The Devil Makes Work

… for idle hands.

Is that where this last little current burst of work has come from??! Is the Devil bringing it to me to keep me busy? What an alarming thought!

If you haven’t used it before, Rescuetime is a great programme for keeping an eye on how much work you’ve done, how much time you’ve wasted and it will give you an efficiency rating too. I use it for billing time (because it bills how much actual time I actually spend doing actual writing, other than the time I spend getting diverted on the internet… like where you’re looking for expressions on la bouche and you end up looking at Daniel Craig in his underpants) and I use it to whip myself with if I’ve not done enough a day.

So…. my stats for November (up to to 24th November, since it goes week to week) include:

  • a whopping 189 hours of computer work. That doesn’t count the 12 hours of online teaching I do, and the 16 hours of face-to-face teaching I do each week. 
  • that’s 6 hours and 29 minutes a day working at the computer, on average. Monday-Sunday. That doesn’t count Skype teaching or face-to-face teaching. That’s a full day’s work just there!
  • I’m most productive in the morning and least productive at the weekend.
  • I spent 24 of that 189 hours marking 150 exam re-sit papers and 3 hours doing my standardising to make sure I was good enough to mark.
  • I’ve spent 40 hours working on my NaNoWriMo novel. At 55,000 words… I’m a WINNER!



I submitted it this morning.

So, what else have I done this November, apart from not blogging and not growing a moustache?

I have delivered 1500 copies of Living Poitou Charentes over an area from St Junien to Nontron to La Rochefoucauld.

I spent 7 hours blogging for Anglo Info.

I spent 5 hours 32 minutes answering mail on Hotmail.

I spent 4 hours 27 minutes on my Lady Justine blog.

I spent 3 hours 20 minutes on Wikipedia. I have no idea what I was looking at though. It’s my dream to own a full set of encyclopedias, but online ones are even better.

I spent 2 hours and 47 minutes on my teacher blog.

And beside all of that? Minimal housekeeping, some gardening, lots of leaf raking, lots of dog walking to keep my Heston a little less bored. I’ve knitted part of a jumper, made all my Christmas cards, made a few gifts for people and kept myself plenty busy. Is it just me or could everyone else do with a clone them? I could do with a clone. I wonder if clones have rights?

And though it feels like I’ve done 200 more hours than I did in October, I only did 20. Hopefully December will slack off a little. I can only hope! My mum sent me a message today to ask if I wanted the letter to mark GCSEs in January. I said yes. I’m crazy like that. In fact, ironically, it’s my last link to English Education, apart from teaching it. I do more ESOL teaching now. Funny how life changes!

In one way, there’s a little reminder of my former life coming up. On Tuesday next week is my ‘last’ big event of the year. I’m doing a social media/blogging event for a lady who kindly asked me if I would. She’s bringing the soup, I’m bringing cake, and we have 20 ladies coming to join us and hear about blogging from little old me. Another lovely lady, Hege, of Hege in France, is way more qualified to lead it than me but she reminded me of a little thing. Knowing a thing and being able to stand up in front of a load of strangers and talk about it is a very different thing. It reminded me that the last time I did corporate training was at the Emirates Stadium in London. I got first class train fare, two nights in a hotel, a projection screen bigger than my whole house and a room full of business leaders who probably wondered why a crazy lady had been sandwiched between someone on the honours list and someone who is a professor and a world leader in his field. I made them all change seats and cover the wall with Post-It notes. Sometimes, I look at my life and wonder how the hell it happened to me. There are many parts of it that seem like it happened to someone else. Much before 22 is now like somebody else’s life, and now, much before 36 is like somebody else’s life. I wonder if I’ll look back at the age of 50 and this whole segment of my life will seem surreal and weird and I’ll wonder how the hell it ever happened to me?


Still, never let it be said that my life has not been interesting. Surreal, mostly, but interesting nonetheless.



4 thoughts on “The Devil Makes Work

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