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Wednesday, April 2

My Life Isn't Very Well Planned

My life is an odd mix of contradiction. On the one hand I have a relentless diary, telling me to do this, that and the other across the months and I damned well do these thing. On the other hand, I feel like I'm constantly winging it.

At work, I have the combination of setting plans down on paper, only to find that reality is never quite as I hoped it would be.

Then there's the work-life balance problem. I find that my busiest out of work weeks can easily coincide with the biggest work stresses. Interestingly enough, leaving the office on time, rather than leaving hugely late, seems to have no significant effect on how much can really be achieved. Having said that, I know that the occasional all-nighter can achieve some sort of massive leap forward in progress, if there's a following wind.

To plan or not to plan? I certainly wouldn't make things as hectic as they apparently have been in the last couple of weeks on purpose. I wouldn't intentionally plan for some constant runs of gigs around the time when I also need to do a lot of DIY and work things. However, if I were to plan, I would probably end up underestimating the reality, and things might turn out worse. And I do plan. I put things down and then do them. More so out of work than in work. And then I think... perhaps some planning of fixed events is good, and you have to wing the rest... And perhaps sentences don't start with "And".

Today I gave some training. It was a session that someone asked for. I gave myself half an hour to prepare. In the end, my instinct was to put together a session that I could wing that was along the lines of a session I wanted to run last year but never got the chance. I started preparing for that one back last year and spent a couple of hours on it, only to be distracted.

So my half-hour preparation today, really off the cuff, yielded an hour-long "training session" attended by 5 people. It was a way of showing off the rubric - doing things by the book. I have the particular book on my desk, though I've not read all of it. I really enjoyed the session and I think it went ok. So, I couldn't have planned it better.

This is turning waffly a bit.

In a nutshell, the next few days will be tricky. Plans have collided with reality, but not too badly. In fact, the last couple of nights - valve nights, shall we call them - have proved convenient for making the work-life-plan-madness work out. Last night I got to do cooking and relaxing. Tonight I got to do some DIY and prepare for the future challenges. You see, the problem is that I'm away for the weekend. I'm doing DIY in Newcastle on Saturday after a gig in Bradford on Friday after a day working remotely in Leeds on Friday, after a gig on Thursday night on the way up North. This puts the pressure onto Wednesday night for me to prepare a car full of tools and a bag full of clothes in order to make all of this work.

Had I been gigging Tuesday and Wednesday, then I would have needed to magic some time up from somewhere to make tomorrow and the weekend work out. The only other thing I have to try to remember is to be conscious enough on Sunday to buy the Glastonbury tickets.

So, a bit of winging it, a lot of lucky just-in-time preparation and I am simultaneously planned and unplanned. Like Schrodinger's Gantt chart.


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