Wednesday, April 15, 2020

pandemic productivity

Yesterday, I went to drop some packages in the mail at the corner and then walked around the block.  It was chilly, had been lightly flurrying on and off through the morning, but was sunny and bright and for a second it felt like spring. I passed a few workmen in front of the new Loyola building, a couple joggers, a man with two kids no doubt easing cabin-fever.  On a normal day in a normal year, I'd likely be the sort of day that looked pretty from inside, but was actually really too cold to stay out long.

I came back home for a couple of zoom meetings--one our regular whole library staff meeting.  The other, a virtual job interview for one of our open positions. I can't even imagine, stressful as interviews are, doing it place-unseen via video conference. I'm stressed out by the zoom meetings themselves, which employ all the things I hate about phone calls, but also make me feel weird about video. I was speaking today and realized how much I throw my hands around when I talk and it made me super self-conscious. I also can't really gage the feel of a virtual room and it's disorienting.

I'm also still finding that though I have nothing but time for things, I have only little reserves of energy.  What I might be pressed to complete at work, spawned by my own deadlines, those of others, and plowing through tasks takes much longer.  So I might start my workweek with a set of 5 tasks, but really only be able to hit about one of them day, when I normally could have polished them off in 2 days (and sometimes 1 if I was really enthusiastic about something.)  On the whole, I have less to do daily since so much depends on access to the books, bit even still, those things that do not move maddeningly slowly. So while my ambitious side thinks of the things I COULD be doing, I don't feel like I can actually do them before I'm just exhausted mentally.  I thought it was just the weirdness of working at home instead of in the library, but even other things I've always been doing at home seem to be moving in similar patterns.  Contrast the first few months of my at-home press doings since moving out of the studio and they are drastically different than now. And there are other things that I don't even have the energy to do at all like daily writing and art-making, all of which, this would ironically be the perfect time for.

I've calmed down enough to be able to work a little more in depth now, but it's touch and go and catch as catch can. I've managed to have bursts of work in all departments but the last, and have a marathon assembly session planned for several new releases happening this weekend and filling orders. I find the best time to work uninterrupted is after I've gotten up, but before I check news or social media and comnmence my low grade freak out portion of the day.  When I can almost convince myself it's normal morning like any other.

No comments: