I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." --Douglas Adams
As regular readers of this blog may know, I am one who likes to feel productive. It is so important that I be able to check things off my list and know that I have made my world one-tick-mark better than it was before. In order to get this feeling of accomplishment, I will often put things on my to do list that I have already done (like, eat breakfast) or are things that I don't need to be reminded to do (like, eat breakfast). It may be cheating, but dad gummit, I've accomplished something! This sense of achievement may be spurious, but at least it is also fleeting. In any case, I don't think that I have ever actually completed a to do list from beginning to end in one day.
Yesterday was a red letter day. I was on fire! Writing: completed. Exercising: sweat through. Correspondence: caught up with. Child: fed, cuddled, read to, and bathed. Floors: swept. Chicken pot pie: made from scratch. Fly Lady Daily Cleaning Mission to Clean Out the Gunk in the Upstairs Bathroom Light Fixture: done via Q-tip. There was not a single item on my to do list that went unchecked.
I felt great about this until this morning. I woke up this morning with the heavy weight of knowing it was possible to be enormously productive. Why on earth did I do this to myself? I felt the way that Woody Allen does in Hannah and Her Sisters after he finds out that he doesn't have cancer. He's happy for a few moments, but then realizes something even worse could happen to him.
I tried to talk myself out of my post-productivity let down. J was actually the individual who bathed LO. It was on my to do list, and it was outsourced. So, technically, I had not completed a to do list and had not jinxed myself. But the fact of the matter was that the child was now clean and sweet-smelling, and the to do list did not care how it came about. As I drove to the gym, I knew if something happened to make today even one iota less productive, I would feel somewhat like Douglas Adams.
So, here I am at 5 pm, just finishing up my blog entry. I have not done a load of laundry. I have not worked on my freelance gig. I have not gotten the mail, read to LO, swept the floors, planned dinner, pet the dog, nor cleaned all the switchplates in the house, as per Fly Lady's instructions. What have I done today? I've taken a short nap that was interrupted by several hours of lazing on the couch. I have read my advice columnists. I have eaten chocolate (and today was supposed to be a sweet free day!). And I have watched five episodes of 30 Rock. (Curse you streaming Netflix! You are the enemy to productivity!)
I think the problem was that I hit my productivity groove too early in the week. You can't have a Monday be the first day in your 31 year history you have ever checked everything off your to do list. It's something you really need to work up to! Now, unless I hit the same task-accomplishing stride every day this week that I hit on Monday, the week will feel like a wash. I really have to lower my Monday expectations.
So, if you'll excuse me, I have to go re-read a book that I've already read approximately 14 times. That bad boy isn't going to re-read itself.