Day 293 – Quest For Time

73 – 100 Tips to Manage Your Time Better

I am slowly reaching a startling conclusion.

After looking at many lists of 100 items on the internet.
The suspicion is dawning on me.

That some of these lists…

…might be written by amateurs with very little application of thought.

I was hoping to discover the secret to more efficient time management, handed down the ages by an unbroken line of Tibetan monks. I didn’t need to read past item “1. Value your time” to realise I had taken a wrong turn somewhere.

Some days… nay weeks… it feels like there is just not enough time to climb the mountainous demand on it. It feels like the tasks pile up faster than I can ever hope to finish them. And I just need some kind of system to triage the list down to manageable proportions. Ah, screw it; I just want a Silver Bullet already. Anyone got one?

I suspect I really should give GTD a really good work-out. I am using a cobbled-together variant that has been serving me well, but I think I need a stronger dose of the undiluted stuff. I have many many bookmarks on relevant pages, apps and tools. I just need to read them.

I just need to find some more time to learn how to find some more time.
It feels very ironic.

Day 252 – Cosmos!

No, not that one.
I’m saving that for later… I think.

Carl Sagan’s Cosmos

I bought the DVD box set of the original 1980’s show in which Carl Sagan takes a journey through the cosmos. Reading descriptions of this show on websites had made me want to buy it many times in the past… and I never quite did.

I have so far only seen the first episode.
It’s definitely a show of the 80s.

There is the ubiquitous synthesizer music in the background (Vangelis). There is CGI that is both remarkably dated, yet remarkably good for its time. And there are the interspersed people shots with the ridiculous glasses and hairdos and clothing.

And yet…

…none of that seems to matter once you get caught up in Sagan’s flowing monologue. He most definitely has a way with words. And although the CGI available at the time must have been limiting, the way some of the shots are set up are very cleverly done. Especially the cosmic calendar at the end of the first episode gets used very effectively to convey a sense of scale about the age of the universe and our civilizations’ miniscule foothold on the end of the last minutes of the last day.

Scale is often the hardest part of science.

Some of the numbers science comes up with are just too hard to grasp purely intellectually.
The age of the universe.
The distance between the galaxies.
The size of an atom.
The energy contained within an atom.

Even something as intuitively relate-able as a cloud is so much more immense and overwhelming once you fly through it on a plane. And that’s the really easy stuff. Our human minds are just wired with too over-inflated a sense of our own significance.

I can’t wait for episodes 2-13.
And then to do it all over again with Neil deGrasse Tyson at the helm.
Although I could already hear him in the back of my head when Carl called Pluto a planet.

Day 41 – Four Days is Not Enough

Four days of leave over a long weekend is not enough. But only on the last day; Sunday morning felt luxurious when my mind had decided that I had already spent my quota of down-time for the weekend. Two extra days feels like a lot at that time. But on the last day it’s just never enough.

Still, four days has been enough to:

  • Do all the usual weekend chores around the house
  • Play an extra video game or two
  • Go on two trips trying to take sharp photos
  • Clean out my backlog of bookmarks to manageable levels
  • Have 8 coffees
  • Wonder what to do with the second half of my last day

My next holiday will be longer though. Because four days isn’t enough to start something actually substantial, like complete research into an in-depth post on an interesting topic, or define and start the development project that has rattled around in my head for some time, or go on an actual trip without feeling rushed back to work afterwards.

First thing to do tomorrow: book a few weeks over Dec/Jan somewhere. Right after making sure all reports that are due by noon are complete.