This post explains why I've been feeling a bit frazzled, mainly down to the joy of buying and selling a house in the UK. Living in SE London and house hunting in NE London is time consuming. Each property might be the right one, then you see that the current owners have ruined the place, or it just isn't as it seemed in the description. Every property reflects a life time of design decisions, some of them for the better, but all of them right for someone at the time. The variety of shapes and changes of the stock Walthamstow two/three bed Victorian terrace never ceases to amaze, as does the variability of the estate agents. More on old houses in another post, later, though the 60s and 70s did sad things to victoriana.
Anyway, back to being stressed, a while ago, whilst trying to get talkeuro live, stress felt like big heavy things closing in on me. Recently it has felt more precarious, unfinished, I guess it is the desire for closure and my inability to control the process. Hunting for the right house and waiting to hear about a job are the same kind of stress I think, neither is resolvable entirely via your own actions alone.
I think it is interesting how we refer to these different feelings by the same name, being stressed. The talkeuro feeling was more like a kind of pressure, I wonder if the feeling drove the name or if my imagery comes from the name. There was a sense of inescapability to it, more like work stress, too many things to do and not enough time.
Buying a house is more unresolved, too many possibilities and decisions to make. Wait for something else; buy that one; buy a cheap knackered one and refit it; buy the perfect one and move in... waiting to hear about a job has less variability, but the same sense of waiting for the right thing to happen.
So, pressure and tension are names for types of stress. I've got Getting Things Done on order, but one thing I feel is helpful is DoingLessStuff™, pick one thing and do it well, if you get stuck more on. Easy to say, but from the conversations I've had with people quite hard to manage in practice.
In this light I've started to shed projects I have no longer anytime to complete, so that I can concentrate on SocialDocument ideas, my forthingcoming new house and my new job. So pick the bones clean of these ideas on my Backpack page - crazy schemes and loose ideas.
Gavin's guide to DoingLessStuff (tongue firmly planted in cheek)
- write down all the tasks you are planning, fairly high level
- write down the rest of the things you are doing
- pick 4 of them (this number will vary for you)
- remember you have a job and a personal life (household) to run, so there are two already
- workout which other two things you'd love to do
- write them down
- check up in a fortnight and see if you are still doing all four, it is so easy to drift.
- If you drift put one of them down again.
- lastly, finish things, half finished is worse than not started.
So, a plan of sorts that I've been following for the past few months, not always that well, but it has helped me attain that all important focus. Of course, I'd love to be a wildlife photographer; finish that novel I've half started; run the other five web projects I've got plans for; apply for the funding for the SocialDocuments ideas; and a dozen other ideas, but I ain't got time. Realising that is obvious, but hard to maintain.
Given that I've not read GTD yet, this is probably straight out of there and I've just absorbed it from the collective, still this rocket science helped me over the summer, well that and eating frogs... doing the hard tasks first.