Tag Archives: work

Deadline Oriented


By Katherine Shaye

In my last post I noted that it is difficult for me to set my own deadlines. A friend of mine read this and remarked teasingly that I shouldn’t tell this to any future employers. This confused me. Yes, it made sense that no employer would want a worker who couldn’t meet deadlines, but I had never had this problem at work.

In fact I’ve been rather good at meeting work or school deadlines. My track record has been clean, showing up on time, turning in assignments, getting things done. I never asked for extensions or ignored due dates. But this was all in my work persona. For some reason those traits and habits aren’t translating into my day-to-day life.

Continuing my self-examination, I started wondering why this is. What are the conditions of a deadline that make it concrete in my mind?  Andhow can I make the goals I set for myself better fit this criteria? As always I have spent some time sitting with these thoughts and come up with a few answers that might help me understand the issue.

Expectation of completion – the first criteria jumped out immediately, an authority figure. Someone I respect who holds the expectation that I will get done whatever job they’ve asked. It gives me a sense of accountability that I have been tasked with something and that someone will know how and when I get it done.

So when it’s just me how can I set up that same sense of expectation? One strategy I’ve devised is to share my goals with other people. To write them down, say them out loud, post them in a blog, whatever. Some way to let at least one other person know and increase that pressure of expectation.

Dependence on completion- this was an especially important motivation for me at my last job, where ten people depended on me to keep my deadlines , so that their housing, food, and work schedules stayed in order. If not turning in my report meant someone in the office couldn’t get their work done on time that motivated me. If not grocery shopping meant putting strain on the food availability for my team that motivated me. Now, if I don’t apply for that job today, I’m the only one affected. I am more likely to make exceptions, procrastinate.

A possible solution to this might be to envision the longer chain of effects meeting or not meeting my deadlines might have. Sure if I don’t apply for a job today the sun will probably still rise tomorrow but if I don’t apply for jobs then I won’t get a job and without a paycheck I can’t make
rent. That would certainly affect my eleven housemates. And not in a good way.

Commitment to completion – Often times I find that when I set personal goals I either set the bar super low so that if I ignore it I can make up for it later or crazy high so that if I don’t reach it I won’t feel bad because it was a stretch in the first place. I can’t say that this is a healthy way to approach goal setting. I’m already making room for myself to blow it off or fail. I haven’t committed to my own success.

Now that sounds like a self-help-book line if I’ve ever heard one but unfortunately I think it’s the truth. Getting over this particular hurdle in goal making will require more than just a casual reassessment of my goal setting tendencies. In essence it will require me to start putting stock in myself and taking my own deadlines quite a bit more seriously.

Though these tactics may not be bulletproof and I still may spend some days wrapped up reading a good book rather than writing my own, I think that they will help me change my thinking around setting goals for myself.

So in the spirit of honoring my own deadlines I will now return to working on the book manuscript I aim to have finished by the end of this year, Imaginary Me. And anyone reading this can feel free to help hold me to it.

Advertisements

Post Grads and Staying Active – Mentally and Physically


By sendmeonmyway101

Dishes?Check.
Laundry? Check.
Cat box? Check.
Floors? Check.

By the end of the day, I try to make sure that all of the above has been taken care of. Some days I get help from my mom and dad, other days I get distracted. Sometimes I’ll pick up a new project – cleaning out the linen closet, or helping my Dad remodel (if you’ve been following this blog, you’ll know that this weekend we will be putting in a new rug, and I can’t wait to get started!). If I’m not doing housework, I look for reasons to get out of the house.

This past weekend a friend of mine and I went hiking. She is also a recent post grad, but since she only has her associate’s degree she is going back to school this fall (she will also be designing Sauce Off’s new label – something to look forward to).

Z (we’ll refer to her as Z) has always been more active than I, so she was in much better shape for the trip than I was. Still, we successful managed to get lost, wind up in someone’s backyard, and chase after a bike rider without anyone having a heart attack (well, the bike rider may have been startled when he realized we were chasing him).

Anyways, when Z and I finally left the woods and went to chill on the swings for a bit, she suggested writing an article on why we (post grads) should keep busy. So what follows is a list of reasons why I slave over housework, subject myself to exercise, and find good reasons to get out of the house now that I don’t have any reason (i.e. a job) to go anywhere.

