28 June 2007

Green Flags

I write my day-to-day to-dos ("call the bank," etc.) right on my daily pages, and if I don't get them done by the end of the week, I flag them. I make my own flags by tearing small Post-it notes into strips.

So now I have green flags going back to February. What month is it...July? I used to use a To Do page and bind it in the middle of the weekly spread. I quit doing that because the page started collecting "maybe do's." But it occurs to me now, I could just move it behind to To Do tab, which is where I keep all of those nonurgent to-dos. Or I could at least look more respectable by using actual Post-it flags, maybe in red to match the binder.

But that doesn't answer the real question: why do I have undone URGENT tasks going back to February?

24 June 2007

Flags and Frenzy

A reader recently asked about a day that's not listed in the Filofax, but on many American calendars -- Flag Day; June 14. "Could it be as simple as flying a flag?"

Well, it's even simpler than that. According to US CODE: Title 36,110, it's just a day to recognize the adoption of the American flag, which became official in 1777. No one's required to fly the flag, but many cities and towns do put up a few extra flags on the main street, though. Some places have parades.

Here's a Web page with more than you ever wanted to know about the Stars and Stripes -- the original Stars and Stripes, that is, which is still on display in the Smithsonian. (I love stuff like this.)

I haven't been posting during my current busy season at work, but I'll try to do something about that soon. My A5 Filo has come through for me at times, let me down at others. Its To-Do pages are great for recording everything I need to do and what I'm waiting for others to do, but not for helping me decide what to do first and when. Some days I just have to grab a separate sheet and make a quick daily list.

Editor's note: President and Mrs. Bush are violating Flag Code in the above picture, according to USHistory.org. Thought you'd like to know.

10 June 2007

In Praise of Procrastination

I've successfully scaled the wall of procrastination enough times to notice some side effects. For example, when I really crack down on keeping up with paperwork, I find that any money I save by paying my bills on time may actually be outdone by the extra money I end up spending through the mail. When I set aside time to do mail every week, I actually open and read subscription offers from fascinating magazines...and end up subscribing to them. Getting so I actually have time to fill out a Who's Who questionnaire -- hoo boy, big mistake.

I think the reason I'm procrastinating with mail right now is I know there's a jury duty notice in there. The last time I returned one of those, my boss threatened to revoke a recent promotion if I failed to keep up with all my new responsibilities while I was, you know, in a jury room instead of the office 8 hours a day for 2 weeks. That was a fun couple of weeks. I'd rather be arrested for forgetting to update my address, thank you.

I guess sometimes when I postpone or avoid decisions, it actually helps me not make the wrong decisions. If subscription offers expire, I end up not subscribing to magazines that I really didn't need in the first place. Which begs the question, why am I not better at making decisions in the first place? Could it be because I've procrastinated so many times, that I've never really learned to make them?

Scary thought.

Oh, well, I'm little behind in mail right now, but not drowning in it. As I pick my way through the small pile on Monday, my paperwork night, I'll strive to do only what's necessary, not what looks interesting, even though I have the time to do it.