40 days ago, I decided to take up a challenge and give up laziness for Lent. Although I am not religious, the school I work in is and, as such, I felt that it was only fair I embark on the same grueling scrutiny we place the kids under at this time.
Back in February, I was behind in just about everything. Having spent most of the time since Christmas in various stages of ill, the mountain of work was piling up whilst the final dregs of my motivation gurgled softly down the drain. I had procrastination down to a fine art and could lecture on the art of distraction. I was the queen of doing naff all and boy was it biting me on the ass.
So, 40 days later...
Surprisingly, I'm actually doing okay. Early in the month, I finally got off my butt and bought a car, something that had been on my to-do list for a good year now. Soon after, I planned, resourced and lead an off-timetable day at school: again, something that had sat in my diary for far too long. I got all but my final two essays done and sent; organised and updated all of my documentation; started finding more time to exercise; completed a personal project and planned some new long-term ones. I was working in efficiency central.
Of course, there were plenty of things that I did not do. I did not blog, I did not complete my work and I did not spend every second of every day devoted to doing nothing.
But I also learnt a few things that meant I don't feel quite so bad about time spent doing nothing because, in reality, it's never doing "nothing" at all. It's recovering, thinking, relaxing or just enjoying being. Time spent doing nothing is just as important as the time spent doing everything and, just sometimes, we all need that break. If potential productivity is measured in terms of time, I most certainly could have got everything done in these 40 days, and still had time to spare. With no rush, though, what's the point in hurrying through everything? If anything, that's probably how I got poorly in the first place.
There is a stark difference between laziness and productive rest and, although I have spent 40 days attempting to banish the former from my life, I have now taken it upon myself to reintroduce the latter, for the sake of being more efficient in the times where I am working.
40 days of giving up laziness: atheist though I am, Lent has served me well.