Day 2

I get up at 7.30am today but spend one and a half hours dicking around doing nothing much. Mostly I’m reading stuff on the Internet and trying to find a way to fix my phone myself. Not going to happen though. 

I feel a level of anxiety now, I start to feel stressed because two hours have passed and I’ve done nothing that is useful. I have this weird thing where I always feel compelled to be doing something, achieving something, working on something, and when I’m not doing so, I feel like I’m just wasting time, and that gets me anxious, as though there’s never enough hours in the world, and me wasting them is a terrible thing that means my life is going to become a disaster.

The only time I don’t feel like this is when I’m with Sam or actually engaged in conversation with somebody.

I need to realise that sometimes its OK to just ease into things. So, my daily live journal starts now, at 8.58am.

Today’s tunes

Just to start with, I’m listening to Tool – 10 000 Days

9am – Gratitude List and Meditation

I make tea and do the stuff that should set me up in a good frame of mind for the day. I wrote more extensively about gratitude, meditation, mental health and spirituality yesterday, so I won’t go into great detail about it again here.

9.16am – Tai Chi & Shower

There are some days when no amount of Tai Chi, meditation, positive thinking or writing will slow my mind down. Today is one of those days. My mind races, 200 miles per hour, a constant deluge of panic, a fearful-yet-demanding voice constantly yelling at me “DAMN IT, CHRIS, DON’T YOU KNOW THERE’S SO MUCH TO DO TODAY!?!?”

Truth is most of the stuff that I’m telling myself I have to do today isn’t all that important, or at least isn’t anything I can’t put off until some other day, but not only can I not differentiate between what is important and what isn’t, I can’t differentiate between what has to be done by the end of today, and what has to be done NOW NOW NOW.

It’s like I’m in this damn panic that I have to do everything all at once. I can’t prioritise properly, or at all, and it drives me crazy. I’m even writing this journal now while my brain is telling me ‘CHRIS, THERE’S SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT SHIT WE GOTTA DO RIGHT NOW!’

All that does is ruin the time I have with my exercises and makes me stressed whilst showering, shaving and getting ready.

9.40am – Breakfast

Breakfast toda is a three-egg-and-spinnach omlette. Today is the first day that I try and ween myself back onto fully healthy foods, and this should be packed with protein without giving me loads of excess fat.

9.45am – Medication

I’ll be honest, I haven’t been taking my anti-depressants for the last few  days. It might sound stupid, but when I take them, I find that I can’t cum without great difficulty. I’ve been enjoying -like really enjoying- being intimate with Sam as of late, so I wasn’t taking my medication because I wanted to enjoy that experience fully.

Today though, I took them, because I realise that this is not a good thing to be doing, and Sam would likely yell at me if she found out.

This is just part of my self-destructive behavior. Yeah great, get anti-depressants which stop me from wanting to kill myself and allow me to function like a human being, but then don’t take them just so I can have an orgasm properly. C’mon Chris, you’re a smart guy, you should know better than that.

10.05 am – Parents and Into Town to Get Phone Fixed

I don’t own a washing machine, so first I had to walk down to my parents to take a load of laundry. I of course do the laundry load myself, I just literally need their machine.

Town is literally two miles from my house, so I walked the first mile and a half to get some exercise then jumped on the bus for the final half mile.

The guy in the phone shop promised to do what he could for my phone, but it might mean a complete data reset, which sucks. Either way, I’ll call them after I get some work done and see what the deal is.

11.36am – Home and Work Attempt Fail One

Got a few more articles to write up for Albert, social media posts to proof for Navot, and all my weekly plans and goals to do.

I get barely anything done -my weekly To Do List (more of which later) and the social media posts are both done- and I can feel myself crashing and burning hard. Like my body and brain are giving up on me. A fog comes over me. It’s like I just physically and mentally shut down.

12.24pm – Nap

I set an alarm for 2pm, and go lie down to take a nap.

2pm – Call Phone Shop, Start Work, Drink Tea

I get up from my nap, make a cup of tea and call the guy about my iPhone. That’s ready, so I can go and collect it any time.

I kick myself because I’ve missed Sam telling me she was awake. Hopefully I get to say hello to her before I go get my phone. For now, I’m going to drink my tea and start on my work.

2.35 – Go to Get My Phone

That took literally forever because of the traffic. My phone works but it’s been a poor quality replacement so the resolution is shitty, but at least I got my phone back. That’s all that matters, and they didn’t have to delete anything, so I’ve got all my contacts, apps and messages.

Also, it was pissing down so I got home just now literally soaking wet through. Didn’t realise I was feeling low, but i was, so I went out and bought two cream cakes.

4pm – Wasted an hour

Just wasted it. Daydreaming about Sam, looking at stuff on the internet, killing time that could be spent doing better things. I’m tempting to just draw a line under today and go watch Archer on Netflix, but no. I’ll persist. Move forward. Try and aim to get that 2 hours of work done today. It’s the only way I’m going to get anything achieved.

5pm – Wrapping up work

I get some more done, which, combined with the earlier stuff I did, makes for two hours of total work done today. Not nearly enough, but just about all I’m capable of for today. I got two more articles done for Albert, and will try to have the rest wrapped up for Monday. For now though, I’m going to make more tea, make a chart for this week, and get other crap ticked off my daily to-do list.

6.25pm – My Weekly Goal Progress Chart

I think I learned this strategy from one of Paul McKenna’s books, but I could be wrong about that.

