In our current fast-paced, ADD society people are busier than ever. We are in the midst of information overload, continuously evolving technology, devices replacing human connection for example. What comes with all the busyness are exponentially growing to-do lists which can look more like spread sheets. There are some strategies for dealing with all those to-do’s. I’ll share a few recommended by the experts. Then I’ll offer up my brilliant idea.
Let’s begin with the 80/20 rule. 80 percent of the value is contained
in only 20 percent of the items. If you have fifty tasks spread over the various projects you are actively working on, ten of them will likely be more valuable to you right now than all the others combined.
The key to effective prioritization is to apply the 80/20 rule and discover the 20 to 30 percent of your projects and tasks that will give you the most value and the greatest returns on your effort.
A second method is to put dates next to each item for when completion is necessary. Obviously, take care of the one with the shortest time line first.
A third suggestion is not to try to do everything on the list in one fell swoop. That’s a recipe for frustration and overwhelm. Select one item on the list that you determine is important. Then have the mindset to just begin. Avoid thoughts that it must be completed. Just begin and you will be surprised how much actually gets accomplished.
Okay. Now here’s my genius idea. Along with your to-do list, create a to-don’t list. Make a list of all the things you will absolutely not do. You know. Things like vacuuming all the ceilings; alphabetizing all of your foods and spices; sorting out all those items saved over the past umpteen years because you never know. Surely, you can come up with your own list of things never to do.
We often get caught up taking ourselves and our lives too seriously. This is not to deny the serious aspects of life and what we may have to deal with. It is about discovering ways to play, indulging in a bit of whimsy, finding some creative ways to lighten up our load and ourselves.
“Sometimes our stop doing list needs to be longer than our to-do list.” Patti Digh
Comments are welcomed.
Perhaps you have heard about the third place in our lives. The first place is home. The second place is work. The third place is a place for community and socializing. It is a welcoming space that cultivates essential social experiences in the company of like-minded people.
On a similar note, third places are informal. They don’t have set agendas. It’s not a meeting, but a coming together. People come as they are, when they want, and leave just as easily. Conversation is the main activity.
Third places have “regulars.” If you go often enough, you become one. (Think of the show Cheers — a third place is “where everybody knows your name.”)
Third places can be a coffee shop, a pub, a place you can just drop in at any time and be a part of a welcoming, supportive, like-minded group. I would have to say a coffee shop is my third place of choice. What is yours?
Recently, I came to the conclusion that I might actually have a fourth place. That place is the Lemon And Lavender Gift Boutique. One day my friend and I stopped in to check out new wares and say hello to Antonella, the proprietor. As we meandered around the store, I became aware of a familiar feeling. It was the feeling of enchantment. I’d nearly forgotten. Those Lemon Blossom and Lavender flower fairies must still be sprinkling fairy dust. The store is a kaleidoscope of class, charm, whimsy, spirituality, novelty, sweetness, fun. We soon finished examining all the new items. Not wanting to leave empty-handed, I purchased a little something for one of those pop-up occasions that require a gift.
Continuing along our way, I realized something. The day had been a difficult one, but that visit to L & L really lifted my spirits. It occurred to me that when the going gets tough, this tough one needs to go to Lemon & Lavender as an antidote for the miseries.
We all need a healing space. Maybe it’s a private location, a magic cupboard, a secret garden - a fourth place. Thus, Lemon And Lavender is now my designated healing fourth place. Have you discovered yours?
Comments are welcomed.
March came in like the proverbial lion. From what I can tell, Leo has no intention of moving on any time soon. What do those ground hogs know anyway? Besides the wild life report, there is a lot of stuff that goes on in March. Tomorrow, for instance is Cinco De Marcho. It begins March 5 and goes until March 17. Yup. It’s a real thing. Look it up.
Then March 14 is National Pi Day. Some of us like to acknowledge the day by eating a piece of our favorite pie. If you are a mathematician you could measure the entire pie by 2PR or PD, of course. Then divvy up the pie using fun formulas and algorithms.
Moving right along to the Ides of March on the 15th. You might want to hunker down in your residence until it passes. You know what happened to Julius Caesar.
Two days later on the 17th, the world turns green and everyone becomes Irish. As noted above Cinco De Marcho morphs into St. Patrick’s Day.
As if that isn’t enough, March Madness begins that week. For non- sports fans, March Madness is the annual NCAA’s big basketball tournament. It’s a whirlwind one-and-done kind of tournament with brackets and Cinderella teams and hoops fans going a little nuts.
In the midst of the Madness March 20 presents us with an awesome triple-header. Part one is the Spring equinox. Hopefully incessant bleating of lambs would have sent the snow, ice and wind-spewing lion slinking off to some Artic tundra. It is all about the lambs by then.
Part two is International Earth Day. The earth needs our help to ensure our children and grandchildren have a habitable environment in which to live.
Part three (my personal favorite) is the United Nations International Day of Happiness. Let’s spread happiness. Even a simple smile can make someone’s day.
