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Momentum


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I was on a roll last week, writing close to 5000 words in 3 days, and I felt bloody good about it.

You see the thing about feeling good is that it can lead you off track, and make you think you deserve a break. And like the most natural reaction to hard time labour, you feel you've earned it. You stop your writing and think - "Know what? I'll just take the day off and carry on where I left off yesterday. No problem. No fuss. Done and done."

And you take it.

You take that day off. You spend it with the family doing the things that you should be doing as a family, taking them out to the park, shopping mall/movies, and you chill out for the rest of the day. And at the end of the day, you tell yourself - I'll pick up bright and early tomorrow and continue. No problem. No worries.

Except that because you've grown accustomed to working at night (the only time your kids are in bed), you can't just fall asleep, just like that. So you go online. Check those emails. Log into Facebook. Keep up to date on the latest tech news. You know that you should be continuing where you left off, but you tell yourself - hey it's my day off. I'll pick up where I left off tomorrow. Except that because you slept at 4am, you don't wake up until 1030am, and by the time you've gotten yourself sorted out, it's 1130am. And you kinda feel reluctant to start working on that damn thesis because your head still hurts and you're feeling all zoned out. And you think - "I'll start work in the afternoon".

Except that when the afternoon comes, because your wife is so tired from her pre-dawn job, you have to fetch your son from kindergarten. And so you do. And when your son comes home, he immediately gets into a fight with his elder brother who is at home, and the bickering and crying progress well into the time when you said you'd start your work. And you can't really start because they're making such a ruckus. And you can't just up and leave your heavily pregnant wife who is still sleeping off the fatigue from the morning to deal with all the anarchy when she wakes up. And heavens you can't leave the kids alone to their own devices, unattended.

And so you do what you can. Until your wife wakes up and takes over. And you go back to the study to get some work done. But you're already drained. And you can't really remember where you left off. So you say - I'll pick up where I left off tomorrow. And proceed to take the rest of the day off. I mean, it's only two days right? You can work over the weekend right?

Wrong.

So it's back to square one. In fact, it's less than square one, because you can't really remember where you left off.

You've lost momentum.

And there's no excuse this time.

Suck it up and get back to work.


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