Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Self Improvement Plan, Version 1,246

Okay, that estimate may be low. See, I'm always looking for ways to make myself a better, more productive, cooler human being. In sixth grade, I attempted this by drawing small stars in strategic places in my notebook. The stars were supposed to remind me to exert self control by not talking and not getting into fights. (No doubt I had seen something in Reader's Digest or on 60 Minutes about negative and positive reinforcement treatments.)

Those who know me--and quite frankly, the likelihood of anyone out there reading this who doesn't know me, at least a bit, is quite small--know that I am by nature a horrible procrastinator. I take that back: I'm a highly talented procrastinator. In addition, the more stressed I become, the spacier I get. (I began a story to aerobil on the phone last night with, "I was flipping through channels, and--" and she interrupted me to say, "Not at all ADD, are we?" Then we got distracted and talked about something else.)

Where was I? Oh, yeah, spaciness. So, two crucial tasks I was supposed to get done today: go to the UPS store to ship aerobil's small and silly Christmas--er, Pagan Festival of Lights & Abundance--package, and overnight my application to Western University in City o' Dreams. (Overnighting is necessary because, of course, I've procrastinated.)

And I forgot. These two activities completely left my brain. I remembered them whilst standing in line at the bank to take care of another task (getting cash to take care of the Urban Dweller's Holiday Necessity, aka Tipping). I was on my way to a spiffy little downtown cafe to eat soup, suck down a mocha, and grade papers. (No, my grades aren't done. Shut up.)

Fortunately, I did remember. But as David Allen says in Getting Things Done, you can't rely on your brain to keep all these things together. Which leads us to my latest Self Improvement Plan. I purchased GTD, and I have to say, I'm finding it both delightfully understated and mighty useful. Because Mr. Allen doesn't claim to be a Zen master, nor is he not-so-skillfully disguising his patriarchal christian morals under his seven habits. He just wants to show us how to manage our work process better.

So stay tuned. Maybe this self improvement plan will stick. Unlike the stars. Really, it just took high school and maturing and mellowing to get me to stop getting in fights. I still talk too much. As anyone who knows me will tell you. I think I'm stuck with that one.


aerobil said...

Julie taught me a new song last year. It goes something like this: "Gifts. Gifts. I like gifts." over and over again. I wish I could name the tune it goes to, but of course I'm clueless.

susansinclair said...

Perhaps we could do it to the "I need money, that's what I want" song--you know, "Your love gives me such a thrill, but your love won't pay my bills, I want money (That's what I want) Just give me money (That's what I want)...."

Or, to "Diamonds are a girl's best friend."