Experiment day three. Pictured: a calendar, a pen, sunglasses and a phone laid out on a table

Experiment day three: shortcuts to save the day

It’s day three of my ideal week experiment and today has no choice but to be a success. I was doomed to wake up early and get the day moving because my wife had blood tests at 8AM. So I’m currently sitting in the car park of The Square in Tallaght, charging up our Leaf with the two dogs sleeping in the back, as I use voice-to-text to write this Confession.

Ahead of schedule

I decided to be proactive and start my writing day from the car since there is a chance I may need to nap later today. Hopefully, it won’t come to that and I’ll just have gained a few extra hours in the day to make up for some of yesterday’s lost time that should have been spent writing Project Blue.

Yesterday was a weird one because I was entirely on a schedule but had to shift things around to accommodate our drive to Dublin.  So with a few reclaimed hours today, I’ll hopefully be able to focus on the dreaded Project Blue which is getting more intense with every scene. (I’m three scenes away from the false ending and I’m procrastinating to an Olympic degree.)


Over the last few days, I’ve been trying to focus on finding shortcuts to make my life easier. This follows a TED Talk I watched entitled How to do laundry when you’re depressed. It seemed like the exact sort of thing I needed to watch as I’ve been really struggling with housework ever since my mental health declined.

Although I didn’t agree with everything the speaker said, I did find a lot of it very meaningful, particularly a section in which she spoke about giving yourself permission to cut corners in order to survive and preserve your quality of life. It echoes a book I’m reading called Atomic Habits by James Clear, which I’m sure you’ve probably heard of (it’s a revelation), but if not I highly recommend a trip to your local library or bookstore. He writes about the power of cumulative small actions to create big change, and a lot of his work revolves around optimising conditions for good habits to prevail. That’s exactly what I’m trying to do right now to get my life back on track.

In fact, I’m experimenting with a shortcut right now, by using voice-to-text to draft this Confession.

A writing shortcut

Voice-to-text is a piece of technology I’ve been trying to get on board with for a while now, as I know many authors have great success using it to fast-draft their work. And if there’s one thing Project Blue needs right now, it’s speed. I’m hoping this is the secret to getting me through that difficult scene. Something that may have taken painful hours to write now has the potential to take mere minutes instead.

I’m hopeful that, using shortcuts and mind-tricks, I can get myself through the scene that’s been haunting my brain for so many years now.

As for the experiment

Today is on track. My daily routine is all going according to plan and so far I’m finding it very satisfying having a schedule to aim for, even if I don’t get it perfectly right every day.

I have writing and housework on today’s agenda, as well as a few more frivolous hobbies, so day three is likely to be a good one. If I’m feeling brave, I’ll even try voice-to-text as I work on Project Blue today (even though that means I’ll only reach the scary scene faster).

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