Writing Efficiently In Times Of Scurvy

Content Warning: Pandemic related thoughts on efficiency.

A thing I didn’t actively consider as important to me as it has been is the quiet moments I get when the house is somehow unattended. I didn’t think I used that time to write per se – I actually figured it was overwhelming ‘fucking around’ time for me. But these days I’ve had it driven home to me just how much I use that time in big block units to generate ‘productivity,’ and how the presence of other people being awake in my spaces are thigns that I account for.

This isn’t just the material space, by the way: This is also online. The shift from Daylight Savings this year meant that instead of having two blocks of time to deal with my friends, in the morning and the evening, I instead have one narrower window of time and if I need to talk to them again before I sleep, I have to stay up for another two hours. Not dealbreakers at all, but it means that evening productivity on collaborative projects is reduced as well.

There’s also the way that time division and control over my time has been changed by the added needs of the lockdown situation. Fox and I normally do a lot of things together, and during this time of social distancing, we want to minimise the time spent outside; one of us shops faster than both of us, just because we don’t need to confer or check or browse. Shopping trips are fast, in, get the things on the list, get home again. Things are done with a plan and there’s less flexibility, which again: Speeds things up but also means that there’s time dedicated to making that plan, and when the opportunity arises to go to the store (because a friend can drive me), that’s how it gets done.

There’s some social connections that I keep tuned to to leap on like a tiger when they become available, too: I try to make sure I eat breakfast with a friend (online, of course) and chat with them, which means my mornings have a chunk of time torn out of them too. The travel time I normally used to make plans or do readings for work is gone.

Also, it’s hard to sleep and it’s hard to work, and it’s inexplicably, hard to not feel exhausted, all the time.

I guess what I’m saying is: It’s okay if you’re not producitve right now. Everything sucks and everyone is doing their best. You’re spending energy you didn’t realise you had on processes you didn’t realise would take that energy. Don’t beat yourself up about it.

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