Wrong begone, Right now.

Today I want you to head out somewhere you've been wanting to go. Catch that show at the museum before it closes. See that movie with a friend. Eat at that great restaurant you've been wanting to try. Take that big walk through the park.

On your way out, grab that thing that shouldn't be in the house anymore – bag of stuff for Goodwill, ugly piece of furniture you've been intending to kick to the curb, dry cleaning that's been waiting to be done for 7 months, you know what I'm talking about – and get it where it's supposed to be: out of your way.

Happy Saturday!

Yes, what you do does, in fact, matter

Discard the "someone else will solve it" and "what difference can one person make" attitudes.

Go see An Inconvenient Truth.

Why let a bunch of big companies continue to tell you that something isn't bad for you so that they can make more profit before the shit hits the fan? Surely everyone learned by now that the cigarette companies don't have your best interests at heart. Why should anyone think oil and car companies are different when they argue against scientists?

We really don't have any more time to waste.

Defanging

There is probably a sharp edge in your life. It's gonna get ya if you don't deal with it.

That nail that's started to come up out of the floor or toenails that run the risk of hamstringing your spouse one night in bed or the stupid beaten tin light switch cover at the top of the stairs that threatens to tear open someone's sleeve one of these days…

Today, right now, go get rid of that problem.

So sayeth the girl who is sad about the hole in her sweetheart's nice suit jacket.

There must be a better way

Is there a whole class of clothing which you detest wearing, but which you find it hard to avoid?
Find an alternative.

For me, it's pantyhose. They don't breathe, the tan color looks weird to me, and I hate hate hate the way the waistband slips down. For years I didn't like wearing dresses or skirts to business or formal events because of the expectation of having to endure pantyhose. Now, when I decide to give up my pinstripe slacks for something a little more girly, I wear stockings or stocking-top hose in other colors & patterns .

What about you? What piece of clothing do you loathe and how do you get around it?

Freshen Your Kit

Today, check over all your kits and replace any old items.

  • travel supplies
  • emergency kit (home, car)
  • personal supplies in your desk at work
  • sundries in your backpack or purse

Don't forget to rotate out the water bottles for your emergency supply.

Also test your smoke alarm while you're confirming the batteries in those flashlights.

In a small café…

Put your friend & family's addresses in something small and easy to carry with you (mobile phone, little teeny address book, PDA, whatever). Make especially sure you have the full addresses of any who are either under the age of 20 or over the age of 60.

If you've got old blank postcards around, grab 'em and a couple pens you like to write with. Buy more postcards if you need to. Or find amusing ones among those free advertising kind. Or just get a bunch of postcard size pieces of blank paper and draw doodles on them instead of the usual pictures.

Walk down to the post office and buy a bunch of postcard stamps.

Find a nice coffee or tea house and sit writing quick little notes to everyone, just saying hi.

Mail them and make sure you still have more postcard stamps to carry with you.

Next time you see a nice postcard – especially one of those free ones – grab it and take a couple minutes to brighten someone's day.

(Advanced tip for Hipster PDA users: make your cards postcard size so that you always have the ingredients for an impromptu hello)

Putting your time in the right place

As a general principle, spend 80% of your time on the 20% most important activities.

Don't spend more time maintaining your to-do list than doing what's on it.

The corollary to this is that 80% of what will fall onto your plate is just not a priority. That doesn't necessarily mean it can all be discarded, but some of it can and rest can be postponed until the important stuff is done.

Put an index card up on the wall in your office that says

80 / 20

to remind you.

Today, Next, Soon

Here's an inbox tip:
Everything worth keeping can be sorted into Today, Next, Soon, and Someday.

I like to keep Today in my inbox (but with labels applied as I've described in past posts on using Thunderbird and similar mail programs to help me prioritize and distinguish the messages I've thought about from the new, unprocessed arrivals).

I created two additional folders, Next and Soon, into which I throw any mail that I do plan to do something with, but which is not urgent.

Next is for things that I want to be sure to think about as soon as I've dealt with all of Today's stuff. In chaotic times, this can take a few days to get to, but it should not be allowed to sit stagnant for more than a week. I recommend reviewing its contents Friday afternoons and sometime midweek to pull anything to Today that can't wait any longer.

Soon is for that stuff that isn't timely or especially important, but which is of enough interest not to be immediately deleted. I get to this when I can, often when I'm stuck somewhere without an internet connection or in a logey half-hour after a big lunch. (Tip: do not stick things in Soon which the sender is expecting a reply on without first sending a short note saying "I will have to get back to you later on this." so they know you got their message).

There is a last category not entirely captured by these three; those things which are not urgent, timely or easily completed, but which seem too significant to be thrown away. These usually represent something you want for Someday. I either file these where they belong with other information (my reference folder, with the planning notes for a coming project they relate to, under the person/institution who sent the information, etc) or note the idea they represent on a separate list of Someday/Maybe projects.