geekery, drawing and then some

Posts about energy

The clean-up plan

zones By the end of November, all my windows and their frames will go into a huge recycling bin and I’ll get new (better) windows.

For this process I need to clean-up. All the stuff near the windows has to move somewhere else. And I have stuff at ‘somewhere else’. [1] Seems like a good time to do a massive decluttering, but with my limited energy supply it seemed a bit daunting.

I decided to make a plan! I started by calculating the number of days left until the Big Day (50) and looked at how I could best divide them into smaller chunks. I ended up with 12 times 4 days (and then two days left).

I then divided the Offending Areas into 10 zones, roughly, with equal amounts of junk. lastly, I entered repeating events in my calendar, repeating every 4 days.

Day 1-3
declutter, clean, do whatever needs to get done in any one zone. no switching zones during those days. Sliding into neighbouring zone won’t hurt the plan as long as the focus remains at or near one area. Knowing me I’ll bounce around, flying from one side to another, if I don’t set this rule.
Day 4
obligated rest and fun, damnit! because it works so well to force myself to do something fun. Actually it does, and again, knowing me, I won’t stop until I drop otherwise (if someone could send me a moderation dial/button, I’d feel forever grateful)

10 zones means I have 40 days planned, which leaves a handful of days unallocated. Completely intentional, I have some things planned and will use those extra days as a buffer.

The past few days I cleared a small area and actually ditched about one garbage bag already. I admit I mostly got rid of old chewed up dog toys. Still, anything that goes means less stuff in my flat.

Tomorrow (Friday) I’ll have my first obligated funrest day. I think I’ll clean out some pens…

[1] If all else fails I guess I can always rent storage space and become an actual storage hoarder.

The no-experiment

I’ve not felt well lately, very tired and stressed. Part of this comes from having a lot of appointments scheduled. A big part of it however comes from wanting to do to much. I don’t want to do extraordinary stuff — although for my condition it would qualify as such. I want to do stuff other people consider normal.

  • Walk the dog for an extra long time.
  • Buying groceries.
  • Hanging out with friends.
  • Visit family.
  • Go to the movies.
  • Randomly hop into the car with TG and go for a nice beach-walk.

All of these things require planning on my side, which also sucks up precious energy.

A couple of days ago I read Michael Nobbs’ new book Sustainable Creativity in which he discusses the importance of learning how to say ‘no’. For some areas I know when to say ‘no’: I can easily say it when I don’t want to do something, or I don’t have the time, or I have other plans. But at those times when I don’t have plans yet, I really want to do it and think I have the energy, I won’t say no. And this backfires. I rarely do have that much energy, and end up canceling many things. This does not make me happy.

Tonight I watched the movie ‘Yes-man ‘ and it gave me an idea. What if I say ‘no’ instead? I have things planned (and one not-yet-planned-but-sorta) and won’t _pre_cancel them. I will not make new plans however, excluding the ones where I go to the hospital (or other medical stuff) or where people come to my house (less tiring).

This May sound a little drastic, but I gave it some thought and it seems like a cool experiment. Worst case, I’ll feel bad the day after for saying ‘no’ and then I’ll have learned I said ‘no’ to something that matters to me. In a way, this will force me to re-evaluate things that matter to me most, and these May or May not include the things I think matter the most.

It will also, hopefully, give me some practice in saying ‘no’ when I do think I have lots of energy (but actually don’t and I end up wasting all of my reserves).

I have no idea about how long I want to do this, considering a month or perhaps until New Year