The psychology of Friday 23 September

It is Friday night. I am reviewing my week’s flow with distaste — I believe I used the word “fail” to my colleague at the library — while scrolling through Facebook, that source of endless mild diversion.

It’s not that I wasted time this week. I might have; there’s a two-hour stretch of plantain chips and light-weight magazines that I’m looking at squint-eyed. I think, in this moment of writing, my distaste arises from writing only a little (if at all) each day this week. And the writing I managed has mostly been last thing before bed, which I can confirm I Don’t Like To Do.

But back to the narrative. I was flipping through Facebook, stewing in malaise because I felt too tired to tackle any of the things I wished I’d done already, when up floats a post from one of my Glen Workshop friends. 

She’s pointing out an article on Brain Pickings about The Psychology of Writing and the Perfect Daily Routine. (This article could be waiting for me in my email inbox too, but I haven’t looked. See: malaise. See also: Facebook) Look at that! There’s my obsession, covered in a scientific tome, reviewed by a super-sharp writer. On the week I’m already bitter about my lack of said routine. Things are looking up, despite the lateness of the hour.

I skim along, because I’m already one-quarter asleep. I fetch up against:

“[citing a study]…which found performance on intellectual tasks peaks during morning hours, whereas perceptual-motor tasks fare better in the afternoon and evening.”

I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT THIS. About Thursday, and its combination of morning yardwork and afternoon plantain chips. About my growing suspicion that I’m better served if I write and focus in the morning, even if that means I’m exerting outdoors in the heat of the day. And my related suspicion that shifting all my appointments to afternoons may suit me better than my current patchwork.

I’m going to re-read the article. And check out the book reviewed. But in the meantime, I’ve surprised myself by writing something today after all…

…and gained that sweet satisfaction of having an intuition proved right. It doesn’t get much better than that!

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