Tag Archives: work

Too many distractions for my own good

This past month I’ve been absorbed in work mode, with a couple of writing assignments that  exceeded my initial estimates and required overtime and weekends. But that status has been complicated by the World Cup soccer (football) games that are available in my employer’s break room. I’ve had several topics to write about for this blog, but I never had time to develop them, and it was more important to do yoga than write about it. So I’ve had to prioritize my activities and available time.

I’ve became increasingly aware of how over-committed I ‘ve become: just to cite all the training activities that I have theoretically lined up: (1) studying for the the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) Foundations certification (part of my technology refresh 10 years after getting my masters), (2) taking some online courses from Lynda.com to catch up with MS Office productivity tools (my old job was still on version 2003, now I’m using 2011), (3) learning to take advantage of Adobe Creative Suite, especially for online and e-publishing, (4) watching some videos about some of the other software packages I’ve invested in (the delusion that a few apps will make me more efficient), (5) taking some online courses to revive my writing and editing skills (that’s what they pay me for), and (6) stopping the count there… because it’s become ridiculous. Even when I had idle time after leaving the OAS, I could not fit in that much time for skill development and self-improvement.

I’ve been able to tackle these tasks in fits and starts, in evening hours when I don’t have the energy or focus to get the most out of the courses. Regular visits to yoga class and the fitness center have been my way to increase my capacity to extend my functional time and ward off the lethargy of brain work in front of a keyboard. What’s clear is that I have to eliminate my evening TV time, just as soon as the United States team is eliminated from the World Cup.

Never lonely at work

Photo: personal items on my desk
Gandhi and the Okinawan “good luck spirit” are always looking at each other, as if they knew something that I didn’t

Atop my cubicle at work, I have a couple of colleagues who always seem to be engaged in a silent dialogue, but ever ready to give me some encouraging thoughts or a stroke of fortune. I had not noticed until recently that their eyes seem to be engaged. The Gandhi figurine was a gift from my wife after I survived a particular painful dental procedure nearly a decade ago, while the piece of Okinawan folk art is a good luck spirit, a gift from a Japanese English student who lived with us for a few months.

I am going to have to find them some good company one of these days.