It’s been a long time since I’ve challenged myself to write a report to deadline. When I agreed to do these 2 reports I thought they’d be fun (they are). I thought they would be a translation with a little add-on (they aren’t). What they are is a total re-write, including a fair amount of research into what they are actually talking about. I’ve enjoyed the whole process, especially since I’ve not felt particularly stretched for a while. It did, however, go overboard about 3 times this week when I discovered I had zero reserves of energy. Once was this afternoon after I announced I needed until Monday to finish them. So what needs to change? In this project I see myself pulling for the best possible product, without an accurate estimation of the resources (time, energy, money) available. Then I make up whatever’s needed and forget that my strengths are a certain type of stimulating insight. Not longevity and cleaning up details, which of course a report has a lot of.
Now it’s Friday night. Not quite 24 hours ago I started the process of cancelling everything I’d booked for today (morning class I had a scheduled slot in, 10:30 student appointment). This morning I kept waking up (1am, 3, 4, finally up at 4:30 and to work at 5a). I got a critical summary sketched (not written) this morning and sent off for help. By noon I had gotten agreement to extend the deadline to Monday, and had postponed my trip to Taichung until next week. Then I slept an hour. That’s when I realized the last time I pushed myself this hard was finish my PhD dissertation in 1990. Sleeping, my breath had a quality beyond exhaustion. The afternoon I only worked 1 hour. It’s almost 7pm and this evening I need to get some pieces in shape.
What’s needed before I take on anything like this again? Policy and procedures – distinguishing writing coaching, translation, writing, research, group facilitation. All are different. Also an assistant working closely with me who is good with details. Beyond that, I’ll wait till I’m done and have had a good sleep to think more. I hope that’s Sunday.