Scheduling the day according to Energy

I’ve come across an interesting realization as I work towards a more focused and productive lifestyle. I was hoping to have my book and my current art project completed by the end of October. The recent events have really destroyed my motivation and discipline. For the past few months I’ve been in a rut that’s drained me of my ability to really achieve the progress I want. I want to try and get back to my productive routine to work towards my goals. However, I realized that by the time I started writing or working on my artwork I was so mentally exhausted I couldn’t really focus or do any real meaningful work.

It took me a while to think about why that could be the case. I tried extensions to limit the amount of time I was on YouTube or Reddit or any other site but found that did nothing. Tried waking up earlier and sleeping regularly again but that still didn’t help. I was kind of lost as to what was happening until I considered what I was actually doing and the order in which I did it.

I made a rough schedule to follow every day. I would read earlier in the day and then follow it with writing and then artwork to close the night. I thought this made the most sense as I wanted to make sure I would finish reading in time to write a book review. But a couple days ago, I realized I had barely made any progress on my artwork and I was nowhere near where I wanted to be editing wise. It took some reflection and journaling from those days to realize the majority of my productive time was spent reading rather than actually writing or drawing.

I’m not a slow reader, but I’m not exactly a speed reader as well. My goal was to try and read 100 to 150 pages a day. Unfortunately, I like to try and reread parts to make sure I grasp what just happened or see if there were any clever set ups for the payoffs that happened. I ended up taking hours to read as I also have a tendency to get sucked into a book when it’s really good. What I realized was that most of the energy I had for the day was spent on reading it made me step back and re-evaluate how I was structuring my day.

The most amount of energy I have during the day is in the morning and afternoon which I focused on my morning routine and then reading my daily amount. But moving forward I think I’ll try and do my more mentally strenuous goals earlier in the day and the less taxing tasks later in the day. Art is harder for me as the amount of creativity feels more intense than editing or reading. Hopefully scheduling my harder goals earlier in the day when my energy is at its peak will improve productivity and fulfill my goals.

I thought this was an interesting realization and I hope this helps anyone else feeling like they’re in a rut. 🙂

– Raphael

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