Basically, every week, I make a chart that lists my four biggest goals in the vertical column and the days of the week in the horizontal column (I always track my goals Saturday to Friday). I then pin this up on the noticeboard in my kitchen.

The plan, is that every day I have to do at least one task, no matter how small, which will ultimately contribute to me achieving those goals. Putting it somewhere prominent where I will see it often means that I will have a reminder at all times of what I’m supposed to be doing, and it will keep me motivated to do at least one thing from each of those each day.

So for example, under the category WEALTH, I have put my target income for this year, and anything I do which contributes towards me achieving that target, whether its working for a client, working on advertising my business, or anything similar, counts. Under PASSION, I have put a goal to do with my writing, so every day that I write at least something, that works.

Speaking of which, that’s my next task.

6.35pm – Working on Hobby Blog

I spend roughly an hour updating the blog I write as a hobby. This mostly includes just planning a new blog article, sorting out some pictures from the last one and doing a bit of background research. To be honest, this is really not something I want to be doing today, but at least if I clock it off the list it’s done and I can move on to something else.

7.25pm – To The Shop for Quick Dinner

I’m tired and in a defeated mood. Can’t be bothered cooking. Going to the shop down the street to buy something cheap and quick for dinner. I can clean up in the kitchen whilst it’s cooking, then I’ve done everything I need to do for the day.

I get hot dog sausages and baked beans, and cook them with three pieces of cheese on toast. Yeah, my diet went way out of the window already on day one, all because I was too tired to put the effort in, so because of that, I hit the self-destruct button and ruin my first chance to start losing weight. I reason that I can always start again tomorrow.

Whilst dinner is cooking, I take a few minutes to wash the dishes and go round the kitchen.

8pm – Watching TV and eating dinner

I sit down with my dinner to watch Archer on Netflix. It’s one of my favourite shows and makes me laugh out loud. Though I said earlier (or was it yesterday) that I always feel compelled to be doing something, I’ve found that if I get everything off my list done for the day, I find it acceptable to give myself permission to just chill out and relax, though if I’m going to watch TV, it has to be something that makes me laugh.  ]

Laughter is good for me, releases endorphin and makes me feel good about the world, so I do that until I get the chance to talk to Sam.

10pm (roughly) – Weekly Review and Goal Setting

Sometime around 10pm, I get the chance to talk to Sam on the phone for the first time today. She has to hang up for a while and then call me back, so while I’m waiting I take the time to do my weekly review and goal setting.

I’ve been doing this for a few years now and find it’s really helpful for a number of reasons.

  • The weekly goals I set give my week some structure and keep me focused throughout the week
  • By working on my weekly goals I ensure that I’m working towards larger goals
  • Weekly reviews help me to point out areas where I need to improve or pick up the slack
  • Weekly reviews help me to realise that I’m doing better than I believe, especially when I think I’ve had a bad week, but it turns out that I’ve actually accomplished quite a bit.

The way it works is simple:

Weekly goals:

Each week, I first give myself a pep talk about what is the most important thing for me to accomplish each week. Then I set three targets:

  1. Target income
  2. Target words to write
  3. Target miles to cycle

I then write a list titled TEN THINGS I WILL ACHIEVE THIS WEEK. 

All ten items are a combination of tasks towards my longer monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals (I’ll write more about these in a few weeks), plus tasks which just need to be done that week, such as work tasks or attending appointments.

My weekly goals for the coming week for example, look like this:

weekly-goals

I always try to set these goals on a Saturday, and give myself until midnight on the upcoming Friday to get them accomplished.

Next, I create my complete to-do list for the week. I do this by folding a piece of paper in half, and writing down 25 tasks on each side. These tasks are basically the above ten goals broken down into their smallest, manageable tasks.

So, for example, goal 6 above: Fix Chris’ Laptop is me trying to do something good for a woman I know from church. Fixing the laptop is the goal, but there are about three or four things that I’ll need to do in order for the laptop to be fixed, so each of those individual tasks go on my list.

My daily to-do lists with only ten or eleven items on them are mostly me picking tasks from my weekly To-Do list (often I just call this the TDL) to get done that day, along with any tasks that just need to be done that day, again like appointments or making phone calls etc.

Then, the following morning, before setting new goals, I review how the week went.

Weekly review

With my weekly goals, I first record a whole bunch of stats which I have been keeping track of in a spreadsheet. These stats are:

  • Number of hours I worked
  • Number of words I wrote and published
  • Number of miles I cycled
  • How much money I got paid that week
  • Number of weekly goals I completed (out of ten)
  • Number of individual tasks I completed (out of 50 – a great week for me is when I complete all fifty)

I then write down a list titled TOP FIVE THINGS I ACHIEVED THIS WEEK. This is usually the most important goals from my weekly goals list that I achieved, plus anything else that came my way and got done.

Finally, I write a quick REVIEW with just a few lines about how I felt the week went, what was good about it, what was bad about it, and what I need to focus on in the coming week.

11pm Back to TV and Bed

It was about 11pm by the time I’d done all my goal setting for the week and got to talk to Sam again. After I hung up with Sam, I made three more pieces of cheese on toast, watched a few more episodes of Archer and finally went to bed around 1am.

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY

Saturday was a long, hard slog. Apart from getting soaking wet and throwing my diet way out of the window, there were no major disasters. Nothing went terribly wrong, and I think the only way my ADHD really affected me was when I was getting distracted and taking hours to get anything done.

I’m just glad I got my phone back today, because I realised how much I depend on it. I feel like now that I’ve got it back, I’ve got all the tools I need to really make a go of things. Until tomorrow.

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