In my pervious post I discussed how I wanted to make some changes to increase my productivity because I was feeling deeply unsatisfied. So I created a schedule similar to my workout routine to see if that would help. Amazingly, it worked. During the course of 2 weeks I was able to finish every single task on my calendar.
There were only 2 tasks to finish each day in addition to my design work but to me it was a big change. It had been a long time since I’ve had my mind so occupied and, similar to a new workout routine, I felt the burn. On the first day I scheduled piano for one hour and completing one drawing (ugh). Things seemed to be going well until I realized the drawing I chose to do would take longer than expected. I spent about 7+ hours working and had yet to practice piano. In the midst of it all my husband and I were going to have dinner with his family. It was a struggle to finish that day but I made it.
The following day the tasks on my schedule were an Arabic lesson for 1 hour and completing a blog post. This was a welcome change after yesterday’s drawing session. My hands got a break and if it was going to be any easier, I was mistaken. Similar to the day before, other events came up. My restful morning time disappeared after spending a lengthy time at the grocery store. So after putting away my things I had to scramble to come up with a blog post. Slowest writer in the world here…
My Arabic lessons have been going well. I discovered some videos online that are really helping with my pronunciation when my husband isn’t here to teach me. The best part is that I can play it in the background when I cook or do random clean up around the house. I admit there is a part of me that feels some relief when I have my piano and Arabic lessons because there are set parameters for learning unlike writing and drawing, which I noticed I have to repeat over and over again to become better at them.
After 3 days of endless tasks I was able to relax on my rest day. I spent that morning doing yoga and with a 15 minute meditation session. All was well until I started planning my next projects. A client decided it was time to place a last minute order for some coffee menus and for the next 5 hours, I designed. It was frustrating but I was glad I had finished my meditation. I needed it.
My schedule for the week finally ended with a piano and Arabic session on Friday. As you can see it wasn’t exactly easy for me despite being so eager to begin a new routine. The biggest issue was working around unexpected life events. I had to constantly work around my job, household chores, and other surprises to make this whole thing work. It left me feeling exhausted every night but I was happy.
Following this new schedule gave me a confidence and fulfillment I didn’t feel with watching Netflix and online shopping. I still do these things but limit the time I spend on them. Which brings me to the down time I had between my tasks. I created a list of new activities to replace the bad habits. Things like doodle, read, practice a new art technique, etc. However, I didn’t completely change what I did during my down time. On the days when I felt especially tired I would watch Ghost Adventures (guilty pleasure), read my novel or browse recipes.
All in all I’m very happy with my progress so far and would like to continue. I know there were times when distractions and life surprises threatened my resolve. On those days I felt like I wanted to crumble under the anxiety and worry of not being able to complete my task for the day, but somehow I found the energy to finish. It’s for that reason I don’t want to give up. Being on the schedule made me see how strong I am and how much stronger I can be. So here’s to taking it one week at a time.
Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
― Calvin Coolidge