Searching for greater productivity

Back in Baltimore, settling into my truly palatial room. I’m in the master bedroom of this house, so it’s larger than my entire apartment used to be. All of my furniture fits inside here with no problems. And it has windows (my old apartment was a basement apartment). I used to scoff when people said that they needed plenty of natural light, but I’m starting to come around. There is something about the light of the evening sun…(my windows are westward facing).

I’ve spent the day sort of putting things into order and sort of doing the stuff I’m supposed to. You know, I’m always fairly productive, but I do have more and less productive periods. And August has definitely been one of my less-productive periods. No mystery about it, just Sewanee combined with driving across the country.

And even more than productivity, I also miss the sense that I am firing on all cylinders and can’t wait to get to work. Ever since completing a major project before going to Sewanee, I’ve sort of felt like I was forcing it. Right now, I’m working on a short story for workshop (the first I’ll have completed since February!) And that’s absolutely necessary. But also hard to get excited about, for some reason. I also have all these short stories and novels that I need to revise. And I have a few exciting new ideas that I want to write.

And all of it hinges on increasing my level of productivity. At my current pace, I’m only going to be able to do a fraction of the things that I want to. If I can ramp it up by just 50%, then more stuff will become possible. This is a barrier that I’ve struggled with for most of the year: that gap between working for ten hours a week and working for fifteen hours a week.

It’s a silent war, but it’s one that I think I’m starting to make some progress on. It’s a bit hard to describe my productivity techniques, since they tend to be very fine instruments. Over the years, I’ve moved away from making schedules and goals, and towards different ways of tracking my progress and sieving my data. However, at some point, I do just need to sit up and kick things into another gear.

Not that I’ve been particularly unproductive. Year to date, I’ve been exactly as productive this year as I was last year. But I want and know that I am capable of more.