In just over a week, I need to have all of the stuff on the white board in my office at PHS done. It's a lot of stuff, but I'm feeling much better having gotten it from my brain and onto a board I face whenever I'm sitting in my chair at work. Which reminds me of this book I read a couple of years ago, Getting Things Done, by David Allen. One big takeaway is that we stress out unnecessarily when we keep remembering the stuff we haven't done yet. Our brains just keep coming back to it and churning on it. If we write down the tasks in a place that we are sure to refer to, our brains get freed up and we don't have to worry about forgetting what we need to accomplish. We only need pay attention to any given item again when we are ready to deal with it. I was a bit of a whack job this morning at home worrying about getting things done, and making this list right as I arrived at work helped a ton.
David Allen's suggestions are good as long as you don't make yourself crazy. Take the tips that serve you and dump the rest. Tickler file? Waste of time for me. I did tape "DO DEFER DELEGATE DISCARD" on my computer monitor at work after reading the book to help me get through e-mail more efficiently. With 663 messages in my work e-mail in-box alone, I clearly still have a ways to go on that one.
You may note that I have a whole unfilled column on my list with the title "fun stuff." Gotta work on that. But I find that as I progress through my tasks, some of it can be fun. Like discovering that someone does, in fact, make bifocal reader sunglasses. I think these will be awesome for my driving vacation with the family and in my soon-to-be new role as an auto commuter. It's weird in the car that I can't read the dashboard dials or radio without putting my reading glasses on, so these bifocal reader sunglasses will hopefully solve that. Plus, I'll be able to sit in the sun and read comfortably without squinting. I wish I'd invented them!
I also am replacing my lost Fitbit One charger. I'm sure my old one will turn up as soon as I have the new one out of the package, in which case, I'll keep the duplicate at work. Then I'll be sure to never miss a step. Har har.
Then there's the mindless and time-consuming tasks. I don't really mind mowing the lawn usually. Scanning pics for my niece is fun too. Finding time for both is the part that feels stressful. Maybe I can offer a cash reward to my kids for helping with those projects. Everybody wins!
The rest of the stuff... well, it's just stuff I need to do. It'll probably all get done. Or nearly all. Some of it absolutely HAS to get done. Other stuff... We'll see, anyway. Likely nothing too bad will happen if I miss a thing or two.
Big changes are afoot for me. I’ve accepted the position of Director of Communications and New Media for the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Awesome! NFCA has done groundbreaking work in raising awareness and encouraging celiac testing, advocating that manufacturers to bring gluten-free products to store shelves and training restaurateurs to safely prepare food for people with celiac and non-celiac gluten intolerance. I’ll start my official duties there in mid-July. So excited! I can’t imagine a better fit than to turn my “extra-curricular” activities into my Day Job. I plan to continue my website and blog; no doubt there will be many things to share from NFCA.
That means I’ve resigned my position as Director of Gardening Programs at the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. I’ve been at PHS for 8 years. I have learned an immense amount and had the opportunity to work with some really talented and caring people over the years. I know I’ve made some life-long friends and hopefully I’ve contributed to the world of urban greening, community gardening, increasing the availability of fresh produce, and making Philadelphia a more livable city.
If that’s not enough change, I’ve also joined Jeunesse Global as a distributor of their line of skin care products and supplements. I am not completely new to the world of direct selling, so I know Jeunesse has something special to offer in its science-based product line, its compensation plan, and its 21st century embrace of technology to help distributors spread the word. Click here if you want to know more or are interested in getting a free sample. I'll write more about the benefits of Jeunesse in future posts.
And my (and Jenn’s) job of parenting is also alive and well. Our boys are now 10 and almost 13, and our taste of nearly-teen has been quite an eye-opener to what lies in store for the next 8+ years. We are currently reading and appreciating Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager by Anthony E. Wolf. As Jenn notes, Wolf offers insights into the teenage mind in a completely conversational tone of voice. It is chock full of realistic examples and gives permission for parents to be imperfect. I find it is helping me have more empathy for our older guy, which in turn keeps me from being such a total nag all the time. Everyone’s happier all around.