Dailies 006: Curry Assessments and Realistic Work Loads

Another Snow Day Happy Tuesday! My blogging daily for March continues. It’s a snow day today (we’re getting 16-20 inches). Today’s topics are framing, curry, and feeling like I have too many uncertain tasks going on. You can watch today’s video or read onward!

Picture Frames and Curry

Yesterday had been a busy day mentally, so I tried to do some things that didn’t require a lot of thinking. First I made the Java Curry, an extra-spicy (though not really hot) Japanese-style curry with chicken, potatoes, carrots, and onions. I wanted to compare it to the usual brand of curry I can easily find in the supermarket, the ubiquitous SB Golden Curry. I would say that the Java curry was slightly better, more complex in its flavoring with a tiny bit more bite. It wasn’t eye-opening, though. I would still probably buy it if I had a choice. The next curry to try will be Kokumaro Curry, which is supposed to be an aromatic and rich curry. Here’s a guide on curry that I was looking at to learn about these other variants.

Java CurryJava Curry YumThe New Frames

While the curry was slowly cooking, I then assembled the aluminum art frames and loaded the matted artwork into them. I got these frames from American Frame, which has some cheap frame options in their S21 line (the others are a lot more expensive). For basic framing needs, these work fine up to a certain size.

Next step for the framing: I have to now figure out where to hang them, and also figure out HOW to hang them. I have some hanging wire, but I’m not sure exactly where I’ll put these. I had originally thought of getting a nice gallery-style wire hanging system, but that will have to wait until I have some money to budget toward it. For now I’ll just put nails in the wall and hope for the best. Maybe I’ll do it later in the week, but right now I really want to get to doing some productive work

What is a Realistic Work Load?

I was up late last night eating curry and binge-watching Dark Matter on NetFlix, not quite able to fall asleep until around 5AM. This morning I slept-in because I just didn’t want to get up. I told myself that it was because I was feeling sick still, and was concerned that my cough would turn into pneumonia so more sleep was a good idea, but in the back of my mind I was thinking that I was procrastinating or just being lazy.

During the livestream this morning I was reflecting on how unmotivated I was feeling about working on an HTML module by myself. It’s very boring, but necessary. I feel the weight of other projects that I’m not doing, and promises I’m unable to keep to myself and to others, and it is very depressing. Perhaps I am taking on too many projects still given my natural ability to work. It really bothers me that I am limited in this way, and I think I’ve been beating myself up over it still. I feel weak, like a loser, and while rationally I know that this isn’t a meaningful assessment I nevertheless still feel terrible about it.

Perhaps one way through is to just accept my limited abilities and work within them. I hate the feeling that I’m limited in any way, but if there is anyway for me to (1) accept it and (2) be happy about having less responsibility then that might be what I need to do. So let me list what I think is on my plate:

  1. billable work (April deadline, then July deadline) – this is a priority project that I think I should be working on daily, but probably should shift to a “3-day chunk” schedule.
  2. Patreon-related projects (monthly work) – this is an obligation that I want to keep with myself, and for people who are supporting me through the Patreon site. However, I seem blocked in my ability to freely pursue these projects
  3. local community ties (weekly work) – Periodically meeting with people, attending group meetings, recording podcasts, maintaining ties and being involved with other people’s projects. This keeps me grounded, but is very expensive in terms of mental energy.
  4. e-commerce business (weekly work) – Monitoring sales, estimating cash flow, planning new projects, marketing, promotion, accounting, etc. I have completely let this go on autopilot and it is hurting the business.
  5. household maintenance and improvements (weekly work) – The daily chores of cooking, cleaning, and decluttering the space.
  6. social media and blogging (daily work) – This is work I am compelled to do, doing the daily WHATS UP DAVE stream and also now doing daily blogging. To some extent it is also posting stuff to Twitter and Instagram, but I don’t have a media strategy for that related to any of my business interests. This can be surprisingly demanding. While I have the streaming and blogging down to about 60-90 minutes a day, it’s also a big chunk of my daily mental energy.
  7. virtual coworking (daily work) – Maintaining a presence in the virtual coworking chat and helping keep it going is one of my daily commitments. This can sometimes be distracting when people are talking about interesting things.
  8. family connections (daily work) – While initially I didn’t think I had a lot of family stuff going on since I live by myself, I do spend a lot of time on social media with my sister and my cousins. This can be a drain particularly when I am playing computer games with my cousins over the network, which is late at night and tends push my waking time back.

Is this a lot? It doesn’t seem like it should be, but I can see some patterns in here.

  • I have at most three 2-hour chunks of time per day that can be focused work battling unknowns like “the best way to do something for the first time” and “whether this work will have been worth doing”. I have ways to get past these unknowns, but they still take a lot of energy out of me.
  • I can do tasks like cleaning the house or cooking food without it costing too much mental energy, because the process is known. These tasks can be done around the “battling the unknown” time as a rest period.
  • I know that face-to-face social interactions are very expensive. 1 hour of social interaction = 4 hours of downtime.
  • It may be that I am doing more “focused work” than I thought; The daily blogging/video stream is focused work, and while it seemed easy to me it probably is more mentally draining than I think. I might have to reduce the time period from DAILY every few days.

My mind is unsettled much of the time these days, and it’s been difficult to focus on anything. It’s quite aggravating. However, with the insights above I might be able to reconstruct my day to account for the variations in my mental energies.

Kat Provided for Scale