Time-Tracking Tools

As you know if you’re a regular reader of this blog, one of the bloggers/podcasters I follow is a woman named Laura Vanderkam, a speaker and writer whose area of expertise is the efficient use of time. She tracks her own time regularly, and every year she invites her readers to participate with her for one week. Last year I started to do it but quickly fell off the wagon, as I couldn’t figure out how to characterize time spent sitting at the table and talking to my husband while at the same time eating a meal.

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Don’t Be a Pushover!

multiple arrows against oneIf you follow this blog much you’ll know that I’m a great, great fan of the blogger, podcaster and author Gretchen Rubin. I was thinking today about how my own blogging and book writing was kicked off by the simple act of my reading a review of her first book on happiness, The Happiness Project (Revised Edition): Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun, which came out in December 2009. 

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More Pre-Holiday Food Thoughts

artistic plate of fettuccine and mushroomsWell, I had a nice post planned for today, something about the difference between self-awareness and self-absorption. Instead, I’m writing about food again, this time quoting from another book, Born Round: A Story of Family, Food and a Ferocious Appetite

I mentioned this book in another post, over a year ago, and I was reminded of it by a little phrase that popped into my head: “one tiny chop.” I knew the words were from this book, and I was determined to find it and put it into 

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The Holidays Are Upon Us–Prepare by Reading this Book!

The Skinny: How to Fit into Your Little Black Dress Forever by Melissa Clark and Robin Aronson, Meredith Books, 2006.

Well, Thankgiving is next week. Kind of crept up on me, to be honest, as I’ve been somewhat consumed with all the other food events in my life going on right now. I don’t even know what my responsibilities are going to be for next Thursday, as my dear mother-in-law will be in charge of the meal and I’ll just do what she tells me to do. It’ll be our first TG here in the new space. Have to tell you, by the way, that this past weekend was the second retreat rehearsal of the year for the Cherry Creek Chorale and also the second one I put together in my beautiful little kitchen, and it again performed flawlessly. So nice and compact! And I still love my stove.

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Lessons from the Dentist’s Chair

dentist chair with instrumentsI know, I know: this small-things-every-day idea comes up over and over again in this blog because I struggle with it so much. I devoted a whole chapter in my book to the idea of “the power of small things.” (Read that chapter here.) Becoming more aware of how counterproductive it is to let things pile up has helped me to improve my consistency even as I experience the boredom of putting things away, making the bed, wiping down the bathroom counter, etc., etc. It’s a total drag, but the results are great. In fact—stop me if you’ve heard this before—it has struck

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Is Your Procrastination Costing You?

half-closed window, closing window, window of time, prorastinationTwo ways my procrastination is costing me right now:

1. I missed getting my material on the choral masterpiece Carmina Burana ready in time for the fall concert season. This short e-book has been on the back burner for at least a year and probably longer–I can’t remember when I first came up with the idea of packaging the posts I wrote for the Cherry Creek Chorale’s 2013 performance into some sort of sellable item for other choral groups.

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Clean Up Your Side of the Street!

snowplow at workWe continue to make our way through the chaos at our new home. Last night Jim started putting up the beautiful new sliding panel blinds on the patio door. I couldn’t begin to tell you how much time we spent agonizing over how we wanted to have those done.

I went in and spent at least an hour with this nice woman in the window treatments department at Lowe’s. Then Jim and I went in. Then we went back home and re-measured. Then we went in yet again

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Covey Gleanings

photo credit: Wikipedia

I am plowing through the Covey book, and maybe you should, too.

I’m at the beginning of chapter 13, so only 95 more to go. Mercy! I can’t even begin to imagine what he can possibly go on about for that long, but at this point we haven’t even gotten to the first highly effective habit; he’s still hammering away at his introductory stuff.

I’ve said several times already that the book is boring, but that’s not quite the right word. It’s just very, very dense, and he has all these proverb-like sentences that make me feel that I should be writing them down, or cross-stitching them, or something. I just cheated and went onto BrainyQuote to look at ome of his sayings. Follow the link to get a sampling.

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I Am Becoming a Minimalist!

Have you ever seen the pictures of King Tut’s tomb as it looked the day that Howard Carter first broke through the wall, revealing those objects to the light of day for the first time in thousands of years? Well then, you may see a certain resemblance in these pictures. We too have our precious objects all piled up together. But, although you may not think that it looks as if anything has been done except for dumping, but believe you me (as my dad used to say), there’s been a ton of work done (mostly by Jim) to get this far. And now I’m realizing that I can get rid of a ton. (Might have been nice if I’d realized this before the move, but oh well.)

table on its side, desk piled with files

Rack of clothing and piled up stuff half wrapped furniture with piles of clothes

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Are You a Creator of Order or Chaos?

Right now we are living in the midst of chaos, with our possessions scattered hither and yon, whether downstairs or upstairs or out on the porch or driveway. And that doesn’t even include the main stuff in the pods, which will arrive this afternoon.

I have such a struggle with neatness! That’s why I so need structures—drawer dividers, shelving, cabinets, etc. When left to myself I end up strewing my things all over the place. I have no inborn sense of order and neatness.

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