in Odds and Ends


I intend to take the next week off from weblogging.

In an effort to build some positive inertia, I’m taking vacation days from work on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. This will give me five(-and-a-half counting this afternoon) days to get done some pressing chores.

On the agenda:

  • dinner with Marcela, Pierre, and the Beautiful Children; Done! Delicious!
  • Asian Dinner at Mac and Pam’s Done! Fun!
  • diagnose network back-up issues at WACO; Done!
  • complete the rough-draft of a story for the Woodstock Writer’s Guild;
  • complete the book purge begun two months ago, which includes:
    • posting the valuable books on eBay Done! (And a system is in place to this repeatedly in the future.)
    • taking the un-valuable books to Powell’s
    • mailing The Tick to John Done! (Shocking!)
    • re-organizing the remaining books As done as it’s going to get for a long time.
  • clean the workshop; (two-thirds finished)
  • organize all my tools, both shop and garden;
  • respond to all unanswered e-mail (hi, Andrew, Bill, and Amy!);
  • exercise every day (Sat 304 cal, Sun 417 cal, Mon 515 cal, Tue 327 cal and strength, Wed racquetball — Done! I exercised everyday!) — I’ll sign up for a one-month membership at a gym and force myself to go every day, hoping to override my tendency to remain at rest Done! (I even have an appointment on Monday with a “personal trainer” — good grief!);
  • make one nice dinner for Kris (and Tiff?); I made Hamburger Helper two days in a row — does that count?
  • Prepare taxes for Sabino, including my labyrinthine Computer Resources mess Done!
  • build a shelf for Kris;
  • get myself back on the Getting Things Done system; The system is in place again and now I just have to follow it
  • and a whole lot of other little things.

This is an ambitious list, but I’ll do my best to tackle everything here. All of these are things that have been in stasis for weeks or months. It’s time for me to get off my ass!

This afternoon, however, I’m going to head outside with the Gates girls and get that darned tree cleaned up. Done! (Or at least as done as it’s getting ’til spring — look for photos soon.)

What do other people do when they’re unmotivated? When I’m motivated, I can plow through chores like nobody’s business. (I’m not quite the force of nature that Jeremy is, but I can certainly get things accomplished.) I’ll even go through prolonged periods where I’m happy to make sure things are done quickly and well. Most of my life, though, is a mass of procrastination. How does one avoid this? How do other people stay on-task?

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  1. How about letting yourself have some periods of inertia? I think it’s natural to have some mental and physical downtime to balance those times when you’re really going on something. And personally, I’ve always believed that we should be hibernating at this point in the year.

  2. The only thing that motivates me is knowing that someone or several someones are watching and waiting for me to fail. That’s a mighty big list and your readers might be watching (but not waiting). But motivation is also contagious. I just might have to come up with a list of my own now.

  3. Lists! Like you I am a great list maker. When the burden gets too much for my brain to keep track of without forgetting, then I make lists. It seems that I have to make lists more and more often as I get older or life gets more complex. Also, asking someone else to share the job with you really helps. In our cultural past, there are all kinds of shared chores: barn raising, quilting, etc. With more people some chores actually become fun. You know this. You asked for help with the tree.

    Good luck on the list. I will miss you this week, but I will get more tax returns done knowing I don’t have to check the blog and get sidetracked.

  4. It’s funny, upon first meeting Jeremy I described him to Aimee as, “This guy’s like a force of nature! Like a rain squall or a sudden gust of wind that knocks over the garbage cans. And smokes.”
    When we visited Portland for spring break (almost a year ago now, and we won’t make it out this year. Sniff.) we spent a day with Jeremy, Getting Shit Done, and it was pretty ridiculous the amount of stuff we did.

  5. On holiday of sunday I decided to watch Chronicles of Narnia.Alas no one can’t be Peter Jackson.It seems that They have made a 3D cartoon movie in the name of so called classic.I think director of Shrek Mr. Andrew Adamson should stick to his green ogre.Narnia fails since from the begining.Serious flaws are there like characters are not well defined,children are not cute enough,the witch was not scary etc. etc.And the lion Aslan looks like he has been just fired from his circus job.In one scene the witch cuts down the hair of lion.BUT!!! Just after 10 minutes his hair becomes as before.Which brand of shampoo he was using?!!!….some of the characters have been completely lifted from Lord of the rings.The films fails in cinematography and sound effects also.

  6. jd… One of my previous students, searching the web, looking for my address came across your “blog” with the quote ‘photography begins on a tripod’

  7. Well, things are progressing slowly. I’m having a nice time, though, and that’s what’s most important. My main focus has been on switching to the fitness mindset. This transformation is worthy of an entire weblog entry itself, and it may get one soon. Suffice it to say that I have made the transition, and that’s the important thing. Once I make this switch, once I start looking at the world through fitness-colored glasses, I’m generally able to meet my goals for exercise and nutrition. Everything about this current switch fits the mindset of previous switches. Yay!

    Meanwhile, I’m not making good progress toward my eBay goal. I’d hoped to have a bunch of stuff ready to post on Wednesday, but that’s looking problematic. Too, I haven’t built a shelf and haven’t finished sorting books or cleaning the workshop. I have time yet, don’t I?

    I’ve done myriad other little tasks, though, and, perhaps most importantly, I’ve had some amazing capture-the-flag games in World of Warcraft. (Look for screenshots soon. I’ll bet y’all can’t wait!) My PvP rating should be updated this afternoon. I’ll probably be promoted to Senior Sergeant!