Friday, February 24, 2006

Not Getting Things Done.

Jarrett is trying to be more productive. I am trying to be satisfied with less. It is no news to anyone that I have been sick, because I have been broadcasting that news far and wide (but trying to keep the little phlegmlets to myself). A colleague of mine expressed sympathy yesterday, saying, "Yeah, it's hard when you suddenly don't have the energy--especially when you are so used to getting things done by force of will."

Bingo. A bonus 25 points for her.

So here I am on a Friday. Oddly, it's a lot like last Friday, where I am tallying my week's achievements: I taught 2 classes (had to cancel 2), managed to shower on most days, graded a batch of papers, evaluated an essay for a journal, had two good workouts, and emptied the dishwasher at least once. Oh yeah, and I reorganized my TODO stack. David Allen says that sometimes you need to just download all those free-floating gotta-do's clogging your brain into a sophisticated framework of files and action lists. The editorial review for his book says that his system
starts with the exhortation to take every unaccounted-for scrap of paper in your workstation that you can't junk, The next step is to write down every unaccounted-for gotta-do cramming your head onto its own scrap of paper. Finally, throw the whole stew into a giant "in-basket."

I'm with you so far, David. But some days you need to dump that whole "in-basket" into the circular file. I'm thinking of those items that have been sitting in my private in-basket for over a year now--and wondering, will I ever do these things?

No. Trash them. Kill all the brutes.

Then start over.

Today I am turning over a new leaf, and it is called "How Not To Measure My Success Based On Productivity Alone."

My seminarian friend says this is a first step toward enjoying the moment, getting a grip on life. Do I need to tell you how many times she has been right?

So part of today's plan is letting this afternoon be a rest time (oh yeah, and a trip to the doctor), a recognition that pushing is not making me well. Or happy. Or thinner.

And it all starts with the Friday Random 10, which once again goes up to 11:
1. "Floret silva," from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, perfomed by The Cleveland Orchestra, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas.
2. Mr. Vegas, "Pull Up" (a cappella), Misch Masch (whoo! That was an abrupt transition!)
3. Les Negresses Vertes, "Orane," Mlah
4. Mambo All-Stars, "Tea for Two," the soundtrack to The Mambo Kings
5. Pink Floyd, "Time," Dark Side of the Moon
6. Sting, "Children's Crusade," The Dream of the Blue Turtles
7. Stereolab, "Cosmic Country Noir," Margerine Eclipse
8. Wilco, "I'm a Wheel," A Ghost Is Born
9. "Kyrie," from Arvo Pärt's Missa Syllabica, from Beatus, performed by the Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, conducted Tönu Kaljuste
10. "Largo" from Vivaldi's Concerto for Flute in G minor, "La Notte" (RV 439), performed by the English Consort, conducted by Trevor Pinnock (album: Eight Concerti)
11 (because the transition was too fine). k.d. lang and the Reclines, "Three Cigarettes in an Ashtray," Angel with a Lariat

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