Today I’m back at work. My second home away from home. I feel like my mind can be most active when I’m at peace, often alone with my thoughts. While many parts of the world are sleeping, I’m churning my thoughts and plans away into action. Seven years ago I remember my father-in-law informing me that the biggest difficulty one has to face when they learn all they need to know about their job in addition to working alone is how to keep from becoming bored.
My answer over the past 3 years has been continual learning and engaging in my preferred activities. That means bringing a ton of reading material, notebooks, my journal, magazines, music and my laptop. I spend the early part of my shift completing my computer work, so that later in the shift I can engage in my reading and reviewing activities. I’ll often save my journal entry for the final hour of the shift, when I see the sun rise and the other people coming in for the morning shift.
I plan my next day- errands I need to run, emails I need to answer, editors that I keep in touch with, bills that need to get paid as well as reminding myself of events that may happen later in the week or on the weekend. When I read, I’ll read a book through first without taking notes- then read it through a second time and either take hand written entries or type information out into a summary in my laptop. There’s always something I can learn from a book- even if it’s one that I think is confusing or academic or even too wordy for my tastes.
I wish my children would learn from my example- but alas they march to the beat of their own drummers. They will plan months in advance if the payoff is great enough- their birthday parties for an example. When it comes to a school project however, they procrastinate until the last possible day, pulling off the miracle of miracles in getting a high mark. Maybe they spend all of the seemingly idle time ruminating all of the aspects of the paper, the posters, the research, the reading- and then get a heavy burst of adrenaline to seize their mind in the right direction.
I never worked that way. My theory was to put a plan of action together- and then execute day by day, a little at a time so I didn’t seem so overwhelmed at the enormity of the project. Doesn’t it appear better if you have 20 hours of work and a month’s time to complete it to spend 5-6 hours a week working on it so the last week doesn’t seem so taxing?
I’m waiting for the eureka moments to happen. Probably when they move out and go on to college or get married and have their own children these actions will occur. Ultimately though people should work on not only talking the talk, but putting the words into motion. Lead by example. If you’ve got a work project that needs 20-30 man hours at home and you have 30 days to complete it, assess the situation, form a plan and then follow through. Do not let your mind waver to idle thoughts and act like it doesn’t matter- that you’ll get to it eventually.
A great book to read regarding action and overcoming procrastination is Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy. Either the book or the audio book version will give you great insight into how to handle list making and tackling your toughest tasks of the day head on as early as possible. Think about something you’ve been putting off for the past week or the past month- brainstorm and problem solve and get into the game with action. Trust me you’ll feel so much better about yourself in the end.