Thursday, February 17, 2011

A New Routine

Our five year old daughter started school last week.  Things seem to be going fine - no howling at the school gate (unlike her mother at the same age) and she seems to be adapting to the change.  Her three year old sister is in creche two days a week, and although she is less enthusiastic, she seems to be getting into the swing of things.  So, with my partner off to work and the house quiet, I have two days where I can (from the hours of about 9.30am - 3pm) do some WORK.  This is just as well, because I have a fair amount of work to do.  I'm re-writing a course which I'll be teaching in second semester and writing a piece of music for a performance in October and I also have a couple of other 'projects' I would like to get under way.  Although it is only the second week of my new routine, I am beginning to experiment with different work schedules.  Writing lecture notes and composing music are two quite different activities and I am finding that the best approach at the moment seems to be one day of words and one day of notes.  I find it difficult to change easily from one to the other but maybe this will be a skill I can develop with practice.  Once I am immersed in the world of sound, I want to stay there for as long as possible and the same is true when I am focussed on words and theoretical ideas.  For the time being, this is probably the most efficient way of working.  I'm also trying to make time for things like playing the piano - something which I've found very difficult to do with two small children around.  I remember thinking, when I was pregnant with child #1, that I would be able to play the piano with the baby/toddler/small child beside me, happy to listen to music.  This has NEVER been the case.  Either the children have cried, complained, joined in or just generally pestered me until I stopped.  It is lovely being able to sit for 20 minutes and play some Bach Preludes and just enjoy making music.  And then, with my mind focussed, I sit down and get on with some words or notes and reconnect with my thinking and creating self again.

1 comment:

  1. This is something I have also found very difficult to manage, now I have (theoretically) five days to work -- yet oddly I seem to be less productive than ever.
    What seems to work for me is breaking the day up into a schedule: emails and admin while eating breakfast after drop-off; work until lunch (interspersed with housework (NOT internet surfing!) if I find my concentration waning); more work after lunch, then yoga at about 2.15, followed by 45 minutes of reading before school pick up. I find I need to disengage from the world inside my head before I can re-engage with my children, otherwise I am distracted and cranky. It also gives me something to look forward to!
    This means that I'm at my laptop for "only" about 3-4 hours, but realistically, that is about the longest I can maintain a high level of concentration anyway.
    Of course there are myriad interruptions even to this unambitious schedule eg Alice is home sick today, I had proofing work to do this morning, I've promised to bring Rex in for Evie's show and tell at 3pm, and I need to cover some books for the school library... so the day is basically shot before I've even begun! Ah well, the intention is there, which is the first step I suppose.