The Productivity Trap

For years I tinkered with all manner of productivity hacks – paper task lists, apps, websites, and so on – I even read some of the more famous books, such as “Getting Things Done”, and “The 24 hour work week”.

I spent years finding ways to fit more into each day.

It never occurred to me that I should have been looking for ways to do less – to achieve only what I needed to, leaving the remaining time free.

I think perhaps the lockdowns of the last year have brought into focus just how crazy the world we knew really was. We never stopped to consider that we might do less, because we never had time to – we were too busy running like mad to keep up with everybody else.


After Effects

After receiving the first COVID vaccine injection on Sunday evening, the side effects began mid-morning on Monday. Throughout Monday, my body began to slowly seize up. The famous “aches and pains” friends and neighbours had talked about.

I didn’t think much about it until lunchtime, when I decided to walk to the corner shop and get supplies of energy drink and chocolate to see me through the next couple of days. It turns out you don’t tend to notice your body seizing up while you’re sitting still. Half-way to the corner shop, I began wondering if it had been such a good idea.

Eating two days supply of chocolate in one afternoon was definitely a good idea.

A little after lunch the headache began to arrive, and convinced me to down tools for the day. It wasn’t a bad headache, so I didn’t bother taking anything – I just took myself off to bed, and slept.

Here’s the odd thing I’ve noticed about my physiology – I don’t like coffee when I’m sick. It’s the strangest thing. I made myself a cup of tea before going to bed yesterday afternoon, and made another after dinner in the evening. Oh – that’s another strange thing – I can pretty much defeat any sense of “not being hungry” when I’m sick – and eat because I know I should to at least give myself fuel to fight whatever is coursing around my body.

So that’s how I fell asleep just after dinner last night – with a body filled with chocolate, energy drinks, risotto, and several cups of tea.

At about 4am this morning I woke up with really quite an impressive headache. A proper headache. I stared at the ceiling for a little while before deciding that paracetamol was better than bravery, and stumbled off down the stairs in search of the magical tablets.

When the alarm clock went off at 7am, the headache had gone, along with all of the aches and pains. It would appear that my body had successfully gone to war during the night.

So. I’m out of the woods. Ready to fight another day. All those other similar words.

And I’m still drinking tea.


Partly Vaccinated

I received my first COVID vaccination shot today. My age group became available to apply last week – I left it a few hours before looking at the website, then booked the appointments. The nearest dispensing station was about ten minutes walk from home, which made the choice largely academic. I received the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine.

If I get side-effects, they will appear within 12 hours. Fingers crossed I don’t get clobbered too hard by them – I’ve got a busy week ahead planned with work (I suppose plans can be changed though). My other half was knocked out for about three days.

My return to work tomorrow follows a week off. It has felt a little like limbo.

Fingers crossed I don’t wake up in the middle of the night shivering.



Lockdown has partly come to an end in the UK – not that some people took any notice of it what-so-ever. Pubs, restaurants, and shops re-open today, albeit with all manner of social distancing and safeguarding rules.

I think I’ll stay the hell away from town for at least another six months. I’m going to predict the third wave will happen, and it will be driven by the same asshats that caused the second wave.

It appears some people have a massive disassociation in their brain – where what they want to do doesn’t correlate with guidance, rules, or law. Their immediate wants or needs outweigh everybody and everything else around them. You might call them selfish, ignorant, unthinking, or just plain assholes. The pandemic didn’t create them – they were here all along – it’s just their blind self-interest didn’t affect others so much in the past.

Anyway. Deep breaths.

I have the week off. When I looked out of the bedroom window at 7am this morning, snow was falling. I grinned, and wondered if that was just nature’s way of sticking it’s fingers up at me. I imagine by dinner time we’ll have fire, brimstone, and plagues of something or other.


Self Isolating

Our youngest daughter started coughing yesterday afternoon. Even though we suspected a run around town with her sister was the cause (it’s bitterly cold outside), we waited for a couple of hours before making any decisions.

Shortly after dinner she was still coughing, so booked the COVID test for first thing this morning.

Of course she seems fine now, but we can’t take any chances – my other half works in a school – the contact tracing would be insane should she show any symptoms.

We’re therefore stuck in the house for the next day or two – not that it makes much difference to me. I’ve been no further than the corner shop in the last six weeks (if you discount running around town in the early hours of the morning now and again – avoiding anybody and everybody en-route).

I suppose you might say we are exercising “an abundance of caution” – unlike so many families that seem to think COVID is either a hoax, or something that only affects others. It’s so frustrating. I’ve come to the point of trying not to look at Facebook, because I quickly become annoyed at the widespread entitlement, bullshit, and outright lies.



I just got back from a walk through the warm evening air to the supermarket and back. It was intended as a mental health walk of sorts – I’ve been going increasingly stir crazy working from home. Of course then “people” intervened to ruin it, but I’ll get back to that.

While wandering around the supermarket, picking up all the exciting things – lightbulbs, dishwashing sponges, deodorant, and so on – I happened upon all the “back to school” things that are now being sold at a huge discount. I came home with two stationery sets I don’t really need – filled with notebooks, rulers, pens, pencils, and so on. I showed my other half, and she rolled her eyes.

“But they were on offer!”

I laughed at myself, and remembered a girl I used to work with – who once commented that her Mum would buy dog food if it was on offer, and they didn’t even have a dog.

I also bought nice coffee. If I’m going to be hunched over this desk for days on end, I’m going to damn well have nice coffee to give me higher quality shakes.

In other news we received some bad news tonight – a friend of my Dad – a fellow flight simulator enthusiast that he has virtually flown with countless times, made friends with, and visited for meals and nights out – died unexpectedly. He was a virtual air traffic controller for many of the flights my daughter has taken part in – I told her a little while after she came home from college tonight. Everything seems very sombre now.

While walking into town, I thought about those that knew the guy that passed away – and if they might be changed by it. None of us is here forever – there’s a saying about not getting a second go at this life business, isn’t there.

I suppose this brings me neatly to the ass-hats that ruined my quiet walk to the supermarket. While waiting at the checkout, 2 metres away from the next customer, an older gentleman walked up right behind me, well within the markings on the floor. While being quietly annoyed with him, the middle-aged women at the checkout couldn’t find her bank card, so pulled her face covering off to tell the girl on the checkout that she was looking for it – and didn’t put her mask back on.

What is it with older people not caring about the lockdown rules? Is it any surprise that a second wave is sweeping the world? I keep reading about people going on foreign holidays, and wondering “WHAT THE F*CK?”. Nobody seems to have any understanding at all about combinatorial explosion, or the potentially devastating consequences of not know you were spreading anything for the several week gestation period of the virus.

Why are people so frustrating?


Deep breaths.

I’ve switched back to writing in a text editor. I’m rocking Windows Notepad, and saving the text files into OneDrive. It requires very little effort indeed. Not having the daily car-crash news from the US a tab click away helps keep me on track.

p.s. Miss 16 loved her first day at college.