Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2 AM and Counting

Today is one of those days where something really important has to be done, and I'm having to wait on a bunch of other people in order to accomplish it. Specifically, we are hiring, and I just want it to be OVER. I guess we don't have to make a decision today, but I've put so much energy into this that I don't want to draw it out any longer. I have a bunch of important work to do tomorrow, that if I have to postpone finalizing our plans until tomorrow, I'll lose another day.

Argh! Why does so much of our lives have to depend on other people?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Conspiring Universe

Do you also have days where the universe and everything conspires against you? After the past several difficult days, today around noon I found myself sitting down to the computer, ready and chomping at the bit to get to work. I wanted to work, I had plenty to do, and I was already getting started. What happened? Moments after I had all the relevant software set up, documents opened, and good music playing on Pandora, Kit asked for my computer to view some family videos with her aunt, who was visiting and only had another hour or so before her train. I didn't begrudge her the laptop (the only way to play those particular videos), but I wished for better timing.

And then after I got the computer back, there was an errand that needed to be run today, immediately, which took another half hour. So here I am, finally back at the computer, but with most of my momentum gone and almost three hours of much-need work time lost.

Most days fall into one of two categories: either I have a really difficult time making myself work, or I'm ready to work but the universe conspires against me and prevents me from getting anything done. How do you cope? Do you have any strategies for dealing with either problem?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wish me luck.

It's evening, at the time most local people are sitting down to dinner, and the work day is just starting for me. I have a to-do list a mile long, and while I am nowhere near in as bad a state as I was on Friday, I still find myself sitting in front of the computer chewing my nails, fretting about the fact that I am having such a hard time actually doing any work.

Our meeting starts in 40 minutes, and I am mostly unprepared. I have a dozen phone calls to make today, but I can't bear the idea of talking to any of those people right now. All I can feel is a desperate desire to curl up on the couch with a book, a glass of milk, and a jar of peanut butter with a spoon.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Depression and all his friends

Last week, by all accounts, was a pretty terrible week. I've suffered bouts of depression in the past, but not like this.

Friday was the worst. I didn't sleep too well, I woke up late, got up, had breakfast, did my normal (late) morning routine, planned to get some work done. But everything was all wrong. Nothing bad had happened, but I just felt off. Somehow the day was a mirror image of the dreams I'd had that morning, where I'd been a dispassionate observer to acts of terrible violence; now that I was awake, I was a terrified, desperate observer to nothing in particular.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Killing time (or not)

A few days ago I tweeted, "When you have a million important things to do, how do you decide where to start?" I confess I actually considered putting off the finish list and writing this blog instead. Then I realized I'd be digging myself in deeper, so I closed out of Firefox and tried to get some real work done.

But it's a legitimate problem--sometimes there is so much to do, it's really difficult to come up with a game plan. And if you're not paying attention, you can waste lots of time on the decision of where to start, when you don't really have a minute to spare. So what do you do in that instance? Don't wait, don't waver, don't think. Just pick something on your list that's important, and do it. Get it over with, and the next thing will be that much easier.

How do stop killing time, when time seems to be against you?

Friday, January 6, 2012

FINISH list update

So I've renamed my to-do list "finish list", as you might have seen on Twitter. (By the way, my twitter handle is @finishbusiness; see my new feed on the right.)

So on my list of 11 items, I got halfway down, then got stuck on #6, because of the workout break, the dinner break, the potty break, etc, etc. You know how it goes. Then when I finally knuckled down to go through my inbox and deal with loose ends, I ended up spending two hours on it before I realized how late it was. Then I decided just to get those phone calls (#8-11) over with before Kit got home and nagged me about it again. I reached three of the people on the list, the three most important ones, in fact. The one I didn't get a hold of wasn't urgent, but I left him a message that we need to connect in the next week or so. None of the phone calls had negative outcomes, which is part of what I was panicked about. It's such a relief to have those calls over and done with.

So at the end of the day, the only thing left undone is #8, which was really just a filler task anyway. Boy, it feels good to have those phone calls behind me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The problem with unfinished business

Kit and I got into a little argument yesterday about this blog--she made multiple complaints, but the most justified was that so far I haven't really written much about what my unfinished business is, or what I am doing to "finish" it. I've only been posting other editorials and inspirational thoughts. She's absolutely right. Today is Thursday, and I have a number of really pressing things to do today.

The difficulty is that each thing requires a bunch of preliminary effort to actually get to the finishing part. For example, the first thing I need to do today is update the bookkeeping for our local limited liability company, so Kit can send the general ledge to the accountant for tax preparation. I have done the data entry through mid-November, so there's not that much to do, and the task itself won't take more than 20 minutes. However, here's what I have to do before I can even get to the easy part:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Restless Soul

Yesterday I was thinking of a favorite song I hadn't heard in a while, and looked it up on YouTube to see if it was still as good as I remembered it. My favorite line:

"Facing this discrepancy of what I am, and what I want to be"

I think we all have a vision of the person we want to be, the life we want to live, and sometimes that vision seems particularly unreachable. During the past few years, I didn't lose that vision, but I did become discouraged that it was harder and harder to imagine myself ever getting there. "Restless" is a good way to describe that unsatisfied feeling. Finishing my unfinished business will get me most of the way towards I want to be.

An encouraging Bible verse for today

I read a few chapters this morning from my (new) Bible, a gift for Christmas from my parents, and the words "proud doer" caught my eye.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Game Being Played Around You

Here's another article that has to do with my theme this year, by Ramit Sethi of I Will Teach You To Be Rich.

"2012: The Year of Mastering the Game Being Played Around You."

Ramit keeps harping on this theme--that our assumptions about the way things really work limits us. They are especially limiting because we don't realize they are assumptions. For example, for a long time I gave up on trying to change things about myself and things about my life that I didn't like, because goal setting never worked for me. Now I realize that goal-setting is not the only option, and in many cases, can be counterproductive.

Hence, my quest to re-focus my life rather than achieve some finite goal.

Book Review: Organize for a Fresh Start, by Susan Fay West

I love my Kindle. Even more, I love reading free books on my Kindle. A lot of publishers and writers offer a book for free as an introduction to their other work, or they discount a book for a short time to get people interested. You will find several different kinds of products in the Kindle Store: an awful lot of books from bad writers who don't know how bad they are, trying to get some easy publicity, a lot of public domain works (Sherlock Holmes seems to be especially popular right now), and occasionally a real gem from real writers.

Happy New Year!

Today is Monday, the first "real" day of the new year. (Yesterday didn't count, because we were still eating junk food and sleeping most of the day.) It will take a day or two to fall back into a normal sleeping pattern, and this week will be hard because Kit hates dieting and is doing it anyway. She has even sworn off Coke and all soda until she loses the 60 pounds she has pledged to lose.