Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 3 - I Have the Attention Span of a Newt

Planning is bad.  I told you planning is bad.  If you start with planning you never do anything else....

Well, okay, today is shopping and errand day.  But that didn't take all day.

And I made the cardinal mistake. My mind wouldn't settle, so rather than starting the timer and saying "go!" I let myself go over the to do list and plans and all that.  And as predicted, I didn't stop.

I did come to the invigorating conclusion that, if I were to write 10,000 words a week, and took three months of summer off (when I am too sleep-deprived to write), I'd still get 390,000 words done in a year, which would cover all the stuff in my immediate To Write list.  Really great plans for someone who didn't actually write any words today!

What happened instead is that by the time I got done shopping, I went all visual.  I've been playing with the idea of doing covers and then writing stories to go with them.  But mostly I'm just, like, "Oooo, that's a cool shape."  "Like that contrast."  "That's a really cool color palette."  (Okay, maybe not even that verbal.  More like "Oooooo, pretty!")

So my goal for right now is to write one sentence before bed....

Oh, wait... I had something to say about my attention span. What was it?

Something I've noticed that I want to build on.  I can't do routines.  I have never been able to do them.  Never could do things by rote: I have to actually think about them.  I suspect it is related to my issues with dyscalcula and dyslexia, but I don't know.  It could be related to the fact that I worked a job for 25 years that was irregular and reactive.

What I've discovered is that I can kinda sorta do a routine if I mix up the contents of the routine every three days or so.   I think this is why I tend to be more productive when I work on more than one thing at a time.

And I realize it's why that randomized list of tasks works for me.  If I set myself to the keyboard every day and pick a random task to do for 15 minutes, I can do that right off the bat, and then keep going for a productive day.  If I try to skip the randomization, and continue the task I was doing the day before, it might work for a day or two, but by the third day, my mind flies off into the ozone.  Instantly.

I am told that if you're like this (or even if you're not) this can get worse when you are menopausal.  (And that it can last for a year.  Or even longer.  Thanks Mother Nature!  You're a pal!)

So, back to the timer for me.  Gotta go write that one sentence before bed, though.

See you in the funny papers.


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

You've mentioned the randomized list before and it's fascinating. I'm not sure it would work as well for me because I'm obsessively routine driven and very methodical with my lists, but I like the *idea* of it...maybe it would work best on those days when everything seems to be a huge priority and I freeze up.

The Daring Novelist said...

It kinda turns things into a game. Spin the wheel and see what your next move it.