doing what i don’t want now, so i can feel better later

Posted: March 5, 2013 in Uncategorized

Today was day 2 of my new resolve to get organized at work.  Time for a progress report!

The first thing that happened was my Leechblock failed me – or, more likely, it was an operator error issue.  While I was originally EASILY able to set it up to block Facebook (and it still does) during working hours, it didn’t cooperate so well with my email accounts or blogs.  I suspect the problem is I am putting in something like “” and the memory in my computer is breezing past that to a more specific login with my specific information in it.  Or I am putting “” but my computer takes me right to my stats page of the clumsy beautiful life blog. 

I don’t know for sure.  All I know is I made about half a dozen attempts, first thing Monday morning, to set it to keep me out of those places, before realizing I was getting nowhere.  A little chiding voice in my head said, “You know, you COULD just choose to do what you know to do.”


So that’s what I did.  I’m here to tell you:  pure torture.  It was bad enough, when I first installed my Leechblock and I’d absent-mindedly hit the Facebook link to check my wall for a sec…only to get very effectively blocked.  That was frustrating, but effective enough that it shut off the impulse pretty quickly.  This CHOOSING to do right, without a crutch to help me…GRRRR.  Many times, this past few days, I have pulled up the internet and then had to stop and just be still a minute, long enough to focus and choose NOT to cue the email or check my blog comments and stats.  I haven’t WANTED to choose well. 

But I have.  VICTORY!  Turns out that, “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me,” is the real stuff.  Love learning that all over again. 

And it’s really helping.  Even though i was only spending tiny little increments of time checking those through the day, every check was a disruption of my focus, away from work.  Now, when I need to switch gears for focus reasons, I am just switching to a different work related item.  That alone is helping immensely with productivity.

I collected up every “to do” list that I could find on my desk (there was quite a collection) and consolidated them onto one Word document that I am just keeping perpetually up on the screen (when you have 2 double-wide computer screens, there is room to pull a stunt like that.)  I know I could use the task function in Outlook, but for some reason that’s the only part of Outlook I detest.  My Word document is good, thus far.  I have it prioritized, so that I can work from the top down, which means I can carry it from one day to the next, and don’t have to start fresh and new at the end of each workday on tomorrow’s list.  This works well in concert with my many Outlook reminders that keep me doing my regularly scheduled tasks and such. 

Filing.  Ahh filing.  I think I dreaded that even more than turning off personal internet use.  Truth:  yesterday, I did NOT do either one of my 2 segments of 15 minutes of filing as resolved.  Yesterday, I talked myself into dodging that.  BUT!  Today, I did THREE segments.  And it happened that I was able to do them back-to-back, in an unexpectedly quiet section of the day right before lunch.  I was rolling along, so I just kept re-setting the 15 minute timer on my iphone and filing away.  When I would see a “to do” item on something I was filing, I would pause only long enough to put it on the bigger “to do” list.  I did not save up piles, like I usually do, so that I would only have to go to each file once.  I just:  picked up a piece of paper, made a decision, filed.  Picked up a piece of paper, made a decision, filed.  Repeat, repeat, repeat ad nauseam.  It FEELS inefficient to do it that way, but I suspect the momentum will be worth the loss of efficiency.  I filed about 6 inches’ worth of my piles today in that 45 minutes.  HALLELUJAH!  Only about 2.5 more feet to go!  Oh my.

Already the office is substantially better ordered.  Already my peace of mind is substantially deepened.  Already a bit more mental clarity has arrived, and it’s easier to do things like composing documents.  I thought of ALL KINDS of cool things I can do to better the filing system even more, once my filing is caught up.  But – truth – I didn’t even stop to write those down, because I thought of them while filing, and I wasn’t tolerating any disruption.  If they were good ideas, they will come again when my hands are free. 

So here’s to progress.  I’m feeling good, even if it wasn’t pleasant, this business of staying off the internet and doing my filing and tending the to-do list.  But per usual, the way of peace generally is NOT in just “doing what feels good,” eh?

  1. Linda says:

    Ahhhh Karen, I am so proud of you!! I know the filing is your least favorite thing to do….but just think when that large pile is done and gone…you can keep it up each day and your desk and life will be so much easier!! YOU GO GIRL!!!

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