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Weekend 3

I have a huge update for "Grindstone", but I'm not going to waste time right now to write it all down.  :)

The reason I don't want to waste time, is that I'm trying out something new this weekend, and it's really working well for me.  See, here's how a typical weekend works out for me.  I set out on Friday with grand plans of "doing chores" and then "working on personal stuff".  The personal stuff is a combination of animation projects and bigger chores around the house.  Inevitably I allow the chores to stretch out, so by the time I'm finished up, I only have 1-2 hours at most that are "free" before I have to be somewhere or do something.  That's a block of time where I could accomplish "something", but when I mentally review my goals, it never seems like enough time to actually set up and finish any of my big plans.  For example, it takes close to 30 minutes to set up my current animation rig.  I'm not about to spend 30 minutes setting up, working for 10, and then spend another 30 taking it down.  So I generally just goof off during the little blocks of time, and while I keep the house clean and livable, I am frustrated because I'm not doing the other big stuff that I want to do.

I realized that I was mentally allowing myself to get daunted by the sheer scope of everything I wanted to accomplish.  Sure, I want to animate all of Grindstone.  And sure, I want to fix up some stuff around the house.  Unfortunately, I also want to set up a website, make a video for a contest, do some writing, etc etc.  There's just no way that I can do everything.  So the first thing I did was narrow down my focus.  I decided that Grindstone is my first priority.  My second is developing some stuff with my awesome friend, Jen.  (Not jlh1026 , who is awesome in her own right, but a different friend)  And my third is fixing stuff up around the house.  This means that when I'm surfing the internet, and see an exciting contest, such as the video contest at Get Rich Slowly, and an idea immediately pops into my head that would be perfect, I'm not letting myself change gears to work on it.  (Sorry JD!  It would have been a lot of fun too!)   The question I started asking myself is "Is this more important than goal 1, 2 or 3?"  Funny how often, as exciting as these other thoughts are, that the answer has been "No".  But I've been doing that mental filter for a few months now, and still finding myself on Sunday afternoons with only an hour free and nothing checked off against any of my goals.  I wasn't filling my schedule with anything new, but I wasn't doing anything that I said I wanted to be doing either.

This past week I had a mini-mental breakthrough.  I realized I was setting myself up to fail.  Even with cutting myself down to a few big projects, I was paralyzing myself because they all involve lots of work.  I decided to try something different.  Instead of just vowing to "do something", I would set myself 3 very specific tasks.  They had to be achievable, and they have to be focused somehow on one of my big goals.  I decided to call these my "Weekend 3".  For this first week, I decided that my major focus was going to be making some major progress on Grindstone.  My second focus was going to be clearing up some household issues.  Instead of just telling myself that I would "work on Grindstone", I made a very specific goal:  I would finish my animatic sketches.  And instead of just saying "do some more stuff around the house", I decided I would finish my taxes and I would wrap up some Xmas gifts that have been waiting to be wrapped up.  (My friend was on the road, so I couldn't send them to her)  The taxes was about 3 hours worth of work.  The wrapping is about 20 minutes worth of work.  The animatic sketches were the big question mark.  I was hoping I could do them in about 4 hours.

On Friday, instead of just goofing off, I decided to knock out the taxes.  It went relatively quickly, though it took a little longer than I'd hoped, but when I needed a break, I went and did the chores I liked least.  So by the end of the night I had task one finished AND a headstart on the chores.  On Saturday, I initially planned on working on chores and then switching gears to the animatic, but I was able to realize that if I put it off, it would just loom larger in my mind.  Plus the house happened to be quiet since Dean and Per had gone to visit a friend.  So I sat down and got busy.  I was able to get all the sketches done by about 1pm, and the funny thing was that I was so motivated, I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon scanning and compositing the sketches.  I now have a full animatic DONE!  Go me!!!  Today I still have chores and the wrapping, but the good thing is that I know exactly how long those take.  So I know I can totally get all three of my tasks done!  WOOHOO!!!

I've already begun to think about what I will include on next week's Weekend 3.  It's supposed to be beautiful, so I think I'm going to clean the oven, since I can open the windows to let out all of the smoke, but that doesn't seem particularly hard.  I just set it and go do other things.  I also have to see what Dean & Per's schedules are, because that might alter how much free time I have or don't have as well.  I feel really good about the way the Weekend 3 is helping me focus my energy though.  As we all know, the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, and I think if that was my goal, it'd be a lot easier to get going when I'm just focusing on that first step, rather than worrying about the other 40000 steps (or so) as well. 


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Mar. 28th, 2010 11:36 pm (UTC)
lol yeah there are more than 1 or 1,000 of us Jen's ;)

But good job - I also do better when I have a very finite list of to-dos to work from. But I haven't been good at making those lately and thus things are slipping past me. Ahh. Hopefully things will calm down a little in April.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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