After day 3’s rant, I decided I really needed to turn this experiment around. I was feeling so overwhelmed with everything that I wasn’t getting done. I was starting to stress out that I might just be making everything worse for myself by testing Screen Free Week. Then something interesting happened. I had so many things to do yesterday and was worried that I might not finish all my projects by 5. Since I really do want to finish out this experiment, I ended up being motivated to sit down, focus, and get all my work done. I finished by 4:30. I then met another co-worker for a walk and we took the two dogs down to the beach.
I read an article recently about how hard it is for employees to be continually productive for 8 hours. It’s true. We all need breaks. Sometimes I feel like I work 8 hours a day but over a course of about 12 hours. I’ll stop to have a long lunch. Sometimes I’ll run errands. But I might also still be still working at 9 or 10 pm. I realized yesterday that if I sat down and kept focused, I could actually finish my work by 5 and then have the evening free. I wonder if I could do that every day, or if I was simply inspired by the novelty of this week’s experiment. The problem of course is that the (publishing) world doesn’t stop just because I do, and I find myself missing out on some of the news and conversations. But I definitely enjoyed the satisfaction of knowing that I had completed my tasks for the day and that I could relax guilt-free for a few hours. I even called my mom.