I got home from a 9-day family vacation at about midnight last night. In five days, my family and I are moving to a new city in a new state. And yet, in the next 48 hours, I have a full week’s worth of work to get done.
Why? Because I am constantly overestimating what I can accomplish in a day and underestimating how much time I need to decompress.
I consistently neglect to plan for downtime when I travel, expecting to hit the ground running as soon as the plane wheels do. I forget weekly that my brain will only function at top speed for so long before insisting on a break, making my planned writing marathons next to impossible. And sleep? I’m always sure I can get by on a few hours less in a crunch - and I’m always wrong.
I’m not sure how I haven’t learned my limitations by now. I do a pretty good job knowing what I’m capable of under normal circumstances and I happily take mid-day breaks when I need them. But I’m loathe to admit that I need time to adjust to a change in schedule, especially when travel is involved.
I want to be able to travel frequently for business and pleasure without having it affect my productivity. If I can maintain my normal workload, I can justify my freedom from a cubicle. Justify it to whom, I’m not sure.
I tell you all this as a confession of my own ridiculousness and not at all as a resolve to change.
Next week, I’m slated to move into my new home on Tuesday at 3pm after driving 12 hours on Monday. I haven’t asked for any extensions on deadlines and I’m planning to cram a week’s worth of work into the following Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Sure, I’ll be in a new home with no furniture and I need to get my kids registered in a new school district - but it will all work out just fine. I’ll just get up earlier and stay up later, and take a few less breaks.
That’s working out splendidly for me this week.