Ramblings from the Gryphon Rose

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Running Late

I’ve always prided myself on my ability to hit deadlines, even really short ones. But lately I’ve been slipping a bit. This past year, I’ve had to scramble a lot more to hit deadlines. I know it’s a combination of things, particularly my daughter and the full-time job, leaving me with a lot less free time. I’ve also been a lot more tired at night, since I spend all day working in an office (which really does seem to be more grueling than working at home where I can take breaks if I want to) and then try to keep up with a toddler in the evenings. And, since I have to be at work by 9, which means leaving the house at 8, I can’t stay up until 1 or 2 the way I used to, either.
Last night was a perfect case in point, where I found out the dangers of our recent furniture shuffle. I went upstairs to do some work at around 9:20, worked for maybe an hour, but found my eyelids drooping. Realizing I wasn’t going to get much more writing done while that was happening, I figured I’d take a break for a few minutes. So I got up from my desk and sat down on the futon, now conveniently located in my office just feet away. Next thing I know, it’s midnight. I had fallen asleep on the futon for over an hour! I felt really stupid, esp. since I was still tired enough that I knew I should just go to bed for real.
I know I can still do the work—that’s not a problem. And neither is my writing speed—if the past few weeks are any indication, I’ve actually gotten even faster, and I was already a bit scary at the keyboard. It’s just finding the time to sit down that’s harder.
It’s a tradeoff, of course. I’m thrilled to spend time with my daughter whenever possible, and with my wife as well. And I’m happy with my job. And I am still getting my projects done. I’m just pushing the deadlines a lot more, and occasionally having to ask for short extensions, and that I’m not happy about. It just feels like I’ve fallen off my freelance game a little, and I’m not sure I can fix that. The funny thing is, I can still manage rush projects just fine, because I get all fired up and just sit down and do them. It’s the longer ones, that have more lead time, that are proving harder to schedule.
Not that I’m going to scale back, by any means. I’m actually hunting around for more late-year projects right now, actually. I just need to be more careful with my time, I think, and I need to be sure I’m using my writing hours as efficiently as possible.


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