In Defense of Ill Structured Time

In Defense of Ill Structured Time

I felt stifled last week. And when I gazed at my calendar, there became a big reason why: my calendar was exploding. It was a rare week even for me in terms of my over-full calendar. I usually try to be very disciplined about blocking out my time but last week was a hot mess. From Monday until Friday at 6:30 p.m. when I finally got home, it was non-stop. It wasn’t all bad, we had a visitor in to the department that took most of one day, I had some professional development, and then there were the usual suspects of writing group, meetings, and getting my weekly work done.

Here’s the double edge sword. My week was so scheduled that it seemed that I got a lot done, but my brain was feeling under stimulated. I usually try and give myself several good chunks of time of ill-structured writing, to peruse articles, to piece writing together, but last week it wasn’t in the cards. As an introvert who craves the quiet, I was exhausted from the over-stimulated calendar I had and felt cheated of my day-dreamy like existence to read, think, process out loud, and work through research the way I have grown accustom to. I know I don’t always ‘get my way’ in this regard, but I didn’t realize how much of a drain it put on me until I got home Friday and proceeded to not move until my stomach hollered loudly for some supper. In fact, I got in bed and laid there. I didn’t fall asleep, my brain was too busy. I just laid in bed in the quiet for a while and then called a good friend to chat.

Sometimes, we need a busy week. It just happens. I don’t always get the luxury of getting what I want. I’m fully aware of this, but I hadn’t felt that run down since January and I can recall it was one person who drove me mad on that day. I came home and sat in the dark after that :). The situation was completely different and my coping skill that day was to just shut down upon coming home. Last week was more like a marathon, a slow burn, that I survived but also rewarded myself with as well. Could my calendar be worse? Absolutely. But then my hair would fall out, my face would break out, and I’d have a meltdown.

My calendar looks 1000% better this week. I carefully said “yes” and “no” to things to allow for this. I’m sure a few things will be added, but right now, my brain is happy because I’ll get a few hours to think, to read, to dive into things.

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