Sunday, December 04, 2005

I Don't Know Why I'm Doing This

For someone who didn't get The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I'm spending an awful lot of time reading about its author. This article doesn't seem to have anything new to say as far as I can tell.

I Do Know Why I Did This

As part of my never ending quest to become a better human being (by which I mean a more productive one), I just finished skimming Organizing for Your Brain Type: Finding Your Own Solution to Managing Time, Paper, and Stuff by Lanna Nakone. I don't know if reading the book is going to help me (one family member suggested that instead of reading it I should have used the time to clean the kitchen counter), but it may have clarified my problems with disorganization.

According to Nakone, there are four brain types. I took the quiz in her book, and the results indicate that I am a maintaining style. That means I am "organized--in the traditional sense of the word." (Does anyone else get the feeling that that is a bad thing?) Maintaining style types like myself have all kinds of wonderful characteristics--we're detail-oriented, practical, accurate, disciplined, able to think ahead. I could go on and on about how wonderful we are.

All of which leads me to wonder--how come I'm not writing a book a year, cranking out publishable essays and short stories, and coming up with highly original and successful marketing schemes for my writing?

Here's my theory: The quiz showed that I have a lot of characteristics of the innovating style thinker. I'm artistic and all that, but I'm also easily distracted when I'm not too absorbed in one thing. (Usually something like reading magazines or surfing the net.)

So what I think is happening is that my innovating style self is torturing my maintaining style self.

Nakone talks a lot about to do lists and calendars. Hey, she doesn't have to convince me. A couple of years ago I had about six weeks when I was really organized and doing well. I was working with three to do lists--a weekly list for the house and family, a weekly list for work, and and a daily list that combined both. I also had two calendars--one for the house and one for my purse. I'm going to try to go back to that system, but add a third calendar dedicated specifically to work.

Today I will be able to finish all but one item on my to do list. That was figuring out what we're going to be eating this week so I'll be prepared and not have to take time making the decision each day. If you can't get to one item on your to do list, that's the one it should be. Because who are we kidding? Of course you're going to eat every day anyway, right?

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