July 29, 2019

Getting Things Done

The giant to-do list called life.

Getting Things Done

Published July 29, 2019 || Updated February 04, 2020

Note: I'm experimenting with fonts. On this page, the current font-family is Cormorant with a medium weight and font size of 115%.

Sometimes I feel like life is just one giant to-do list. Sure . . . love, happiness, goodtimes, badtimes are all important elements that make life what it is, but the events of our lives are ultimately deliminated by that metronome of life—time.

Apologies: this blog entry may be a bit of a meander...

That relentless tik-tik-tik. Life is a timeline of discrete moments governed by our ability to manage them with varying degrees of intentionality. We plan. We aspire. Thinking ahead, life becomes a neverending, constantly shuffling, to-do list. Our sense of control often is rooted in our management of that to-do list, whether literal or metaphorical. Do you revisit that to-do list every morning and evening? Then you are living more intentionally. Conversely, is life for you more seat-of-the-pants? If so, time can slip away so quickly. Life can veer out of control.

I do try to proactively plan my life most of the time. At least at some level. I have adopted Bullet Journaling as a means to both journal my stray (errant!) thoughts as well as drive a more tangible / manageable to-do list onto paper. You'd think that now that I am out of the corporate rat-race, planning would get easier. But that's simply not the case. Self-employment and semi-retirement means that life has far more variability. Yes, I sleep better. Yes, I am happier. But (a) it's now even easier to be distracted, and (b) a flexible schedule equates to a schedule that is also far more haphazard and difficult to predict.

Rigid-ish scheduled daily tasks/events are,

  • Livestock: 30 minutes to 2 hours in the morning (duration is usually semi-predictable); 15 minutes at night
  • Meals: I eat breakfast and dinner. Lunch is sometimes a snack and rarely anything more substantial.
  • Sleep: Bed by 11pm to 1am. Up by 5am to 7am. I hate sleep. I sleep poorly. I don't need much more than 5 hours. And I hate sleep. Did I already say that? Life is too short for sleep. It gets in the way!

That's it! That's the rigid (-ish) part of my schedule. Everything else is fluid. Which you'd think would make planning easier—and in some ways it does (the calendar is far more editable!)--but overall, it doesn't. If I am not careful there are just even more ways for my day to frit away.

Now, it's time to talk about the puppy.

A couple weeks ago, we visited a friend of ours at her new home (we sold her old home). She has a new puppy. The puppy was 10 weeks old (I think?) at that time. He was, of course, completely adorable. I held him up (à la Lion King) and he licked my face and puppy-bit my beard. I became misty-eyed with puppy joy and burst forth, "Jessica! If you ever need us to puppy-sit, we'd do it in a heartbeat!"

Our friend Jessica wasted no time. "Why yes! In a week or so we are going on vacation, can you really take him?"

I eagerly, and foolishly, nodded my head through my tears of sheer puppy-clouded joy.

Lemme tell you: a puppy will throw a hand-grenade into your ability to manage your life. Monica and I agreed to watch the puppy, Bentley, for a week. A PUPPY! In retrospect, I think we were a bit insane to take on this task. Yes, we could have crated him during the day for many hours, but . . . well . . . we didn't. We just didn't have the heart to cage the little monster.

One of us always had to be with the pup. He peed and pooped every hour or two and was terrible at both letting us know and holding it until he was outside. Since Monica's schedule away from the home is more critical and associated to our real estate business, more often than not, the person on puppy-duty was me.

Puppy. Required farm work. And puppy: so, what did I achieve last week? Nothing. Almost nothing. I read a bit. I wrote a bit. But, in the end, no forward progress. No journaling at all. Certainly no blogging. Similarly, I achieved zero real estate work, not that I have anything of immediate import at the moment. I did manage to make a decision (a small step, anyway) associated to a potential startup, but that was it. I did get away for one evening to see a few friends—"Thank you, Monica!"—and after the puppy went back home, we both got to spend a bit of time with family. That was nice, but not unlike entertaining a puppy, and though social contact is a necessary obligation and healthy for you, hosting family can also be a huge time sink. Puppy. Friends. Family.

Thus, my big achievement for the week was: much time spent playing with a puppy. Which . . . okay, when you say that aloud, I guess it was a pretty darn good week.

#puppysitting #dogareawesome #bujo #timemanagement #gtd

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