Productivity Television

Why I Love Spring

Lots of times in the early morning I put on The Weather Channel, ostensibly to see the day’s weather, but partly because the morning anchors are kind of ridiculous, in the best tradition of morning anchors. Anyway, they kept promising to show a segment called “Why I Love Spring”, but I never saw it. They kept putting it off to talk about blizzards and floods in the Plains states. So I will have to make my own list:

  • Even if I might have not been doing such a good job with my productivity system last week or so, spring cleaning gives me a new influx of procrastinatory projects
  • I am busy at work now. This is great for my morale.
  • The light later in the evening makes me excited to go see friends. Thanks, Daylight Savings Time.
  • Since I wasn’t prepared for local eating (which I only got excited about in November), and it’s pretty much in between seasons now, I’m taking a break from trying to do that, and eating zucchini, butternut squash, new asparagus, and frozen peas all in one meal. (The peas were heated up.)
  • Even though some TV shows are getting close to season ending cliff-hanger territory, America’s Next Top Model is only getting started.

I promise to write a post that doesn’t involve the unordered list tag soon. I’ve been on a serious English lit kick, and also am all about reading Roman history and Shakespeare. Also the novels of Phillipa Gregory, but let’s not talk about that. Yet.


Tickler File: No, this is Not a Sex Toy

I’ve mentioned before that I have tendencies towards being a productivity hobbyist, but besides using some to-do list software and cultivating certain habits, I haven’t done that much about it. Yesterday I spent some money on this hobby by making a tickler file. A tickler file is an old-fashioned way of remembering to do things on a certain day, and in its basic form consists of 43 manila folders. Why 43? 12 for the months, and 31 for the days of the month. The picture (if I can get it online) shows what this looks like. You can file things for a certain day a  month ahead, or put things in the months folder if you haven’t gotten to that month yet.

This seems to work well for me so far, based on the fact that my desk was yesterday covered in papers and notes, and today is empty. I will worry about each piece of paper on the day that I find it in the folder, and only then. It’s a nice feeling, though I may take it too far. For instance, today I got a letter in the mail telling me how great it would be to join some other librarians on a trip to South Africa later this year, for an estimated $6,000. They wanted to know by February 17th at the latest if I was planning to go, and I was about to file this in my folder for February 16th, when I remembered that I don’t actually have $6,000 to take a trip to South Africa (or, I mean, anywhere….) So I filed it in the blue plastic file instead. It’s probably best not to create a situation where I constantly taunt myself from the future.

If this sounds like something that you too would like to create, the instructions that I used are here. I would skip the binder clips, though, since it’s just more stuff to do, and a grown up person should be able to figure out the day of the week without a binder clip’s help.

Internet Productivity

My small green notebook

Last year I meant to get my blog re-started. I had one for many years when I was younger, but it was filled with the kinds of posts that under-18s are supposed to write on their MySpace pages these days. It was before official social networking services, but back then we did our own online social networking, just after we’d walked seven miles up hill in the snow. As you may or may not remember, I ended up dating someone, having a protracted flame war with someone, and generally doing things not appropriate to publicize now that I am a nice married lady looking for a professional position.

So last year when I meant to get my blog re-started, I created a new personal blogging philosophy complete with design ideas and a small green notebook in which I would jot down blogging ideas as they came to me. It was GTD before I knew what that was. I wanted to take the kinds of things that people are always asking me about–for instance, what I am reading–and create an internet presence for those. What I did not want was to air my dirty laundry, or even particularly to admit to who I am, though that will probably be obvious. (Maybe someday I will be the Plagiaristic Malcontent Librarian.)

Obviously that never happened, probably because I was too busy planning my library school social life, which was very important to me. Then my web host went under, though I guess I didn’t particularly care. So today (yes, this really is GTD since it took two minutes or less) I finally looked up the good web hosts thread on drinking_GSLIS, signed up, re-installed WordPress, and went to town. What I have not done yet, however, is to implement all my hopefully still good ideas from the small green notebook. Given my new hobby, it might happen soon. But until then, I wanted to shout into the wilderness.