[Downsizing Zeal] Infrastructure and Maintenance

I spend days off working on infrastructure changes and workdays maintaining my sanity. I can do some light “infrastructure” changes like moving things around or sifting through a box of stuff, though mostly I’ll spend my early mornings and late evenings “maintaining” my workload, including catching up on my editing, so my weekends aren’t stuck editing five essays. It’s a tricky balance. If I clear out maintenance tasks, I can make massive infrastructure changes quickly.

During past jobs, I was terrible about striking this balance.

I’d always procrastinate on chores like laundry and editing/publishing so I’d have to strike the balance between doing those sorts of “maintenance” tasks on the weekends when I was at full energy along with doing the “infrastructure” tasks I wanted to do with the extra time and energy to dedicate.

Here’s how I planned out my current balance during work weeks:

Before Driving To Work: I’ll edit essays from the day before, catch up on my backlog of essays, or chip away at writing larger essays. I don’t write the day’s essay in this hour and a half because I don’t need to spend that roughly 30 minutes at my computer. Instead, this time is more computer-specific.

Brainstorm During Drive: I’ll think of what I want to write.

15-Minutes Before Work: I’ll aim to park my car 30 minutes before work, so I have about 15 minutes to write the first half of the essay before I head into the office. This padding time is mainly because of how bad traffic is for me, but it’s also “just in case” I’m running late or there’s a traffic issue.

Write During Breaks/Lunches: I’ll finish writing before I leave work.

Brainstorm During Drive: I’ll usually be mentally drained by the time I get in the car to drive home, so I’ll use this time to clear my mind of anything related to work and focus on the one or two things I might need to do in the evening, like laundry or if there were any easy “maintenance tasks.”

Home: I’ll usually be in bed within two or three hours of arriving home.

If I’ve done this well, clearing out all my backlogs of chores and tasks to do, I can then focus my days off working on a bigger task that might require me to place everything on the floor and pick through items, like here, where I sorted through a majority of my computer cables to keep or donate.

This opened up more space for me to work on other downsizing areas.

I have four unsorted boxes of cassettes. I’m probably purging 3 CDs for every 2 CDs I’m saving. I’m going to do a donation run soon. I thought about doing a sales run this weekend; maybe next weekend. I now have a box of CDs that I imagine could fetch enough money to be worth the sales time.

It’s all about striking balance, though.

I don’t want to learn too hard into rebuilding, downsizing, or working past exhaustion.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal experiences.
Inspirations: I wasn’t feeling like doing much today. I stayed home from my weekly adventures to hang out with friends. Part of that was on the drive into work yesterday, my brain did one of those “you’re on power-save mode now, buck-o” that happens to me occasionally,  and another part of that was I’ve been piling up stuff to do around the apartment-mansion. I can’t write on the clock, but I can brainstorm if I have an idle minute. Music and computer stuff are the largest obstacles for me right now, so the sooner I clear out these obstacles, the sooner I can tend to other things. I’m happy to report that I got through everything I set out to do today, which freed me up space not just in the dining room here, but the living room as well.
Related: Other Downsizing Zeal essays.
Photos: Before and after.
Written On: June 6th [30 minutes]
Last Edited: First draft; final draft for the Internet.

My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.