Stumbled across recently:
- Work Twinsies has blown up and gone global. Do you have colleagues who dress alike and are worthy of mocking? Check it out and submit.
- Annnnnnnd this is why my subscription to the New Yorker lasted a short six months.
- Kind of obsessed with this advertising gender mixer — allows you to mash-up the audio and video from children’s toy commercials for boys and girls to see stereotyping at work.
- A great new Noonan column on the President’s latest moments of deviousness and dishonesty.
An American president has to make cooperation happen.
But we’ve strayed from the point. Mr. Obama has a largely nonexistent relationship with many, and a worsening relationship with some.
Really, he cannot win the coming election. But the Republicans, still, can lose it. At this point in the column we usually sigh.
- My brother was featured on the El Paso news! Never has “Untereker” appeared more times in one article.
- A great recap of fat pets highlighted on Best Week Ever.
One summer, my father made me agree to read the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. I tried desperately but found it incredibly boring and my father kept repeating that he just wanted me to get to Ben’s statement on resolution: “Resolve to perform what you ought; perform without fail what you resolve.”
At the time, I mocked my father and the quote, but these days, it’s become a more and more important mission statement. Until a few months ago, every day felt like a battle against my inbox, trying to keep up with client requests, participating in six hours a day of calls/meetings but still needing to get work done, and, simultaneously trying to live a happy life (seeing friends and family, managing finances, getting exercise, etc). I kept thinking back to the Benjamin Franklin quote and realized I needed to do two things: first, reduce my number of agreements and promises and second, find a way to more effectively manage my workflow so that I can do everything I resolve.
My current weapons?
- Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity - I first heard about David Allen six years ago from some clients, but put the method into practice in mid-December after a slight meltdown. I took myself offline for two days to get set up and spent most of the Christmas holiday getting my approach in place. It’s fundamentally changed my life. My quick pieces of advice for you:
- Read the book. Then put it down and start small.
- Write everything down.
- Reduce the number of places you write things down and put slips of paper.
- Process your email inbox to 0 once a day. Mine is back at 120 by end of day, but I process again that night or first thing in the morning.
- Don’t beat yourself up. I’ve given myself a full year to feel like I’ve got it together. I’m more than three months in and feel the most in control I ever have.
- Commit time daily to processing work and figuring out what you need to do.
- Omnifocus as a list manager- It’s overpriced and I bought it for three devices, but I have one list manager with great features that works across my iPad, iPhone, and Mac. And everything I need to do is in it. My quick pieces of advice for using a list manager:
- Don’t define the item while adding it — it’s easy to get bogged down putting tags and deadlines on and suddenly adding something to your to do list takes minutes instead of seconds. Deal with that when you’re processing work, not when you’re capturing.
- Use the inbox. I sometimes just add a word or two and make the task or process later. It reduces paper and weight on my mind.
- Take full advantage of a Someday/Maybe list – anything you’re not tackling right now should go on this list. If you review weekly per GTD, you won’t ever lose anything as long as you have it on this list.
- A filing cabin. I bought one. Like a grown up.
- My team – You know the best way to get something off your plate? Delegate it. By making better, faster, and more accurate staffing requests, I’m able to actually resolve to perform what I ought.
Something you should know about me: I spend so much time at the Henry Hotel that I have an uncomfortably close relationship with their staff. Some recent incidents have forced me to venture elsewhere:
- The dining room manager (who is a lovely human being) is also a mouth-kisser. I’m barely even a hugger so… that’s not going to work
- They’ve been promising a new menu for 6 months and it was supposed to arrive two weeks ago… still not here and I can’t have another lamb taco
- They “changed the prices on select wines” forcing my favorite $35 pinot noir to now be $80
Anyway, no biggie, it’s fun to venture out of a hotel. Especially when your hotel is located in a mall parking lot. J and I decided to hit up PizzaPapalis on Michigan Avenue and it was such a letdown. No roaches or inedible food but just a terrible disappointment.
My Yelp review is below. I gave it two stars.
I remember a time when sticky floors, bad pizza, and cheap wine were available in abundance: it was called college and even then I didn’t pay $66 for a meal this mediocre.
We were greeted at the door and seated… Oh no, wait, we weren’t. But after a few minutes of waiting, a sad teenager walked us and another guest back, threw 2 menus on a table, and walked off without saying a word.
The menu is simple enough that we planned our meal quickly: a small VIP deep dish, Greek salad, and garlic bread (based on the yelp reviews). When our waitress arrived to take our drink order, we informed her we didn’t have drink menus, and she then told us we were wrong and searched both our menus before concluding we, in fact, hadn’t received any. Some might have been turned off by her attitude but I found it comforting: her warmth was reminiscent of that of my middle school bus driver.
One mediocre $24 bottle of Pinot Grigio later, the garlic bread and salad arrived. The garlic bread was fine but didn’t merit raves and was served with jarred grocery store marinara on the side — a sign of what was to come. Both the sauce and salad dressings were served with lids in to go cups, which sugests that perhaps PizzaPapalis is a better choice for takeout in general.
Short description of our pizza: meh. It was a little overcooked (so the crust wasn’t as flaky or buttery as it could have been) and the sauce was just poor quality (I imagined a vat of Ragu simmering in the back that someone sprinkled extra oregano into to “kick it up a notch”). Basically, we wandered into a take out joint with mediocre food and from start to check (which took an hour and 45 min) were treated like an afterthought. Not the worst experience, but you deserve better, Dearborn.