Last weekend, I did an experiment about working first, then playing later. It worked in the sense that I got lots done (and needed to). It also confirmed for me that my internal rhythm does not suit that particular saying. I worked the entire weekend and did not actually get any "play" because of several factors:
- If I am "on a roll" and getting somewhere on my neverending to-do list, I won't stop because of some arbitrary stopping point. This is why I work late during the week and why I rarely go into work early. My most productive time is in the afternoon, so it's hard for me to stop working during that time.
- I have a strong habit of needing to "finish" a task before I stop. This often manifests as needing to finish the chapter or a scene before putting a good book down, finishing a knitting row or sequence before putting knitting down, finishing a task at work before stopping for the day, etc.
This, paired with my morning attention patterns:
- I'm often late for work because I get distracted and start emptying the dishwasher (which, of course has to be finished before I leave), reading an article in a magazine, taking out the trash, etc.
- The above distraction at work as well makes it difficult to get a lot accomplished in the morning. I'm checking my email, catching up on what I missed online at the end of the day before, etc. (I rarely get online in the evenings anymore. It really screws with my bedtime.)
The conclusion is, I'm not going to feel guilty anymore that I play first and work later. Life is too short to fight your inner nature, and as long as I get stuff accomplished sometime and it doesn't negatively affect others, who cares when I get it done?