I may not have written as much as I’d care to over the past year or so of my hiatus, but you can bet your sweet bippy I haven’t been sitting idle either. Between 56 games, 15 shows or movies and 16 books, I’ve been consuming fiction like it’s going out of fashion.
All with the help of lists! Yeah, not every post here is going to be a winner.
So what am I going on about? Well, before my schedule got thrown rather out of whack with a move, crazy job hours, a generalized anxiety and feeling of being slowly consumed by encroaching madness, I kept myself to a decent schedule. Half hour of reading (at least), half hour of writing, half hour of exercise and a list of things I wanted to do every day. You know what this let me get done?
Well, I kind of gave that away in my little forward bit didn’t I?
The thing is, schedules and lists are awesome for more than just trains and accountants. They can help you get things done and keep things in perspective. It’s easy to get overwhelmed if you want to get immersed in some long running series (books, TV, games, take your pick) but if you lay out a simple list of components (books, episodes, levels) it becomes a much more manageable task.
And I say task very specifically. Yes, you cluck your tongue at my use of task in reference to watching TV, but that’s what it is. It’s not just brainlessly lolling around on the couch, letting my eyes absorb whatever happens across them. My lists put me on a mission.
Right now, I don’t have myself on a particularly rigid schedule and its become a problem. Quite simply, it’s too easy to come home, lie down in front of the TV and while away the time until I have to crawl into bed.
You know what I could be doing? Writing a post on here, working on editing one of the two longer pieces of fiction I’ve done, working on some new stories I have kicking around, maybe even something less productive! After all, you allow yourself a certain amount of time for sleep most of the time, why not a certain amount of time to enjoy being awake? Why not schedule yourself for an hour of your favorite show or that book you’ve been enjoying?
Too many people see lists as obstacles. A dull set of items that have to be done before you can have unplanned fun. Why is that? I think it’s because people are too often chained to these lists. After all, it’s rarely a list of fun things, it’s more like “take out the trash, clean the windows, battle the minotaur.” Nothing you want to do, but certainly things that need to get done if you’re going to have King Minos take you seriously.
But people plan ahead for other things that are fun. When you go on vacation, it’s typically not “book trip to Scotland and hope for the best,” you plan it out. Where are you going to land? When? What are you going to do around the area? When are all of those things going to be done? When are you coming home? How are you getting around? Most people wouldn’t leave all of those to chance upon landing and would spend time and energy to make sure they don’t have to run around in a panic trying not to get stuck at The Moldy Kilt.
Planning ahead, even things you want to do in your spare time, gives you a sense of accomplishment over relaxing. People talk about life hacks in terms of growing an avocado in a jar, this is brain hacking folks! There is a lot of psychological validation that comes from crossing items off a list. You have a list of tasks and you’ve done them, it doesn’t really matter what they are as long as they took some time and effort to accomplish.
Honestly, I think we could all do with some more validation, even if it’s because you finally finished watching a show about a bunch of high school girls having tank battles.