Oh to Be Able to Convey This…

without my boss looking at me like I’m just being difficult or lazy (or insubordinate or petulant or…or…or… )

Gradually over time, America has become overly obsessed about managing tasks. In our quest to produce results, we have lost sight of the importance of engaging people. As human beings we have emotions. We have hopes and dreams. We have a conscience. We want to be respected, to be recognized for our talents, to belong, to have autonomy or control over our work and our lives, to experience personal growth, and to do work that we believe is worthwhile and in a way that we feel is ethical. It’s how we are wired.

See, his business coach, therefore by default my business coach now, is all about “time management” and plans, and calendars, and schedules, and all of those things that while trying to manage time only end up wasting time, and creating stress, and snuffing out any creative or logical work flow. (I’m all about creative & logical being a Virgo) (and no, those two traits don’t cancel each other out)

So this week, I wasted almost an entire day filling out some cockamaimy 3 month schedule. Here’s the thing. I don’t know how much time a task I have NEVER done before is going to take me 4 weeks from now, and yet here I am, bullshitting my way through this list of “strategies” and “goals”(another square peg/round hole exercise for me) and allotting them some “damned if I know” time breakdown, then putting it in my calendar. God forbid I should feel motivated to do it tomorrow or next week, cause according to my schedule, which feels like a noose, I have a bunch of other things I am supposed to be doing. Oh, and then there is the other stuff, the “put out the fire” stuff that comes up, that isn’t on the schedule, that has to be done, but fucks up my TM big time. So I have to move stuff, and add stuff, and generally feel constantly stressed out. I spend more time adjusting my calendar and moving things around than I care to talk about. Oh, and I sneak in other things, the creative things, the things that connect with the customers, that are equally if not more important, that can’t be “scheduled” but rather happen organically, out of the blue because something inspired me, so I had to capitalize on it and “seize the moment” (have you ever tried to schedule creativity??? doesn’t happen) Then feel guilty, like I’ve cheated on my calendar. So I work through my lunch, and stay late trying to catch up.

So now I leave work every day feeling like a colossal failure, because even though I worked my ass off for 8-10 hrs, doing the job of 3 people, I didn’t accomplish what I was supposed to according to my noose calendar. So I work on the streetcar on the way home, and then a little bit once I get home. (which is ironically how I found that quote, instead of dying my hair, reading, preparing my lunch for tomorrow, etc… etc… ) Then I go to bed thinking of all the stuff I didn’t get done, sleep not very soundly, then wake up and immediately begin to stress about work before I my feet even hit the floor, forcing myself to begin to work on the commute in before I’ve even had my coffee. Then I repeat this cycle for 5 work days, and end up working a little on the weekend to assuage the guilt of not completing my “scheduled tasks”

I like lists damnit.

I know it flies in the face of all the modern day GTD “experts”, but I like having a to-do list on my desk. An old fashioned, hand written on a long piece of paper list, with my own little coded notations to prioritize things and make notes, doodle if need be, and then enjoy the visceral feeling of accomplishment when scratching off the things I did. I like to be able to pick and choose the “next task” based on how I’m feeling at the moment. I like having a little running overview of my progress. I like scratching one thing off and immediately adding 2 more! I like the ebb and flow. I find the list motivating. I find the noose calendar debilitating.

I feel like I spend way to fucking much time figuring out how I plan to do things, rather than just simply doing them!

*and exhale*

now maybe tonight I’ll get some sleep…

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