Finding balance in work and play

Today was a suitable counter-balance to yesterday, I think. I cut the grass at my new apartment, moved a good deal of things in (though there are still many box-loads to go, I’m afraid), and decorated a little. It certainly was no day of playing World of Warcraft and relaxing in my current home, but not every day can be like that (I mean, they could but I would end up very unemployed, very fat, and quite unhappy, among other things), and so the work was both a necessary evil and a nice change of pace.

However, as far as daily balances of work and play (or leisure or whatever) go, I am not particularly good at finding such a nice equilibrium. Some days are very work-oriented, with me accomplishing a great deal of productive tasks. By nighttime on those days, I am tired but I feel fulfilled. It’s all very positive, really, ignoring the exhaustion and that there are some such days I still feel like I fell short of where I should have been. There are other, very similar days, when I have shirked responsibility in favor of relaxing and recovering. Days filled with video games, movies, books, and so on. They don’t really serve a practical purpose, but they leave me feeling rejuvenated and prepared for the next day of hard work.

It’s very possible to make those two days into a daily thing. I realize this is all very “hey, that’s obvious” territory, but I excel at the obvious.

What I’m talking about in this case is a total revamp of my schedule as I know it. It’s probably going to be Hell for a while, but I think if I can pull it off that it will provide me with tremendous benefits. That’s what I’m going for here, by the way. A Phil who can find a daily balance of hard work and relaxation time in the face of working eight hours five days a week and trying to become a writer, all while pretending very well at being a responsible adult. A lot of this will revolve around me making a number of relatively large changes over however long it takes, and I imagine it will involve a great deal of swearing along the way.

The components of this plan are as follows:

  • On days I work, I’ll get up early. What I don’t mean by early is enough time to shower, eat something far too quickly, and speed to work. I mean getting up about an hour and a half before work so as to allow time for writing, drafting, blogging, or anything else I have found in need of more time and attention. I acknowledge there are days I will have to work at 5a.m., and those days will have different rules applied. This, in all likelihood, will still provide me with roughly the six-and-a-half hours I’ve found I work best after.
  • Sleeping in on days off. Sleeping in on days off usually amounts to either waking up around 8:30 or waking up around 8:30, falling back to sleep, and getting up some point past noon. The latter needs to stop happening unless I’m deathly ill.
  • Days that start at 5a.m. will have their own work-time. On days I do work at 5 or 5:30 in the morning, I’ll set aside time after work to make up for not being able to do so before work. These are goals, not ways to make myself horribly sick. I know I won’t reliably get to bed at a time that would permit me waking up an hour and a half before work on my very early days.
  • Reducing the number of naps I take. This one should be easy, but I know myself well enough to know how tempting it is to just doze off for a short while after a long day at work. It’s never a brief nap, though. Most of my naps seem to clock in at an hour and fifteen minutes or longer, and that’s time I could be spending focusing elsewhere (housework, writing, gaming, or even just relaxing with Brianne and talking for a bit). The naps, half of the time, leave me feeling drained and wanting more sleep. Not ideal at all, right?
  • Writing and proofreading more. This should be easier with the time I’m gaining back by not sleeping until half an hour before I work. Cutting out naps shouldn’t hurt, either. It doesn’t stop with just writing, though. I need to write, proofread for others and myself, and send things out for publication. I’ve said that before, but I really need to get my shit together on this point. Everyone knew I couldn’t go for too long without serious expletives.
  • Setting time for funNo, this doesn’t mean I’m planning any fun I hope to have in my life for specific times. I’m not nearly that disciplined. It does mean making sure I set aside time to play my video games, read, hang out and bullshit with Brianne. Whatever. Should this go as I hope, it’ll go a long way towards preventing me from playing video games for half the day by letting me enjoy them in moderation. Let’s be honest, though. There will still be days where I binge on Netflix or power through half a dozen raids. It happens.
  • Minimize distractions. God help me.

There will likely be more items on this list, and it probably won’t see implementation until I’m fully moved into my new place, but I’m excited. These changes could be the kick in the ass I’ve needed. Or they could drive me to a horrible, irreversible state of madness.

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