Slow and steady

I sorted through all my files today and came across this useful piece of advice about chronic fatigue which could be summarised as follows:

Think of your life as mayonnaise: you need to take it slow and steady otherwise you end up scrambled, curdled and split in two.

Useful advice indeed.

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Must Do…

So, I’ve reverted to an old prioritisation strategy of “MUST DO”.  It’s loosely (very, very loosely) based on Rapid Application Development Methodology.

Sounds impressive, huh?

Basically, RAD asks for the design to be broken down into four categories – MUST (the application has to have these things), SHOULD (it could function without them but really does need them), NICE TO HAVE (it doesn’t need them but it would be a bonus if it had it), and BELLS & WHISTLES (the deluxe version).  The idea of RAD is basically development is iterative and timeboxed.  MUSTs take priority so they’re done first.

Anyway, I sometimes find its good to assign a MUST DO TODAY priority to one thing each day.  It focuses you on the most critical thing that has to get done which when you’re tired is a good thing.  And in achieving the one thing, it means that you’ve achieved something (lessening that feeling of non-achievement). 

And yes: I managed to do my MUST DO TODAY thing today.

(And no: it wasn’t this blog.)

A Day of Two Halves…

So, this morning went really well.  I was up by 8: sorted out the wine rack in the kitchen, fed the cat, put the washing on…headed back upstairs for a rest.  Updated an online story, checked my email, had breakfast, put the first load of washing out and put the second load in…finished my assignment, submitted my assignment, and realised I was ravenously hungry.

Hungry as in my body screaming “FEED ME NOW!” rather than a polite “Hello, we might want to eat something soonish.” 

I had lunch.

I put the second load of washing out on the line (I love Summer when you can dry everything outside and have that wonderfully fresh airy smell in the linen). 

My Dad arrived with my sister and her partner.  We sat and caught up.  My sister and her partner left…

And my body basically went: “THAT’S ENOUGH FOR TODAY.”

So I have done stuff this afternoon – pottered away in a desultory fashion at some filing in between rests where my body was quite happy to curl up and do nothing – but not a lot and not enough to make me feel like I accomplished anything.  Which is wrong because I look at the morning and I accomplished LOTS.  (Which also is the very obvious explanation for why nothing happened in the afternoon). 

If only fixing my body was as simple as Muffin’s gearbox: one quick reboot and the vehicle can start again…

Getting Rachel Organised Weekend – Day 2

So, a new day and more sorting out, this time in the study.

It was book day, really.  I went through all my books and stripped back the bookshelves.  The psychology books now have a shelf as do the coaching books.

I had several painful conversations with myself on why I was keeping this book or that book when I haven’t read it in over two years.  But I like it, I think defiantly.  I may buy more of this author and want the set.  And so on.

I now have 5 carrier bags of books which are bound for the charity shop except…my Dad has a bookcase on his floor packed with useless books (ie books I don’t like).  I’m hoping that I can convince him to sort through his books to make room for the whole Agatha Christie set that I have.  That would then open up space on my shelves and I can relook at some of the books I’m meant to be discarding again.

I was quite strict with myself about NO READING.  Because that’s usually my main problem when I start with the books is that one which I haven’t read in a while catches my eye and the next thing I know it’s chapter 5 and time has passed. 

Still, even with being very good as I started Getting Organised late today, (I was out for lunch with friends), I will need another Getting Rachel Organised Day tomorrow to sort out the files in the study.  So, it will be a long weekend… but progress is being made and my mind is progressively feeling tidier the more ordered the house becomes…

EDIT: And seriously – England lost 4-1 to Germany??!  As I wasn’t watching and heard only one roar for a long time I assumed England must have won 1-0.  Imagine my disappointment watching the news…

Getting Rachel Organised Weekend – Day 1

Yes: Getting Rachel Organised has grown from one day to a whole weekend.  Namely because of the spring cleaning kick.

Today was my bedroom.  Luckily under the surface layer of chaos, there was an already established order so it was just slotting everything back into place.

And discovering things like my aerobics mat, tennis racquet and badminton racquet.  And clothes that I’ve never worn (why do I do that?!)

Anyway, I’m unsurprisingly exhausted so that’s it for today.

Reflecting on Work

The problem is that the study is work.  For some reason I only had this epiphany yesterday.  And because the study is work, I feel like I’ve been working constantly since last October without a break.  Which I have.  And so with another assignment all but out the way today (bar the revising to make the word count, check the references and come up with a snappy title), I’ve realised I may need to take a short break.  Unfortunately, while I can probably spare a week of non-study, I can’t really spare more than that.  And then there’s the point that I need to get the business website up and running, and that if I take a break from study then that’s really what I should be doing. 

While I have tried to make sure my weekends are weekends, the truth is that is a recent development. I’m thinking of formally reinstituting my four day week which will leave me three days of rest where I could pursue my hobby: writing.

Needless to say I’ve designated this weekend as Getting Rachel Organised Weekend.

I feel like the tortoise…

Well, in the race to complete my assignment, slow and steady is definitely winning the day.  It will be done by Monday and submitted.  It’s just that I’m completing it piece by piece.  Apparently, according to the forum, everyone found this one a slow and tedious piece of work so it’s comforting that it’s not just me.

I wandered back onto LinkedIn today and found that instead of my blog showing the entries which related just to those things I have tagged for it, it was showing everything.  I’ve deleted it on my profile until I find a solution or rather start the business blog which would be more appropriate there. 

Weirdly, there are people who now suddenly have over 100 connections who the last time I looked had around the same as me.  In checking, I think they have effectively just invited and linked to everyone they ever knew at all in business.  The question is should I do the same?  Is it quantity that’s important or quality? 

My network at IBM was extensive: I’d worked there for 13 years after all.  But the question is should I be inviting everyone in that network into my new shiny social networking connections?  The answer from a business and marketing perspective is yes.  Networking is important; it’s crucial.  So from an image perspective the more connections the better.  And it isn’t that I don’t know these people; I do.  I worked with them. 

I just need to get over my personal hang-up of wanting to remain private.  (I know, I know – I blog every day but this blog is part of the strategy of trying to get myself more comfortable with a public Internet presence).  After all, very shortly I hope to the website up and running for the business and then I will be “out there” in a big way.

On the other hand, I do think a slow and steady build-up of connections is the way to go to make the network mean something.  After all there’s no use having 100 connections if actually you only utilise the same 2 connections at any time.  Maybe I should be thinking tortoise here too…