If none of the above tickle your fancy, you could go with March 26 which is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day. Yup. It’s a real thing. Look it up.
Comments are welcomed.
We left the story where the wrong sofas were delivered and the delivery men said to keep them as they vanished before you could say
couch potato. Following is the worst of the story.
I immediately phoned Sklar-Peplar to find out what happened. C also phoned. Of course, we got the always irritating voice mail. Since we are valued customers and our calls are important to them… Yeah, right. C finally managed to make contact with another human being. This person checked with manufacturing. They acknowledged having the correct order number. Yet, for reasons known to no-one on this planet, they made the wrong sofa and love seat. It was going to take another 8 weeks until I got the set I ordered. Naturally, the loaners were probably the most uncomfortable sofas in the history of sofas.
After another few weeks, my desk was ready to be delivered. At least I could finally get the rest of my life in order. Not so fast. The finish on the desk had not gassed off thus being unfit to keep in the living room. Living in an apartment, I could not put it outdoors to gas off. I moved it into a spare room with an open window and a fan blowing out. It took about two weeks for the toxic fumes to dissipate. Finally, I was able to move the desk into the living room and become fully organized again. I was grateful for that.
Next, I got a phone call from Sklar-Peplar. Were my sofas ready? No. They hadn’t even begun to make them. They suddenly decided they needed photographs of the loaner sofas. This was beyond absurd. Even the person from the service department had no idea why the photos were requested. The most likely explanation was that they forgot about my order and suddenly found the paperwork. Whatever the stupid excuse, the bottom line was it would be yet another 8 weeks.
My body was becoming misaligned sitting on the loaners. It was like sitting on a molehill that was starting to grow into a mountain. A few more weeks went by when C phoned. Neither of us had heard anything from Sklar-Peplar. We decided to drive back to the showroom on a Monday. There was the floor model of my sofa. Sitting right next to it was a brand-new matching love seat. Say what? If the showroom got one, where was mine? Surely, my order was placed at least a decade before the showroom’s. Feeling our frustration and growing impatience, Liz (the main sales person) said if I wanted the floor models, they would deliver them on Thursday. We had her check with manufacturing to see how much longer until the new ones would be ready and if there was a discount on the floor models. It seems the new set would not be ready for delivery for another 6 weeks and yes, there was a discount on the floor models. The thought of sitting on what was fast becoming Mt. Everest, for another 6 weeks freaked me out. The floor models to go, please.
Thursday arrived. The sofas did not. I phoned Sklar-Peplar, but only got voice mail. I phoned Friday and Monday with the same results. I was beginning to believe I had slipped into the Twilight Zone or some parallel universe. This couldn’t really be happening. Tuesday morning Liz phoned to let me know that the new sofa set was due to arrive any minute and did I want the new set or the floor models. Delivery would be on Thursday. I said as long as the new ones were coming, I would take them. Late Tuesday afternoon, Liz phoned again. Delivery was being postponed to Saturday. I asked her if the new set was in. Not yet, but they were coming any minute. I phoned again Thursday to see if the new ones had arrived. Not yet. Liz phoned the warehouse. The sofas had left on the transport the first of the week. Liz talked with the transport people who said the furniture would be in first thing Friday morning for sure. Considering the recent chain of events, I was not taking any bets on Saturday’s delivery. I phoned Sklar-Peplar around noon on Friday. Liz was off. Michael was there and said he had the shipping order stating the furniture was due in that morning, but it was not there. He also thought I was getting both the new set and the floor models. This was getting more bizarre by the minute. I clarified I only wanted the new set. Furthermore, if the new set did not arrive he should cancel Saturday’s delivery.
Saturday arrived. The sofas did not. Where was that transport? It was only about an hour from the warehouse in Whitby to the showroom in Toronto. Was that area the new Bermuda triangle? This sofa fiasco just trumped the mattress debacle.
The following Tuesday Sklar-Peplar phoned. The new pieces had arrived and would be delivered on Saturday between 10:00am and 1:00pm. Déjà vu all over again! I felt like I was living out a never-ending cosmic do-over. Saturday came quickly. Would they get it right this time? My friend, D stopped by to wait with me.
Ten o’clock came and went. Eleven o’clock came and went. At 11:30 hunger pangs arrived but not the furniture. We decided to go out for a sandwich. Who knew when or even if the sofas would show up? Just as we went to put on our jackets, the phone rang. It was the delivery men saying they were going to start bringing up the furniture. D assured me I was not hallucinating. This was, at last, the real thing.
I was filled with uber relief as I muttered a good riddance to the departing loaners. In came my beautiful very long-awaited sofa and love seat. They now sit most comfortably in my living room with dark coffee bean legs. Really? Some say dark coffee bean is the new natural wood. Sure. Why not?
My good friend Will Shakespeare used to say, “All’s well that ends well.” So, Will, how much sofa and mattress shopping did you ever do between writing platitudes?
Comments are welcomed.