On Being a Disruptive Element!

So, July is over and I’ve had 4 weeks off so far. I had so many plans at the start of this break. I was going to clean the house from top to bottom, do the entire garden (just short of an acre), get my horse fit enough to start competing him again, tune my harpsichord (yes, I do have a harpsichord and yes, I do tune it myself), file my tax return for 2010/2011, start my novel and about a million other things as well. What have I actually achieved? Nothing!! Absolutely none of the above and nothing else which wasn’t on the list either.


Admittedly I did have my DH’s mother staying for two weeks and it’s difficult to do some things when other people are around but, to achieve absolutely nothing is not good and, quite frankly, I’m annoyed at myself. Heck, I barely even managed to get on Twitter some days!

But, there are reasons for me not achieving the things I wanted to. These are not excuses as there are no excuses for frittering away a whole month but they are valid reasons.

Firstly, I didn’t give any importance to any of the things I wanted to achieve. For those of you who have read my posts on setting goals you will know what I mean. If you haven’t read these posts you can find them here. I made a list of all the things that I wanted to do but I didn’t set them up as goals with an end date, how I planned to achieve them etc. and, as you can see, I achieved nothing. I’m not saying I haven’t had a lovely restful time and sometimes having some time to do nothing is lovely, but I could have easily planned some ‘me’ time into my days and I would be feeling less frustrated right now. This is why so many people never actually realise their dreams because, although they may think about them a lot, they don’t make a SMART plan and stick to it. Because I didn’t take the time to plan for the things I wanted to achieve, my brain didn’t see them as important.

Secondly, I need structure to my day. If I’m left to my own devices and have no time constraints I tend to do nothing very much. Minutes run into hours, hours run into days, days run into weeks etc. This is why I get so much more done when I’m working. When I’m working I know that I will have someone coming to my studio at a certain time or that I have to be somewhere by 7pm. On busy days I can work from 10am until 10pm but I know where I stand. I know the number of hours I have left to do anything that isn’t work related. I can write tasks into my diary as part of my day and that way everything gets done (mostly). Sometimes there really aren’t enough hours in the day but I honestly couldn’t live without a ‘to do’ list and my work diary which is – for those who are interested – an A5 Aqua Finsbury Filofax with a day per page diary system.

So, I now realise that I definitely cannot be left to my own devices and I need to be working towards something all the time. I was once told by one of my tutors at Uni that it had been noted that when I’m bored I become disruptive. A ‘DISRUPTIVE ELEMENT’ he said! Moi?? But, I do like routine. I do like to be busy. I like having structure to my day and I’m at my best when I’m working towards a goal or deadline and so, for the rest of this holiday and any future breaks I might have, I will be setting myself a series of mini goals. They may be to go shopping five times, to read two books, meet friends for lunch three times and have a cupcake every day but at least I’ll know I’ve achieved something.

Until the next time,

 Denise x
               …now…where did I leave that hoover?

5 comments / Add your comment below

  1. Hi Denise,

    I understand you well. It is quite comfortable for a shorter period of time, to be doing nothing. But after a while it feels like lost time.

    As you stated, there was a positive outcome for you! You know what to do different the next time…

    Have fun with the hoover;-)


  2. Hi Thomas,
    Thanks and yes, I’ve definitely learned something from this and I will make sure I have definite plans for all my holidays/time off from now on.
    As for the hoovering…I still haven’t quite got round to it yet 🙂

  3. Wow, you could’ve written this post about me. I suck without some sort of structure. I would LOVE to work at home, but it would be really difficult also because I’m an expert at just frittering away time (or Twittering actually) 😀

    Excellent post! (I”m still in awe over the harpsichord…)

  4. Hi Rori, thanks. The harpsichord sounds great (when it’s in tune) but it takes a lot of work to keep it in tune. I had always wanted one and my DH bought it for me for Christmas a couple of years ago.

    As far as not getting things done goes I think it’s takes a very disciplined person to work from home and keep their own schedule. Although I work from home I have to keep appointments, do lessons and attend meetings so I’m bound by time but if I didn’t have that to keep me right I would never get anything done – ever – except perhaps spend time on Twitter. What would we do without Twitter??

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