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T-Minus Seven Weeks: Don’t Panic! | The Time to Go Is Now

T-Minus Seven Weeks: Don’t Panic!

T-Minus Seven Weeks: Don’t Panic!

I’ve been having a hard time coming up with something to write about. Actually, there’s plenty to write about I’m just having a hard time getting it done. Take this piece for example. I started writing this when it actually was two months until our departure date two weeks ago. Sure, work has been busy with trying to finish up and hand off projects and I have some freelance projects I’m working on all while planning the trip. But I’ve also spent a lot of time just staring blankly at my computer.  It’s been very frustrating and that’s one of the reasons I haven’t written because I don’t want it to sound like I’m complaining. It doesn’t feel right to complain about much of anything at this point though the frustration and stress that comes with a looming deadline is the exact thing I should be writing about.

I keep telling myself, “You aren’t going to get everything done. It just isn’t going to happen. Yes, you’ve spent a lot of time just staring at the keyboard and finding ways to distract yourself from what you really should be doing, but even if you had spent all of that idle time working, there would still be something left undone. Let it go. The tickets are booked. You’ve taken care of most of the essentials. It is going to happen.” And that is fine in relation to the trip. I’m comfortable with where we are in the planning.

The things that are bugging me now are keeping up with the blog, completing my freelance projects, and selling my car. If we have any hope of turning this blog into a viable operation you have to write and post regular content. I’m confident that will happen once we’re done with work but that still doesn’t stop me from worrying about it now. I have some web projects I’m working on outside of work that I want to wrap up before we leave. I know my goal is to do work while we are traveling but I’d really like to have them completed before hitting the road.  I also have to sell my car. This is the worst time of year to try and sell a car and it is a manual so I’m concerned. I was hoping to have it posted online before Thanksgiving but didn’t quite get to it. It will be going up for sale this week for sure.

New Orleans photoSo, what do you do when you have more work to do than you think you have time to complete and are worried about getting it all done? Go to New Orleans, of course.  It seemed like a good idea when we planned the trip a few months ago and even though we are getting very short on time it still was a good idea because going to New Orleans always is. That and it provided a good field test for a lot of our new equipment that we’ve purchased for the trip.  (More on that later this week.)

I did the math the other day and I only have sixteen days left in the office.  That is both exciting and terrifying. Have you ever jumped off a cliff or an Olympic high dive? You know once you do it you’ll be glad you did and will want to do it again, but there is still that terror that comes with doing something as counterintuitive as throwing yourself off a cliff. At some point you have to override those normal brain functions or else you’ll just psych yourself out. That’s where I’m at now. I don’t want to think about it. I don’t want to talk about it.  I just want to go do it.

7 Responses to T-Minus Seven Weeks: Don’t Panic!

  1. Speaking as someone facing my own Big Trip (only 4 wks to go from this Thurs–eeek!), I know what you mean. I’ve done the major planning–bought the plane tickets, made appointments at the clinic, reserved the hotel room, even bought a guide book!–but that doesn’t make me feel more reassured at the moment.

    When I start to fell overwhelmed with all the Stuff To Do, I find the best thing to do is to break it down in manageable chunks–give yourself 30 minutes and do what you can in 30 minutes. This is especially true for writing. Write what you can in 30 minutes and feel good about what you’ve been able to get done. But, that also means no distractions–turn off the internet, turn off your phone, don’t answer the door, etc. I think all the constant tweets, pings, and FB status updates have turned our attention spans into mush and this is my way of combating the “Look–Squirrel!” effect. The thing to be careful of though is not to dedicate *too* much time. Don’t give yourself a couple of hours because then you’ll think you can just stare at the screen. If you make it short, then you are forced to focus.

    At least that’s what works for me. I find the time chunk to be easier to handle than the breaking it down into manageable steps, just writing one blog post, etc. Even if you don’t finish the blog post or the web project, you can get to work on it again by setting yourself up another 30 minute no-distraction window (either later in the day, the next day, or whenever you can set aside that 30 minute window).

    • This doesn’t relate directly but found it last night and thought it was worth sharing. It’s a nice video of John Cleese talking about creativity and getting stuff done.

      • I wish I had seen this during my first semester of grad school! It took me years to learn about this creative mode, and work my way toward putting away time, place, and allowing myself the opportunity to play.

        The key is the working back and forth (like he says) between the play time and the closed time, allowing yourself to be open, making decisions, then working toward the decisions, then allowing yourself more open time for the next set of decisions.

  2. The real struggle comes when you come back and nothing you do seems worthy of writing about. While doing so many interesting things while we were away it was easy to write write write but back in the UK we’ve been finding it tough.

    We should be back in full on planning mode soon though so it’ll all get going again soon.

    We look forward to following your journey!
    Poi recently posted…Random Traveller #98 with Stacey of One Travels FarMy Profile

    • “The real struggle comes when you come back and nothing you do seems worthy of writing about.”

      I am looking forward to having that problem. 😀

  3. Enjoy the jump, my friend. No one knows whats going to happen to anyone besides the forlorn rags of growing old. Own that. It’s yours. Turn the terror into enthusiasm. Anything can happen, and most of those anythings are awesome!

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We're Mark & Julie

We quit our jobs at the end of 2013 to backpack around the world. We're sharing our stories, travel advice and hopefully some inspiration. Read more...

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