Too Many Choices
note: a bit of fixing to this post was needed, and done today:
Today, I cleared off or covered up SEVEN of the NINE white boards in my office area. (Sigh — not a typo.) Why? Great chunks of time are already spoken for during the next few months — some travel, probably cataract surgeries, incoming visitors, a week-long sewing retreat, plus “just life”.
A few years ago, I discovered the KANBAN METHOD of project management, and love it.
I studied my individual boards, decided what is doable, and what I want to spend time on through mid-summer. Those notes and tasks were pulled off their own boards, and incorporated onto the Monthly (or More) Planning Board, described below.
Here’s what I’m surrounded by in my space:
Seven active project boards with task lists, deadlines, things to remember, addenda, ideas, etc., held in place with magnets, Post-It notes, clips, and surrounded by encouraging “You Go, Girl!” sayings.
Health and personal goals and activities fill one board, the Poetic Muselings has its own. A thousand questions I’ve been working through with a wonderful young woman who’s helping me with computer issues filled one large and one smaller board. Two different book projects eat up their own boards.
One is a Backlog/”Broken Windows” board with unfinished little things, from a note to take my allergy test info to my dermatologist, to remind my husband to pick up nobs for my three-year-old file cabinet that drives me nuts with the way to it needs to be opened from the bottom side of the drawers, and to follow up on a letter for a donation last year. I think there are about a hundred little pieces of paper on this one. Every week, I pull a few from this board and on “Frenzied Friday”, handle a batch.
The “Broken Windows” concept says when people stop paying attention to, and don’t fix what’s broken around them, more things fall apart. If I leave clothes lying around in the bedroom, I’m less likely to stop and make the bed, or clear off my sink area. Dirty dishes beget more dirty dishes. And, when I don’t write it down and put it someplace I’m at least possibly likely to look, I remember things in the middle of the night instead of when they are doable. Nagging, deadline-less little stuff lives here
The last two are actual planning boards — for the month (or so), and for the week. Part of what I’ve paid attention to lately is me — how I think, react, respond to various cues, and what happens when I suddenly get up and start doing something instead of thinking about it.
Too many choices, too many options, drown me with inaction because I don’t know what to pick up first. This led me to the monthly and weekly planning boards. I’ve finished several projects that surprised me.
I started meditating over a month ago, with a friend who’s 600 miles away; we connect by phone every morning and spend twenty minutes or more sitting there, like little kids, connected but quiet. When the timer goes off, we both hear it, and then chat.
What’s most important has been bubbling up to the top because of the boards. For the next couple of months, I’m rethinking my resources, energy, time, interest, and gut-feelings about what’s surrounding me.
Right now, covering or clearing has created an uncomfortably not-quite-Zen touch to my writer’s garret. I must live with this for a while to let the stillness, the quiet of the walls, seep into my psyche.
This little ditty came up as I was rehanging a board that didn’t like being treated roughly to get rid of the set-in markers and sticky notes.
Too Many Choices
Too many choices
too much to handle
too much tsuris*
too much to mangle
Can’t believe it’s May —
what happened to the year?
Once again a headache
from the shouting in my ear
Does it ever happen,
will I someday learn
secrets of “adulting”, or is there
more I have to earn?
Shiny things attract me
ideas grab my mind.
All I TRULY need to master is how,
to myself, be kind
*tsuris = a Yiddish phrase for worries, stress or hassle … less existential than angst … variously defined as troubles, worries, aggravation, woes, suffering, grief or heartache. ( paraphrased from https://www.momentmag.com/jewish-word-tsuris/)