Studied Delight

August 16, 2018

As eagle-eyed readers have no doubt picked up from Twitter, we’ve more or less redecorated my study and today I finished moving all my stuff back in, including maps I’ve been holding onto for more than 15 years while waiting for a place to hang them all.

I’m delighted with the result, which is exactly as I’d hoped it would be, although I am sure it will not be to everyone’s taste.

new study

Minimalism, what’s that? And yes, it really is that orange

As well as storage (I was about to say ‘ample storage’ but to be honest my new storage boxes are already all spoken for) I now also have a place to put several years’ worth of cycle campaigning memorabilia.

Pinboard of POP posters

I still need more space for books, and no doubt it will never look this organised again, but I finally have a work space I am truly happy with. This leaves only one problem: I now have to get on with all the things I’ve been waiting until I have the perfect work space to do …


What I Preach

January 27, 2017

They say, if you want tips on getting a good night’s sleep, ask an insomniac, because the people who actually sleep well every night just go to bed and fall asleep and have no idea how they do it. Similarly, if you want advice on avoiding procrastination, ask a procrastinator … but do remember to give them a firm deadline or you may be waiting a long time.

As it happens, this came up at my writers’ group (after we’d just postponed starting our session by two weeks, in a rare example of synchronised procrastination, which is harder than it looks) and I somehow volunteered to jointly run a session on becoming more productive as a writer (stop laughing at the back there). Fortunately there was a firm deadline, and – as I was putting off doing something else more important at the time – I ended up doing a fair bit of reading on the topic and managed to put together an interesting and (apparently) quite effective evening. It ended up as a cross between a group therapy session and a stationery sales convention (there’s nothing quite like a new notebook, calendar or pack of coloured post it notes to take the sting out of actually getting on and doing something, and if that doesn’t turn your crank, then there’s always the option to set up an elaborate spreadsheet).

Anyhow, I thought I had better put my money where my mouth is, so I have made a commitment to try something along the lines of this, to make sure that I make time for my own writing alongside all the other important things I seem to have agreed to do. Today I set up the calendar on my phone and scheduled my first week’s worth of writing sessions – and so far (accountability is everything) I have got that first crucial half hour under my belt, as well as managing to power through a few more things on my to do list.

The problem is, while I feel I’ve actually achieved a fair bit today (and I still managed to spend at least half an hour getting a tricky game of Spider solitaire out), there’s still effectively an infinite number of things I have to do (winning at Spider Solitaire wasn’t one of them, either). One of these days – when I get to the bottom of my current to do list – I shall start learning how to say no to things and concentrate on what’s truly important. Unfortunately, with the way the world is these days, that seems to be everything…

Meanwhile, if you’d like a funny, a bit sweary, but accurate analysis of procrastination, I recommend you start here.