make notes when I change it up, to see what changes I need to make.

I’ve also downloaded a programme called TimeCamp. It has many tools for timekeeping that a freelancer might use, but I’m currently only interested in the clock in and clock out buttons. I’m hoping to hack my brain a little, and by clocking in send it a signal that it is work time. I have a much more consistent work ethic at Crappy night job than I do when I’m writing. I think that this is partly due to the option for me to be more flexible and push back work as I’ll “get to it later.” Later never happens. I could not see myself ever doing that at Crappy night job. Sure, something might come up that is more urgent, but I’m still working the hours when it does.

From now on, when I click that start work button, I’m at work. I don’t really think of myself as the boss, but I am technically the boss of my own writing business. I’m also the pleb that has to lift the heavy things. So as the boss, I am now requiring the pleb to show up, on time, and work the rostered hours. Missing hours had better be for a good reason, which means a sick certificate for medical reasons or a damn good reason for compassionate leave.

I have to go and get my first Covid vaccine injection next Wednesday, which is a valid reason. Playing the Witcher 3 for the 4th time isn’t.


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