“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

I heard this Albert Einstein quote a few years ago and it really stuck with me. I’ve often found myself trapped in the mindset that if I do the same thing again, but try a little harder, the results might be different. Time and time again, the results are exactly the same and I was left feeling incredibly disappointed. Sunday is my worst day of the week for this type of disappointment.

On Sunday evenings I try to sit down and write an article. Mentally, the task is nearly impossible. I’m tired from having an incredibly busy day and by the time I get to the computer my mind just wants to check out. Instead of writing, I find myself reading webcomics, visiting social media, watching online videos, or I just put my head down and sleep. The struggle to procrastinate and to be productive is not unlike two titans locked in hand-to-hand combat, wrestling for supremacy. Ultimately, I settle on a cycle of sleep, waking, writing, sleeping again and writing for a few hours. When I finally get to my article, it’s roughly 5 in the morning and I don’t finish until around 8 or 9. I retire to bed for two or three hours, wake up, and Mondays are off to a rough start. Something had to give.

I finally had enough of this constant struggle and on Sunday I decided to experiment by making some changes. If my mind refused to do anything productive in the evenings, that would be fine. Additionally, I would no longer fight the urge to sleep around 10PM. I sat down at the computer around 8 as usual, but I allowed myself to relax. The only official business I had to do was create an outline for my article. Before bed I set my alarm to buzz at 5AM, slept and began my experiment. If I did most of my writing on Mondays at 5AM, it made perfect sense to wake up at that time.

The results were amazing! I finished my article on time, and when I submitted the first draft there was no need to return to bed. I was productive for the rest of the day and my normal grumpy Monday attitude was gone. When I left for my night job, I got through the entire evening without struggling for extra caffeine. Unsurprisingly, Einstein was right. Doing the same thing over again and expecting different results is insanity. Trying something new and seeing it succeed is a fantastic feeling.

The Sleeping Geek Kitten by Nathanael Valero on Flickr

The Sleeping Geek Kitten by Nathanael Valero on Flickr