20 for 2020: week 20

Week of 11 May

My 20 for 2020 list.

Remember last week I said I was going to track my days for the wellbeing work (thing 3) to help me identify things that take up too much time and find windows of wasted time?

That lasted a couple of days and I kept forgetting to do it. I think I know what the wasted time windows are without doing that though. Constant scrolling of social media on my phone is right up there, so of course, what did I do? I reactivated my old Twitter account and spent more time on there than was strictly necessary. Anything to distract me from my uni assignment (thing 8).

20200513 Hinsby Beach 2
Walking on the beach also distracting me from my assignment

The assignment was due on Sunday night, and by Saturday morning I had a mass of words and references and thoughts all shoved randomly under the various headings that I thought I had to respond to. Whereas in the other units, by this stage of the assignment I had a complete document that was in the final stages of being trimmed down to fit the word count, this time I only had a mess of stuff that I was going to have to somehow make fit into 1500 words. There were eight sub-themes to cover in the essay so, as you can imagine, for someone as verbose as I am, this was going to be a challenge. I probably could have written 1500 words on each of the issues, most of which would have been rubbish because I was finding pretty much everything of the unit material to be somewhat irrelevant to completely irrelevant to my work. There was going to have to be a lot of long bow drawing to get this done.

On Saturday morning, I set myself the goal of having the ready-to-cut-down version finished by the end of the day, and then spend (as little time as possible on) Sunday cutting it back and making it as good as I could get it to submit it by 5.00. The deadline was actually midnight, but I had no intention of pulling a late nighter to do it. One of the five principles I’ve adopted to get through this is “protect your sleep” so there will be no all-nighters. Ever. I aim to be in bed every night no later than 10.30 and I have been sticking to this (give or take a few minutes) pretty well since the end of February.

This was going to be a test of whether or not I really could live with “good enough” as opposed to perfect, something that I’ve been trying to embrace (and generally falling at). However, this time, I hadn’t allowed myself the time to make it perfect. I deliberately didn’t apply for an extension even though requests for extensions were being viewed favourably, because the reason that I haven’t done the work has been my own procrastination, not any external factors. If I’d spent as much time working on it as I had complaining about it and distracting myself, I’d probably have had a half-way decent draft by Saturday, regardless of how confusing the material was and how irrelevant it was to my actual work. It was my responsibility and I had fallen way short of a standard acceptable to me. And that’s something I have to deal with and live with the consequence of.

Long story short, I didn’t have the long version finished by Saturday. It took me until lunchtime Sunday, which gave me less than 12 hours to do the edits that would normally take a week. By 9.00 Sunday night I was well and truly sick of it, and couldn’t stand the thought of re-reading it one more time even though it was more than the allowable ten per cent over the word limit. Perfectionism, begone! I submitted it and collapsed, feeling completely drained, knowing that even though I can get something done at the last minute, it doesn’t feel good and I am not going to do this again.

I finished Module 1.2 of the Photoshop class (thing 7) and am really glad that I put the other class on hold to do this one. I think I would have felt completely out of my depth starting with the other one and I feel like I have a lot more grounding in Photoshop basics now. There’s over 100 videos in this class so It’s not going to be something I’m going to finish in an evening, but now I have a lot of the basics I don’t really mind how long it takes. I just want to get into the work. One of the tasks has been to go out and collect images of things that can be used as backgrounds in larger works, so I’ve started to take a camera out with me to build my collection. Yes, I am that crazy lady who takes photos of weird stuff on the ground and your brick walls and tree trunks and tyre tracks in the mud.

20200513 Shell on Hinsby Beach 3 Edit
Beautiful beach find

This week I finished reading The Ravenmaster, which is Ravenmaster Chris Skaife’s account of his life with the ravens at the Tower of London (thing 14). I was lucky enough to visit the Tower in 2014 and saw some of the ravens then. 20200517 The Ravenmaster

The book was a really enjoyable read and it was interesting to find out more about these complex and fascinating birds. I’m a bit of a raven fan and I love it when they come to visit my yard or I can hear them out and about calling to each other. It’s inspired me to read some more about them. When I’m not learning about Networked Governments . . .

Summary for the week

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 8 (1, 4, 5, 6, 10, 15, 16, 18)
  • Things I progressed: 3 (7, 8, 14)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 5 (3, 11, 13, 17, 22)
  • Things not started: 6  (2, 9, 12, 19, 20, 21)
  • Days I stuck to my 15 minutes creative habit: 7
  • Days I read a book:  7
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