Just over a week into 2021 and I think it’s fair to say we could all do with a break already. Back into lockdown thanks to virus mutations, a healthcare system at breaking point, domestic terrorism over in the USA, I dread to think what is next. But there we are, this will certainly go down in history as a jam-packed time…
My working week felt like at least a month. The first week back after a break always feels long, but this one just took the biscuit. I’m finding working in a field that is currently so reliant on clear and timely Government rather exasperating to say the least, and the ever-changing narrative really got to me these last few days. It sapped my energy but at the same time made it very hard to sleep properly. But there we are, life is like that sometimes.
Well I’ve always said my weekly blogs are going to be a very honest series…!
Inputs Versus Outputs
I read something very interesting the other day that I’ve decided will be my focus for the next few weeks. It’s not a resolution, or a goal as such, but based on how I’ve been feeling the last week or so, it might just help.
The aim is to concentrate on my inputs, rather than my outputs. That is, to work on the time, effort, habits I put in and not worry so much about the numbers or ticks or whatever else happens as a result. Most importantly, the aim is to be happy and content with the effort I put in, and that’s it.
It is very easy to worry about the numbers. In traditional goal setting, the stuff you do for work, KPIs involve reaching specific numbers of people or making specific amounts of turnover, or achieving a particular level of engagement. But actually, in our personal lives (and in our work lives to some extent), putting time and effort into what we put in rather than concentrating on those numbers can yield better results. Or at least it feels better. And to be honest, that’s what I need right now.
What do you think? Will it work? Any tips?
One of the things I quickly lost when I started working from home thanks to the pandemic, is that hour or so of pre-work productivity I would have before catching the bus or jumping in the car to go to the office. And with the comment above on inputs versus outputs at the front of my mind, one thing I’ve been working on this month so far, is to get that back.
It’s the thing I’ve noticed the most in my recent journalling; if I have a productive pre-work hour, the whole day feels productive, even if the ticks on my list are limited. It just feels better. I want more of that.
I know it’s not just me. It’s easy for good habits to slip or become muddied when working and living in the same space. I started off by sleeping in a bit longer, knowing that I didn’t need to make a packed lunch, catch the bus or get the car. And then instead of doing my normal pre-work admin and chores, you know, do some laundry, empty the dishwasher, that sort of thing, I was getting up, having a wash, and starting work straight away. I mean, it’s really no bad thing, but it is time to claim that time back and use it for myself again.
So, unless there is something work-wise I know really can’t wait until “normal” working hours, that 7am to just-before-9am period is mine. I use it for blogging, for tidying the house, for having a shower, for doing admin, for taking a few moments for myself. I’ll let you know how I get on.
An Eleven-Year-Old Blog
WordPress sent me an email to remind me that I first published on Splodz Blogz 11 years ago this week.
In that time, I have apparently published 2,747 posts (now 2,748… and some definitely better than others although for some reason I’ve so far not deleted any of the rubbish), had 8,795 comments, and have had well over half a million views.
I wrote this post last year when I hit ten, commenting that by the time they are ten, blogs have generally gone one of two ways; they have either fizzled out because their owners have moved onto something new (nothing wrong with that), or they are somehow part-time wage-earning beasts with big followings, high influencer ratings, associated e-books and events, cool merchandise and at least two awards.
I know I’m neither of those. I am not about to abandon Splodz Blogz as I still enjoy writing and sharing in this way, and I certainly haven’t broken into the world of the big bloggers, and that’s good with me. Splodz Blogz is my own little corner of the internet where I can write about things that please me and share them with anyone who fancies reading.
I’m told that my post about Blowing out Someone Else’s Candle is my most popular of all time, and it does feel rather relevant at the moment, so maybe you should read that one as soon as you’ve finished this one?
Anyway, happy eleventh birthday Splodz Blogz, maybe there will be a few more…
Saturday’s rather wholesome lockdown activity was making a willow weave basket. I don’t get my craft on as often as I should, but always enjoy it when I do; this was a genuinely lovely way to spend a few hours.
It’s actually rather shameful how long it’s taken me to make it. My mum and dad bought me the kit, which included all the sticks (including spares…) and instructions, over a year ago.
I know my basket isn’t going to win any awards. I mean, it’s quite rough around the edges, it’s very uneven, and there are plenty of kinks and splits in the willow. But I am content with all that. I thoroughly enjoyed making it, and that is the main thing. A Saturday very well spent, and I would definitely try another one in the future.
One of the added bonuses about making this (although probably also the reason it’s taken me so long to get on with it), was that I had to plan ahead. The darker willow had to be soaked for 48 hours and then left to develop for another 12, which meant I had to start the process on Wednesday in order to make the basket on Saturday. In a weird way it felt good to have a Saturday plan for a change, something we don’t get much of at the moment.
The kit was once made by https://midwaleswillow.co.uk, but it doesn’t look like they can be purchased online.
Buy Me a Cuppa?
I’ve been persuaded to sign up to Kofi, which means that if you fancy supporting me and my mini adventures, you can “buy me a coffee” (or a tea, naturally). If you want to, and only if you want to, head over to https://ko-fi.com/splodz to find out more.