I am experimenting with a new way of work scheduling which tries to be in harmony my own natural productive rhythm. Basically my work energy is a long snake of peaks and valleys, with the peaks tending to be sharp but of short duration, while the valleys tend to be long and deep. For years I have been trying to discipline myself into the standard mold of working for 3-4 hours straight so I could squeeze all work in the morning and the early afternoon and have a full evening free. I have always miserably failed.
So if I can't beat my own rhythm then maybe, finally, I should try working with it. So far, so good. I am able to produce good work in short intense bursts but I need to step back and get out for about twice or thrice the amount of time, depending on the leap in progress. My accomplishment during the peaks are such that they can actually compensate for the equivalent of three hours of work even if I churned them out in only an hour or less. Strange how the brain works sometimes.
When I peak after allowing myself to languish in the valley, I am able to achieve the same level of accomplishment as the previous peak. But when I force myself to work through the valleys, by the time I should be peaking again, I could not reach the same level of peak as before because I would be too exhausted mentally and emotionally from battling through the valleys. Making sense? :D
So anyway, during those valley time I do chores, cook myself nice meals to nourish me through all the mental labor, read, play some video game, and sneak in some painting (for some reason, writing and painting outside of work sort of robs mental energy and stamina from the work so I try to balance.)
I content myself with little paintings on corners of pages plus an occasional small piece as I channel most of my energies to getting some money-making work done.
How do you balance your work and non-work stuff?