Book Reviews Reading Work

Time Blocked Day

March 16, 2021

First of all, I am pleasantly surprised at how non-disastrous this time change has felt thus far. I think it is because I am far better at waking up early / going to be early compared to waking up late / going to bed late.

And apparently the kids were overtired because bedtime has not been a hideous struggle like I thought it might be.

I am at a work juncture where I have a seemingly overwhelming number of things to get done all at the same time. Most of it is GME related, but we have been clinically busy as well (my EPIC Inbox was pretty close to ZERO yesterday though — not without a good deal of effort!).

I am going to attempt more classic Cal Newport-style time blocking for several days this week (today, Thursday, and Friday). I don’t find this is necessary on my clinical days, when my objectives are pretty clear for much of the day:




MAYBE JUMP TO EMAIL A FEW TIMES THROUGHOUT AND PUT OUT FIRES. (I hate doing this but sometimes it feels necessary).

But on non-clinical days things are much more ill-defined, though often fragmented by meetings etc.

Today I have meetings at 7:45a – 8:45a, 12p – 1p, 1p – 2p plus I scheduled my very first mammogram (!). I’m hoping this should be quick and will bring my work with me so I can do it while waiting.

In the blocks of time remaining, I have assigned myself fairly specific tasks to complete. Unfortunately, it still looks mildly overwhelming so perhaps I scheduled too many things. I will also pointedly ignore my clinical inbox because tomorrow is a full patient day and I can deal with it all then.

Will report back!

Also, I finished this:

I enjoyed reading this, and found the writing was elegant and beautiful. It made me sad, though. I think that was perhaps the author’s intent. There were also a couple of references to Station Eleven (including the use of a character) that suggested this was sort of an alternate world to that (very) dystopian outcome. Just thinking about that book makes me mildly ill. Dystopian worlds are not really my thing.

I just dove into Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi and I already like it.


  • Reply Haya Finan Mckinley March 16, 2021 at 9:50 am

    i liked glass hotel significantly more than station eleven, but pretty much every time i read an adult dystopian novel, i remember that i really don’t like dystopian novels! (somehow YA stuff doesn’t bother me as much, like hunger games for example)
    i am in the middle of Klara and the Sun, which is dystopian but i can make an exception for Kazuo Ishiguro.

    • Reply Young March 18, 2021 at 5:17 pm

      I’ve heard such good things about Klara and the Sun! I want to read this. Also, I have read all of Emily St. John Mandel’s books now (4?), and I have to agree — there is an elegance to her style. And all her stories seem to share a theme of solitary struggle in some way and kind of an escape from the characters’ place of origin (whether that be a physical place or a circumstance). Canada is always part of the stories, too! Anyway, I really enjoyed The Glass Hotel, too. Yes, the ending to this book made me sadder than her other stories.

  • Reply Katie March 17, 2021 at 5:11 am

    I feel you on the overwhelm and hope the time blocking helps! I love the idea of time blocking but right now my work (law) is so reactive, the deep work is done in the evenings. I protect my early mornings pretty fiercely – no phone or email checking happens then.

  • Reply Lisa of Lisa’s Yarns March 17, 2021 at 8:58 am

    I don’t care for dystopian novels either! I do want to read The Glass Hotel. I loved Homegoing!! One of the best books I’ve read in the last 5+ years! I still think about that book.

    I haven’t had as hard of a time with this time change either. I think because I’m perpetually tired since I’m up multiple times a night with a baby? Our son did ok with bedtime the first night because he didn’t really nap that day! On Monday morning I had to wake him from a deep sleep, though, and he laid there and said ‘it’s really hard to open my eyes’. I was like a me, too, buddy!!

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