My day has two beginnings. I wake up, firstly at 9am. Get out of bed, walk down the hall and into the kitchen to take my pills. I never remember doing this, but I always do it. It’s an automatic routine now.
Then I return to bed and wake again at about 11am. I collect my daily diet soda (zero sugar as I’m prediabetic) and arrange myself in my study. I set up my laptop on my desk and start checking emails, website inboxes, facebook comments, twitter notifications. Respond to anything interesting.
Update my goals on the goal tracking website and check in with my habit tracker. You can list 7 habits that you want to start. Then you can tick off every day that you’ve done it. The idea is to keep tracking these tasks, and improving your follow-through until they become habits. You can rank them by priority, high, medium or low. And set up how many days of the week you want to do them.
Then an algorithm assigns points to each habit. Your total points for the week should be 80 or above – is the goal, I’m normally about 45. If I do achieve 80-100 (100 is 100% of habits achieved) I’ve decided to give myself a reward.
Rewards are difficult for me, I love my work (though still not really even part time and very low pay) and part of my work is appreciating entertainment which is also my leisure. So a reward that has nothing to do with work is hard for me to come up with.
A few ideas I had were a special meal at my favourite café – waffles, 2 strawberry thick-shakes and a gelato. I couldn’t do that more than once a month because I have to keep my sugar low. But I was going to do that anyway.
Another idea was to watch a tv marathon for a day, or half a day. But I already watch at least a movie each day.
One more idea was to go to my local department store and spend $20 on 2nd hand dvds or games, but that could get pretty expensive and I already have a lot of regular weekly expenses. So I’m a bit stuck for rewards.
And although B. F. Skinner will be rolling in his grave (he created the positive reinforcement system and was very against punishment) – I’m thinking maybe I should punish myself for not being above 80% achievement.
After I’ve done all that, keeping in mind I’m still slowly waking up and I haven’t left the house in at least six days. And I have paranoid delusions which I’d like not to go too far into detail about, except to say that I have them and it’s about this time that they are the most difficult.
After all that, I usually watch some television. I know I should read a book or something, something intellectual rather than ‘opium for the masses’, but there are some pretty good shows out there and though I’ll not say it relaxes me, I feel it at least distracts me for a while.
It’s now 5pm. For some, most of the day is wasted. For me, I’m just waking up, getting energised. So I talk to my family and at 6pm on the dot, I take a long walk. Shower and hopefully clean teeth later, I take two hours for the delusions again, or distract myself with the internet.
At 9pm I begin my work. The first hour is for 350 words of my young adult novel. In the second hour I either work on rewrites (currently 20pgs each day on my script for a graphic novel.) Otherwise I write 2pgs of each of two screenplays. With the goal of finishing 2 screenplays (or equal sized manuscript – stage plays, video game storylines) every 3 months; so I’ll aim to have 11 manuscripts completed by this time next year.
Next year will be a year for promotion and distribution, I’ll just research, submit and prepare documents for submission – I’ll still write, but I’ll take a lot of would-be writing time to try and get my work out there. For the final hour I write 3pgs of a short story.
It’s now midnight, I’m a bit tired but not as lethargic as the morning. So I devote an hour and a half to reading 15pgs each of two textbooks on computer programming, animation or adobe software. I self-study and my favourite way to learn is a combination of reading books and trying stuff out on the computer.
I’m also learning 2d digital painting, one day I’d like to sell some of my works, maybe on t-shirts. I have this one piece I did called The Evolution of Derek. Derek is a character in my graphic novel.
The first sketch I did, (before the graphic novel was even conceptualised and some of the story was based on the ideas within the sketches themselves – rather than the other way around,) was terrible, but I liked bits and pieces of it, so I redrew it keeping and elaborating on those pieces. Eventually I settled on a character and spent several hours in Photoshop evolving him, colouring him digitally and stretching/filters until I was happy.
Lots of people think he is very disturbing, but he’s just a face, a face I created. The Evolution of Derek is milestone sketches representing each stage of Derek’s evolution as a character, with a large image at the end, of the final design.
I have to go to bed before 2:30am, because I get up around 11am-12:30pm – and if I don’t get around ten hours of sleep I’m a zombie who behaves a bit like a heroin addict.
That’s my day and I have one more thing to say. I take my pills before bed. This is my least favourite time of day because I worry. I worry constantly until I fall asleep. And before I do, I get up several times for drinks of milk and 3 hot cheese sandwiches. I worry about the closest people to me and how the consequences of my choices and behaviour has affected them. Apparently they worry all the time about me, but I can’t think why. Sometimes I cry for about an hour before falling asleep.