Personal Priority Ponderings

Reading time: 3 mins

Despite the fact I’ve only been away for a week I seem to have lost some of my usual ‘productive’ habits and I’m struggling to get my head around everything I need to get done this week. Typically that means I resort to one thing. A big long list. Trouble is, having started it, I’m struggling to remember what should be on it (in fact I’ve just added two items in the midst of typing that last sentence, funny how the mind works, ain’t it).

It’s not that I feel particularly out of touch as much as that I’ve never really noticed just how busy my average day is and how far behind I fall when I’m out of my routine. Whether at home or at work I’m always juggling several different tasks, and spend most of my days progressing them when I can, and planning the next steps when I’m stuck.

Add in my new venture and it all gets a bit overwhelming. My To-Do lists are threatening to topple over and bury me under my desk… well they would if they weren’t all handled electronically.

Which reminds me of, and allow me to digress for a moment to mention, the cartoon in the Metro today. It featured a businessman daydreaming on his way to work: “World runs out of silicon chips, those with pen and paper skills treble their wages”. And whilst I’m off-topic I’ll also mention the interview I read, in the same paper, with Will Smith (the other Will Smith that is) which features a version of my favourite ever joke:

Two lions are walking down Oxford Street, ones turns to the other and says, “Quiet, isn’t it.”

A digression too far perhaps? Yes. I think so too. Now, where was I?

Whilst we were away in Spain, Louise said she’d write up all the family birthdays and whatnot for her Dad, unfortunately he doesn’t have a calendar app on his PC (not one that will remind him of things at least) so I suggested that I source an online version. Spookily enough I received an email this morning which included a link to Birthday Alarm which is almost ideal (if a little too cluttered and clunky for my liking), I think I prefer something like HipCal (still in BETA) but I’m open to suggestions. As long as it has the ability to send a reminder email for an upcoming appointment (two weeks before it’s due for example) it’ll meet my needs.

Hmmmm, there does seem to be a mood of organisation in the air. And it appears to be catching. Oh dear. Granted it’s not necessarily a bad thing but having looked at GTD methodologies and others and I wonder if they are more effort than they are worth. I’m not the only one. I think I’m more of a LifeHacker than a GTD monkey, preferring to a PocketMod to a Hipster PDA.

All that aside I’m actually hoping that this year I will be able to find a little more time for … umm… let’s call them “personal development activities”. Playing the piano, reading books, going for nice long walks in the countryside. You know the kind of thing. As odd as it may sound, the additional workload that one man designs may bring is actually causing me to focus more on the non-work side of my life. Hopefully that means less time wasted on the PlayStation and PC, less time sat on my arse on the sofa, and more time doing the things I really enjoy yet which always seem to be the first things to be dropped under the false of excuse of being “just too busy”.

I’m determined that 2006 will be the year of proper personal priorities and other potentially possible pastimes. It may also be the year of the alliteration but I’ve not really decided on that yet.

I also reserve the right to completely change my mind on this in a few months time.