Weeknotes 1541

new routine

Weeknotes 1541
  • Usually a two-week break means not much happening, this time a two-week break means that there was so much happening that I very nearly failed to do all the things I need to do. Indeed, I am still working through some of them!
  • But!
  • I have... not completely rejigged, but really tried to structure my workday so that I'm no longer doing work-work outside of defined hours. I had a realisation that a couple of recent additions to my calendar have quite profoundly distorted the shape of my working week in terms of time I could spend, but rather than trying to deal with it in a structured manner I was instead just working, or worrying about work, all the time. So I calculated how much time I was losing, determined the working hours that would be needed to fit into a regular working week and then... started working between those hours only, as best I could.
  • It's been remarkably effective, and I've only slipped up a couple of times (and then I think largely because of a slight capacity dip following some medical issues). It's also prompted me to fix earlier wake and bedtimes and formalise some routines—I've now got morning startup, work startup, work shutdown and evening shutdown, and they feel empowering, rather than constraining, as routines sometimes have in the past. They feel like a system I can lean on—like I can do them as best I can for now but if I fail to do one or a few things I can allow myself that, provided I'm doing it from a place of genuine need.
  • Part of the work shutdown routine is something that came out of an ADHD workbook I was recommended; I read through the synopsis thinking "I already do most of this" and then in the first chapter, about to-do lists, the issue with my obsessive listmaking was immediately shown up: I really suck at prioritising, so I just put things in any old order, and I really need a tool to force priority. They recommended having three levels of priority but I thought immediately of the Eisenhower Matrix and have started doing that last thing every day for the work I've got to do the next day. It's really, really helped shift me toward doing the work I actually need to do of a day, and helped sustain high output.
  • I've also been working with a virtual assistant to help with my emails. At first I was just grateful that I wasn't the only one looking at them, and (if I'm honest) somewhat reluctant to let go, but now I'm getting used to it; we've got a solid routine and I'm starting to hand more and more things over. It really does free me up to focus on the things I'm actually meant to be doing!
  • This has (possibly?) been partially faciliated by my experiments with potassium supplementation as part of the Slime Mold Time Mold study. I haven't seen much of the promised weight loss, but I have seen a real boost to energy levels and even somewhat to focus. I managed to ramp up the dose a bit too much earlier in the week and ended up a little... wired, but I've dialled it down since and am building it up more slowly. CM reported similarly increased energy levels, so it makes me wonder if veganism has given me a potassium deficiency or something.
  • As part of my Reach Out To People Whose Work I Like, I contacted Tom Critchlow to ask some questions of something he wrote a while back about consultancy. He very generously replied, and then followed up with something he spotted that he thought I'd appreciate. It really helped me think about the future direction of the company. Reach out to people whose work you like! They're almost invariably lovely and often remarkably generous with their time given how busy they must be.
  • I've been listening to Radio 3 quite a lot, in particular Night Tracks. The music is good but the occasional interjections from the presenter—"More music from the Norwegian experimental and jazz scene coming up in a moment"—are better.
  • Andor continues to be the best bit of Star Wars media in years by a country mile, mostly by virtue of:
    a) being a Tony Gilroy-helmed prestige-y TV show which combines heist-movie criminality and bureaucratic intrigue;
    b) having absolutely banger performances from literally everyone involved, Stellan Skarsgard transforming from recruiter-Luthen to antiques-dealer-Luthen in particular is amazing;
    c) selectively deploying things from deep Star Wars lore—mostly entirely-unnecessary-for-viewer-enjoyment blink-and-you'll-miss-it things like having Andor have the same model of blaster as Kyle Katarn from the Jedi Knight games, or having Admiral Yularen be the one delivering the speech about how they were going to be cracking insurgent heads and passing the Space Patriot Act— but also inventing a+ new stuff that manages to feel incredibly Star Wars, like Shoretroopers.
  • The current run of sessions for the social enterprise incubator we're part of for Seagull is going great guns; we're doing a digital marketing course, and despite having worked near it for years, there's a lot of stuff about it that I didn't quite get–or that I didn't have a real gut-level understanding of until it was my stuff we were looking at. It's a very clarifying experience.
  • I've been trying to use my electronic devices until they break rather than replacing them unnecssarily, but in the case of my phone, five years, some substantial material wear and tear (crushed within the folding mechanism of a sofa bed in 2020 and shedding micro-shards of Gorilla Glass ever since) and the increasing time taken to do even the simplest task finally made me bite the bullet, and I could not be more glad I did. It is a drink of cool water on a boiling day. Being able to do all the stuff I want to do without an omnipresent drag and delay is delightful.
  • CM got a model of the Volks some guy on Etsy is selling 3d prints of the other day and we popped into the local Games Workshop (or "Warhammer", as they're now known) to get some paints. Those shops have changed a lot since my last visit as a young teen: the staff were friendly, chatty, helpful. They didn't seem astonished to see a woman who wasn't someone's mum. It's very nice to see thing have moved on so much.
  • We spent all Monday evening rejigging the shelves and storage in our kitchen and it's made me very happy. Being able to more easily reach the tub of öats and the butter dish is more ~optimised~, sure, but mostly it's just way less of a minor frustration. Also the oils are way better laid out on the counter, and the appliances are far easier to retrieve.
  • A really big-feeling moment in my driving lessons—I got to drive home, and I had my first experience of driving on roads I know. It was unexpectedly exultant. I was fine driving around and around green patches in the suburbs, but this felt real.
  • In and amidst the new routine I'm trying to make time for lunches with friends. Even if they often end with me running off for a call, they're often the most invigorating part of my day.
  • I've been spending Wednesday evenings with the Free University of Brighton; as someone who's not studied anything non-maths or science in any kind of formal setting since they were 16 it's very bracing. I'm looking forward to getting into the topical meat of the course.
  • Hazel and I did a folk carol concert in 2019. We fully intended to do more in that vein but the last two years put paid to that for various reasons. This year, however, we're back, and we've got so much more ale to suck out of our chunky jumpers. We might be getting someone else involved too.
  • On the way to the third installment of our one-shot Titanic-themed TTRPG (lol), Bassey and I bumped into Sam and Vicki, some old pals from a regular fighting game night we were involved with. They've started their own games studio, and it was really exciting to hear them talking about everything! It's so energising talking to friends who are doing their own thing and thriving at it.
  • Because I don't have enough of them, I've been talking to my brother about starting another business. This one we've got a plan to launch with a bang around the end of the year, though—watch this space.
  • For Hallowe'en I went as Dominic Cummings, after years of being compared to him for my dress sense by CM. I was very happy with it:
Not pictured: my decision shortly after this to rebutton my shirt so that the buttons are one up from where they should be. 

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