Buckling Down and Getting Stuff Done

 Posted by on 5 March 2013 at 12:00 pm  Personal, Productivity
Mar 052013

Today, I found this delightful tidbit from the Manager Tools Newsletter (free to registered members) in my inbox:

Sitting at my computer this morning, I wished for one of those movie montages. You know the ones where the cool music plays, and several hours or days or months pass, and magically the protagonist has written a book, found love or become fit enough for a marathon.

If there was a montage of my office this morning, 300 words would magically write themselves, with a quick intercut scene of me tearing out my hair and drinking more coffee. Then, we’d switch to my screen, where windows would open and close as I add the different elements to the newsletter. And in 2 minutes, it’d all be done, and I’d be out with my friends in a bar celebrating the amazing open and clickthrough rates.

Ah, real life. Real life entails of consistent action. Day after day I collect ideas. Day after day I write something, anything, to practice writing effectively. Day after day I start with a blank page and wait for a combination of inspiration and perspiration to write.

We’d all like montages. But as Manager Tools says about management, it’s boring. One on Ones every week. Feedback every day. Consistent Coaching. Persistent Delegation. Career success is relationships, relationships, relationships with results and transitions. What gets results? Day by day minor progress.

Benjamin Franklin famously had a list of 13 virtues which he worked on from age 20 until he died aged 84. Every week, he worked on one of the virtues. Sixty years is a long time to think about (and definitely requires a montage). But if you spent one week, and every day worked a little on that project you’ve been meaning to get to, how far would you get?

Wowee, I desperately want a house repairs montage… you know, the kind with snappy upbeat music and where the video sped up so that everything happens in a few seconds. I can’t do that — the whole process involves an unbelievable amount of decision-making, coordination, and little tasks. The good news is that I’ve been able to effectively use GTD to manage the work… and tons of progress has been made in the last few weeks, as you can see here:

Alas, in repairing some warped baseboards in the laundry room and exercise room, we discovered a whole lot of wet and mold, thanks to water coming from the boiler room. At first, I thought that our boiler might be leaking, but then I recalled that the kitchen sink backs up into the floor of the boiler room. That’s sheer insanity, on so many levels, but apparently that was common in the 70s. (I blame drugs.) That happened once before a few years ago, and the water flooded into the office immediately, and it took the plumber hours to figure out what the heck was the problem. This time, the clog was partial, so that area had been flooding just a bit… for many weeks, I think. UGH.

The result was that the drywall under the baseboards was sopping wet and moldy. I’ve been spraying the drywall on all sides twice per day for the past few days, and it seems to be drying out and clearing up nicely. However, after SnowCon, I’m going to cut into the drywall under the baseboard to see what’s behind the wall. We might need to tear out the drywall and reconstruct that area. Let me tell you, I’m not looking forward to doing that, so I hope that’s not necessary.

But, if necessary, I know that I can do it given all that I’ve done already. Plus, once SnowCon is done, I won’t nearly as stressed as I am now. Still, I hope that everything dries out nicely, so that we can just slap the baseboards back on. That would be really lovely.

Please, WTFairy? Pretty please with bacon on top?

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