Excuses: What Happened to the Productivity

For a while, I was extremely productive. It was the summer. I attended over half a dozen events and gatherings. I interviewed over a dozen people. I tracked down at least that many again for potential interviews, just in case. My thesis required a lot of work, and my YouTube channel suffered for it.

Then September came. And went. It was followed by October, and November, and still nothing.

I had a lot of excuses for not continuing to make videos, the most prominent one being that I didn’t have quiet in the house. That’s only half-true. I did have quiet, every now and then. I just didn’t want to have to try set up my tripod and camera. I didn’t want the effort of trying to explain myself, or to feel like all I was doing was making a video for the sake of it.

Then, this happened:

The past few weeks, I’d forced myself to focus on NaNoWriMo, and on launching The Cinema Freak. I had a couple more events to attend. I was meeting up with the Dublin NaNoWriMo group every weekend. I was busy. But I could have recorded a video, if I’d just made myself.

With the movie blog now getting somewhere, and NaNoWriMo over and done with – and the book requiring some rewriting before I can continue with it – I’m left with something I didn’t have before: time to do what I want without making excuses.

If I had been making videos for YouTube the entire time, I wouldn’t have had the issue of not being able to fit them into my November schedule, when I was back to forcing myself to do quite a bit extra every day. That was my bad.

But now I’m back at it, and I have a fancy new cam-corder that makes recording a video a simple matter of needing to stand still with some light in the room. If I clean up a little bit, I’ll even be able to use my LED if I need to. While I’m still in the box room in this house – a room so incredibly small that the floor needs to be entirely cleared before I can set up a tripod where I need it to be if I want to stand while I talk (which is what I prefer to do when I’m making videos, even if most of my last videos had been from the bed) – I’ll be using the camcorder. I’ll even be able to take it out of the house to events, if I want to, which is a heck of a lot easier than with the DSLR.

I no longer have the excuse of having no quiet. I no longer have the excuse of having no time. And I no longer have the excuse of inconvenience. Remember these three things, and when I don’t upload a video at least once per week, feel free to publicly shame me.

See, excuses are the bane of productivity, and while I’m more than willing to allow myself some downtime, there’s only so much of it I really need – and can use, owing to the fact that I live in the smallest bedroom with no television. I prefer to spend my time doing something worthwhile, even if it’s only worthwhile in a “keeping busy putting stuff online” sort of way.

That’s still better than nothing.

It’s also sort of what I’ve been trying to do more often. At least one blog post a week here, and at least two on The Cinema Freak. At least one upload to Instagram, for the heck of it. Hopefully a video per week. It feels like it might be a lot to put out every week, but it’s also going to put me in a position of being able to take on larger projects long-term if I can get settled into a routine that doesn’t consume every minute of my day.

And if I’m wrong…well, at least you have a new YouTube video to watch from me for once.

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About Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer, born, raised and still living in Dublin. By day he's a student and bookseller, by night he writes fiction and uses social media.
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