Updated on Sunday, March 12th, 2023
It is a fine Sunday, filled with hope and possibilities. I sit down with my regular cup of coffee and ponder on the tasks that are to be completed for the day. I have a solid few hours ahead and I am sure I can complete a lot on my checklist. Time is on my side, so I take it slow. I put on my favorite show on TV as I have breakfast and postpone my planning for a while.
It is lunch. Most of my morning whiled away binging the series and I had to pull myself away to have my afternoon meal. I find my mind clogged, unable to take a decision. I have so much to do, but I don't know where to start. The stress just gets to me. I feel so very tired. I think I should take a nap and worry about all this later. I do take a nap and wake up feeling groggy. I have so much to do. But I feel so groggy and I go back to sleep for another half an hour.
It is evening. I am panicking. I have done nothing on this day. I only have a few hours left. I am in the Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul (the sensation of an emotional void and pointlessness filling a Sunday afternoon, and the sensation of the impending Monday). I choose to do something small and waste away some time trying to decide what to choose. My checklist is huge and in my mind, but it seems like my mind is jammed and just throws something random at me.
It is dinner time. I make small progress at some huge pointless task. My website lays undeveloped. My articles lay unwritten. I find myself at the wrong end of a binge. The least I can do is plan for the week ahead. The only useful thing I successfully complete in the day.
I push my bedtime, but now its too late. What was once possibility is now just a hopeless end. I give the burden of completion to another Sunday as I head to bed for the week ahead has begun.
I have found myself at the tail end of many such Sundays in the past. I have come to realize that there are many factors that have led to my procrastination.
Trying to complete it all in a day
Most Sundays get singled out for completing the non-work work, writing articles, creating something new, cleaning up the backlog outside of work. The To-Do List of a Sunday does not match the available time in the day and hence, their is always this unseen overwhelming pressure.
How do you eat an elephant?
"One bite at a time"
Ideally, I should take it one task at a time and not be worried about the quantity in completion, but the quality. A certain amount of quality time focused on getting progress in the task is more important. Making sure this depth is achieved for a few of the tasks rather than trying to travel the breadth of the list is mandatory. It is better to spend 2 hours on a single task than the same time trying to work on 10 different ones.
Being at home
Environment matters a lot when it comes to focus. Sundays find me at home, at the most comfortable. I can watch whatever I want, play on whichever console and even take a nap or two. The space lulls me into a sense of laziness that most Sundays while away into nothing.
A change of space causes a shift in focus and especially if that space is not home, the choice to do certain things are taken away from me, chief among them being taking a nap. Heading to a park or a café would create a sense of responsibility and reduce the number of distractions that keep me away from completion.
Perception of time
There is always a different perception of time on a day that is supposedly free and unplanned. There are things to do and the possibilities seem endless because there always seems to be enough time to do it all in a day. This perception of time is especially true at the start of the day. Thus, the number of tasks that is possible to be completed seems to be huge.
As the day drags through, the perception shifts every so slightly, until there is a flip when it all seems impossible. What seemed totally achievable just a few hours ago, now seems like a distant dream.
Keeping a check on reality with a planning and correcting the course of progress as the day passes would go a long way. A portion of the day allotted to a task takes away the distraction of trying to decide what to do. Giving some time and space for rest is also important (It is Sunday after all).
...And One More Thing
Why does it fall on this one day to take the burden of completion? A more optimal method for progress would be to distribute progress across the week and compile it on Sunday. As continuous small steps are made, there is always some form of completion before you start to make great headway on this one day.
All in all with a little focus, planning the time and change of space, I hope to reduce the burden of Sundays and come back with some productive outcomes. Did you find yourself relating to any of this? Perhaps this helped you or you found a more effective method. Let me know by tweeting out to @godric_snow.