Saturday, January 04, 2014

Doing Things Undone

My first work-related task of 2014 was to hang the new calendar up in my writing space. It's that stark but peaceful Zen edition I bought at B&N with my Christmas gift card, and it looks neat and calm on the wall. I think I'm going to like keeping track of my work weeks in black and white, and hopefully it reminds me to knock on the sky and listen to the sound (quoting it here.)

My second and third tasks were to finish some work leftover from 2013. For various reasons it was tough but at the same time brought some relief; unfinished things weigh on me terribly. I think every week I'm going to tackle things like this, all these little and big things I've set aside or put on the back burner or otherwise left hanging, and do whatever it takes to get them done. The good feeling of getting it done chased away my post-holiday blues, and now I feel more prepared to get back on a regular work schedule on Monday.

It's amazing how many lives we can have going at the same time, isn't it? The family life, the personal life, the professional life, the writing life, the social life, the online life -- toss in hobbies and friends and volunteer work and before you know it you're trying to live ten lives all at once. We all multi-task like postal sorters on amphetamines, and yet more and more it seems we can't get things done. Focus on any one of your lives for any length of time in order to finish something, and the others start to suffer, create problems for you and/or dwindle. You almost have to be a master juggler to integrate it all, keep everything moving and not drop anything. How can we get things done if we're too busy to realize how much we have waiting, unfinished?

That's also what I want to work on this year, and while I need to meditate a bit more on the solution I think downsizing and simplifying wherever/whenever I can will help.

So what's up with you all? Tell me in comments.

10 comments:

  1. I'm working on establishing a routine to get more accomplished in by day-to-day life. For some reason, being a writing, semi-retired, online college course taking, grandmother helping with childcare of a 9 month old and needleworker/seamstress person really cuts into just laying on the couch and eating bonbons.

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    1. Well, I don't know why, Judy -- you should be able to get all that done WHILE you're couching potatoing and eating bonbons. And if you ever figure out how to do that, will you tell me your secret? Ha.

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  2. I have simplified for this new year. Not so many time-consuming projects, more focus. Yesterday I cleaned out some cupboards and took three boxes of stuff to the thrift; spent an hour breaking down cardboard boxes for recycling that have been stacked in the corner of the garage for ages; made appointments at the vet for the dogs and worked on the plot for a short story. Funny...after finally dealing with the work I've put off/ignored, my head felt less cluttered when I sat down to write. ;D

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    1. Goodwill definitely loves me, too, Ter -- I donated about 300 lbs. of books and umpteen bags of clothes and old linens in December. My next closet to reorganize is in the hall; I have to part with some quilts and craft stuff or it's going to implode. I did find a shelter for battered women who are looking for bedding and sewing stuff, so everything I weed out will be going there.

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  3. I'm trying to simplify as well. And I'm trying to say "No" to things I don't want to do. That last part is hard!

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    1. I have to practice the N word, too. It's parted from my vocabulary too often in the last couple of months, I think.

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  4. Er. Just up to my eyeballs in all the things not done. *g* But I'm trying to enjoy life more in the new year anyway, starting with lowered expectations for house, yard, etc. When my kids are grown, will I regret that the house wasn't cleaner or that we didn't play more games together?

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  5. Well, I had my new calendars hung by last week, and when we reported to work this past Monday we found a flood from upstairs and ruined everything in the lower floor offices-- computers, phones, scanners, etc.0-- all flooded and then hit by the ceiling that came crumbling down. So we all started over and are putting our offices back together... an interesting start to 2014!

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  6. Fran K4:42 AM

    I really need to get back into some form of exercise but have to take baby steps because of my dodgy knee, so that's my main priority this year. I've also vowed to finish one sewing project before attempting another because I get a little feverish if there are too many things on the go. I only started sewing in March last year and have accomplished so much, but I keep saying YES to making things for other people which adds to the feverishness. So like Darlene & Lynn I'm going to practice saying the N word too.

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  7. This is so true as you said "We all multi-task like postal sorters on amphetamines, and yet more and more it seems we can't get things done."
    Multitasking leads with all tasks undone.
    A new year resolution to be taken ...plan and work in an organized manner.

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