It was a slow beginning…

Everyday Adventures

But after two hours and a large latte I left All Saints with a 1000-word draft for my next eHow article. Whew! Pretty good since I only had the title and a vague idea of what I was trying to say in mind when I arrived. It’s so going to suck (for me, not All Saints of course) when the students are back in full-force and I’ll either have to find another place to write on Wednesday nights come November (as finals approach, so too do the crowds) or battle for a bit of table space.

The point being that writing away from home, away from familiar distractions, is really working for me. The down-side is getting home at almost 8 on these nights, still needing to cook dinner, usually, and not being able to start on something else by the time that’s all done. Small price to pay, I agree, which is why I’ve stuck with so far.

This current article (on managing a webcomic) needs to be submitted by Monday so I’m shooting for final revisions on Sunday and upload that night. I have one illustration to do for it (which will work so much better, I think, than a mere stock photograph of a computer monitor or some such) and at least one round of editing, but the meat is there.

And when I got home, RockStar called. He’d actually tried to call last night but I was in editing mode and did not hear the phone. (Note: when I replace the current cell, I really need to get one with an obnoxiously loud ringer and one with more than 4 ‘rings’ before it heads to voice mail.) There may actually be plans afoot for this weekend. But! As I explained to him, I don’t do vague/maybe/we’ll see at all well: call me when you’ve got a plan (Ah, there’s the Scraps we know and loathe). So we shall see.

I have a nagging suspicion there’s something I’m supposed to do Saturday but cannot remember what it is. That and the apartment is still an unholy wreck and I will not be able to live with myself if I don’t get those boxes out of the living room properly so…. we’ll see. Ugh. (And I’m not a hypocrite, because I cringe whenever I’m necessarily vague as well. So there.)

And there’s something else that’s plaguing me: the 80/20 time management thing. Last week it was part of the Hip Tranquil Chick podcast and last night the Bard emailed me a link to a not-to-do list that also mentioned it (which I’m /not/ going to link to because I took an instant dislike to that toady, bombastic guy who compiled the list and the lifestyle he lives based on the efforts of others and outsourcing to overseas virtual assistants… oh don’t get me started again!). On top of that I know it had come up before the HTC podcast but I dont know where.

So there it is, repetition of this concept, only I can’t get my head around it. I mean, yeah, I looked it up and it was an old Italian economist who noticed that 80% of the wealth belonged to 20% of the people. Which I get. And I get that the ratio is in effect in other places, too. And that his theory is that 80% of effects come from only 20% of causes. So invest your ’causes’ wisely or some such. But when I read it in relation to time management I seem to hear it backwards: that 80% of your effort produces only 20% of your outcome, so you need to minimize the fluff in that 80%. Only that just doesn’t jive with what the economist dude was trying to say at all. I don’t know, it’s making my head hurt (again).

Anyway, another (better) principle that I’ve heard a lot from the HTC podcast in particular is living mindfully, living with intention. I think I will have a better shot at that than this 80/20 thing. Basically (and it was repeated today when I listened to this week’s podcast on the writing life–great interview, btw, really rather inspiring, though don’t expect to hear about me getting up at 5am to meditate and then write for 3 hours before breakfast) each day, each parcel of your life, you should set an intention for that time and keep that in mind throughout the day (etc.) and what you do will work towards that goal.

Of course, it’s possible to have more than one intention going at a time. For instance, my current intentions are to stick to my eHow contract, keep up the webcomic schedule, eat healthily, and try and stay more calm. Oh, and work with my budget more… but that one already sorta had a falter this month, next month I’ll try again! (See, calm, accepting, not stressing about it.) But the guy in the interview (Jeff Davis, I looked it up) talked about each morning in his meditation/yoga time (10 minutes of prep for 3 hours of writing… what was that about 80/20? lol) he would set an intention for that session, like finding a new beginning for chapter three or whatever, but basically to have a single, main intention and use that for the day.

So, my intention today was to write the next article tonight. And I did. No, it’s not submission-ready, but that wasn’t the point. I suppose I had a second intention once I got home: to cook dinner and clean the kitchen. And that’s done, too. So, for the day, I made it. Sure I’ve had the attention span of a hummingbird the last couple of days at work, but my work got done (mainly because that’s what I’m there to do and while the internet is a bit of a distraction, work ethic usually keeps me from over-indulging). It’s at home, when my time is less structured that I need the reminder. Even though I’ve yet to master meditation (please, getting brain-train to slow down to one track only happens in two situations, and neither of them are conducive to productivity–neither of those are sleeping, btw), still, just declaring an intention (to myself, quietly, and reminding myself as needed) seems to help.

I’ll decide tomorrows intention in the morning, right now my only intention is to not spook myself too badly as I finish the chapter on Pere Dagobert in “Haunted New Orleans.” Why do I do these things to myself???

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