I spend a ton of time on my computer every day, so I thought I’d let you in on my routine and the various things I get up to, because it reflects on elements of who I am, how my illness impacts me, and how I write.
I use two web browsers, Safari and Google Chrome. Safari keeps me signed in to my personal Google and Amazon and accounts, while Google Chrome is for blog stuff and my blog Gmail account and book Amazon account. I keep a lot of tabs open because if something isn’t in front of my face I tend to forget that it exists. On days when my concentration is particularly bad I end up spending a fair bit of time hopping aimlessly among open tabs and windows with no idea what I’m actually doing.
I have my bookmarks on both browsers carefully organized, with multiple folders and subfolders. Yes, I am that geeky. I’ve always been very organized, but I rely on that organization a lot more when depression is in the picture. My bookmark repertoire has also grown tremendously since I started blogging.
I have a Chrome window open for various blog-related things. I always have the tabs open in the same order to minimize the mental effort involved, which is a key consideration in much of what I do. I have one tab for the WordPress reader and one for my blog site. I don’t generally look at my stats, and usually it’s the draft posts folder that’s open at any given time. I always have a tab open for Twitter, despite the fact that I don’t usually spend a lot of time on it. Then there’s a tab for Pinterest. I try to limit my scrolling on Pinterest to just a few minutes a day, but sometimes I’ll spend more time on it if I just can’t focus on anything else. Next tab is my gmail inbox, then a tab for my posts in progress on Vocal.media.
In the morning once I’ve gotten up, fed the guinea pigs, and made my first cup of tea, I’ll check my WordPress notifications and take a look on Amazon to see how my book, Psych Meds Made Simple, is doing. Then I usually watch the previous night’s episodes of The Daily Show and The Late Show while having my breakfast and tea. Next up is reading blogs. I find where I left off in the WordPress reader the day before and start moving up from there. I spend several hours reading blogs every day.
Every morning I also do a bit reading on Medium.com. I’m not a paying member so there’s only a small number of articles that I have access to, but I figure it’s worth putting in a bit of time for engagement with other people’s work given that I’m trying to make some money off of people reading my posts there.
Most mornings I will pop onto Canva to create an image corresponding to the day’s blog post to pin on Pinterest, and then I’ll do the pin when my post goes live, usually at 8am my time. It’s not all that much work, and I get a fair bit of traffic to my blog from Pinterest.
Some days I’ll do a lot of writing, while other times I’ll go a few days without writing anything. I don’t usually publish things on the day I write them; it works much better for me to schedule ahead of time. If I have less than 2 weeks of posts queued up, I start to feel uneasy, like I’m going to run out of ideas to write about.
I’ve always got my writing spreadsheet on Excel open to help keep track of what I’ve written and what I’ve got in the idea factory for my blog and a few other platforms I write on. I use Apple’s Notes app to keep me organized with various other things that don’t all fit into my head at the same time. My organizational abilities have really stepped up to the plate in terms of helping me compensate for depression brain and the resulting inability to process multiple bits of information at the same time.
I need things to be open so I don’t forget about them, but at the same time I’m overwhelmed by too many things open. The solution? I have 2 desktops going at the same time (MacOS lets you do that), and several of my various writing projects have a desktop to themselves. I’ve got all my word processing documents open as multiple tabs in the same window, so it’s uncluttered and easy to switch back and forth. Lately I haven’t been able to focus for very long on writing any particular piece, so I hop around doing small bits at a time. It’s not ideal, but it’s what seems to be working best for now.
I also spend some time every day doing online surveys. I’ve signed up with a couple of different sites. It doesn’t bring in a huge amount, but I redeem my points mostly for Amazon gift cards so it feels like I’m getting free stuff. I use that to support my reading habit.
I don’t know if any of this was particularly interesting or enlightening, but it’s a little look into my daily life. This was written partly during and partly just after a night shift, so if it’s a bit drivel-ish I make no apologies. 😉