Last 4 days have been decent. Again, I keep flip flopping in how much I care, often based on whether I'm frustrated with something or not. Like I mentioned in the first post, when you don't have any real sources of discomfort in your life, it's sometimes difficult to draw consistent motivation.
But this journal isn't about what's not working well, it's about strategies to get things working better.
Here are the most useful things I've learned about myself since starting this:
1. All-or-nothing, do-it-perfectly thinking doesn't work for me because I inevitably run into hiccups or run out of motivation.
2. Planning things out for specific times has worked best for me so far. The only trouble here is sleep, because if my sleep schedule doesn't coincide with my planning, everything goes to shit. I think this strategy is a good starting point for me, but I need to get a better handle on when I sleep, and have a contingency plan for when I inevitably stay up all night.
3. I most likely need to burn bridges if I really want to get something more substantial out of myself day by day.
4. I have trouble spreading my effort between too many different things.
5. I need more medial tasks to do in between the dense stuff. I can't always just sit down and read for 3 hours. I need to get up for 10 minutes, clean my apartment, or do SOMETHING that doesn't require intense focus. The only time I seem to be able to override this is when I get in a flow state with something.
I think it will be useful for me if I can find a few mindless productive activities to do when I don't feel like I can concentrate on more mentally challenging ones. Sometimes I just can't get myself to sit down and read an Anatomy text book or wrestle with piano theory -- and this often leads me to feel like I don't know what the hell to do with myself, because anything that requires a lot of mental engagement seems like too much.
If I can find some go-to activities (cleaning apt, making phone calls, making a meal, etc), I think it'll be easier to stay productive, and when I do feel like I have the energy to do something, I won't have other obligations left undone.
6. On the same note as #3, I need to come up with more concrete activities with more concrete results. That'll require more concrete goals. Right now I know I need to learn... that's about it. But learning often happens most effectively when you're actively trying to do something, not preparing to do something. It's a weird situation, really enjoying where you are, but really wanting to prepare for the next step without taking it yet...or even knowing exactly what it is. It's mostly that I just feel a huge sense of urgency, like I've seen so many people do it wrong (end up doing something they hate, not work hard enough, work too hard at the expense of other things), and I really want to get it right.
Perhaps the important thing is just to trust that I'll make the necessary changes when I need to. As much as I need to keep experimenting with strategies to be productive day by day, I also need to simply trust myself to take the next step when the time comes.