It’s two months in to my resource tracking adventure and I’ve fallen off the wagon.
I wish I could say I that have a good reason, but I really don’t. I’ve had a busy week, but not as busy as most of my weeks. Yet, when I open up my resource tracking worksheet, I see that haven’t tracked any of my time this week. I don’t know exactly where my time has gone. I know that I’ve watched some TV, but not as much as I typically do. I’ve certainly played on the internet, but I don’t know how often I’ve mindlessly searched. I know that I haven’t participated much in my creative practice. I wrote one poem and that’s it.
As I’ve been thinking about this practice, I’m reminded of why I started to track my time. First, I wanted to determine where all of my “free time” was going. I knew I had free time, but I couldn’t always account for its use. Second, I wanted to be mindful of my choices. Did I choose to watch television or did I choose to write a poem? Third, I wanted to increase my “ass hours” in my creative practice. It’s hard to call myself an artist or a poet if I don’t consistently participate in said artistry or poetry.
After two months, I’m wondering if simply tracking my time is the right choice. I came to this tracking idea because I know that people who successfully maintain their weight consistently track what they eat. I track what I eat and that helps me to choose when I want to have a treat and when I want to out of stress and boredom. However, I’ve also learned that a major part of tracking my food consumption is planning what I eat. I don’t maintain a healthy weight because I track whatever I eat and the pounds drop off. If that were the case, I’d eat jelly beans every day and then just write those down. I maintain a healthy weight because I write down what I’m going to eat, and then stick to it throughout the day.
Knowing all of this, I’m going to shift my tracking habits. Rather than simply recording what I do with my time, which has become a neglected task, I’m going to plan the creative projects I would like to engage in over the course of my week. On Mondays, I’ll write a “resource planning post” and try to determine what my weekly goals are for poetry and art-making. I’ll consider my work schedule, my potential homework responsibilities, and any personal appointments I may have. I’ll also plan which television shows I want to watch, so I don’t find myself aimlessly watching television when I could be reading or writing. Then, on Sundays, I’ll write a “resource tracking” post where I evaluate how well I stuck to my plan.
I feel kind of weird shifting the plan two months in, but I strongly believe that I’ve got to find a way to fit my creative practice into my life. Tracking is feeling unreasonable, so perhaps planning ahead and documenting progress is more in line with my goals.