  1. Doing housework keeps my mind from wondering, “Why haven’t I gotten a phone call from that company that I just applied to two hours ago? Should I give them a call? Is it too soon?” (The answer is yes, btw).
  2. Doing housework gives me something to shove in my brother’s faces. “What, you have to go to work? What, you’re too busy sleeping till 7pm? Hey, dudes, I just cleaned the whole house. What can you say you did around here, huh? Huh? Yea, you know, the least you can do is … (insert some simple, meaningless task. Because after going on and on about all the work I did, they’ll do almost anything just to shut me up).
  3. I chose to study English because I have been writing since I was in the second grade. Over the years that writing has bounced around from short stories, novels, articles, and even the neighborhood newsletter that I tried (and failed) to start back in eighth grade. The logical thing to do, now that I don’t have school telling me what to write, is keep going. As long as I keep my fingers writing or typing (articles, short stories, etc.) I’m keeping my mind motivated in my chosen field. Post grads, especially those that are unemployed, should find something related to their field that keeps them going.
  4. Physical Activity! How many post grads get accustomed to spending time at the free gym on campus, and then get out of school and A.) can’t afford to go to your own gym, or B.) the gym in your town is too far away/you don’t have a way to get there? So maybe you’ll have to give up bodybuilding for a while, but you don’t have to give up physical exercise. I like to take time to ride my bike, take a walk around my neighborhood, or go hiking with friends. Keeping your body going prevents laziness – one of the deadly symptoms of Post Grad Panic.

Don’t believe me? Check out some of these articles.
Swallowing pride: Reasons why post-grads should get a job immediately
Recent Grads, Keep Your Head (And Morale) Up

Let's try and avoid this

It Ain’t No Green Thumb


By sendmeonmyway101
ORIGINALLY POSTED Saturday, July 23rd

The inside of our house looks GREAT. I keep the sink relatively empty (my whole life the sink has constantly been over flowing with dishes), I sweep twice a week, the cat box is always clean, the dogs are let out, junk mail no longer piles up on the end tables. I keep on top of my brothers about keeping their rooms clean. Laundry is done, dust and dog hair is wiped away. All in all, I’d say my lack of a career has been a positive influence on our usually hectic house.

So I have decided to take on our backyard.

I haven’t been much of an outdoors girl since the summer following eighth grade, when we got a computer and the internet suddenly seemed more interesting than exploring reality (Fear not, I now run on a healthy balance of virtual living and sunshine), but the ‘rents were out of town, and I figured an organized backyard would be a pleasant surprise for them.

Despite the latest heat wave (which puts a new spin on the term ‘swamp ass’), I stepped into the sun around 10 am, armed with a cowgirl hat, so many coatings of sunscreen that I was sparkling like a Stephanie Meyer vamp, and my computer for a little music. My pathetic plan consisted of eventually mowing; disemboweling the weeds growing between the stone slabs of our walkway, and clearing out what was once the garden (the leftover, bare branches of what had once been a rose bush is barely visible beneath weeds and the rubble from roof repairs).

My Dad used to be on top of this stuff. But all the passion he put into gardening has been replaced with his latest hobby: remodeling the house. The backyard doesn’t look horrible, but I’ve once again been fantasizing about my future home, and I decided that it couldn’t hurt to learn a little more about upkeep.

After half an hour of yanking on weeds, I came to the conclusion that protecting my face and skin from sunburns was nice, but I needed to put more thought into this gardening business. I needed garbage bags, and I needed to figure out what to do with all the rocks piling up on the stone walkway. Most importantly, though, I had to come to the realization that the likelihood of this rose bush coming back to life any time soon could only rival the likelihood of Disney TV gaining substance. The flower bed was cleared out, but it was far from pretty.

Here Are a Few Gardening Tips:

  1. Weeds and overcrowding in flower beds should probably be taken care of in early spring
  2.  Pruning should also be done every year, and followed-up on at least three or four times throughout the summer
  3.  When you put on a new roof, make sure all debris is picked up immediately following the project
  4.  If you happen to be working for several hours before your younger brother points out that there’s a HUGE hornet’s nest right over your head, don’t freak out. It’s not like taking notice of it changes the fact that it’s been there the whole time, and so far nothing’s happened (And knocking down a bee/wasp/hornet nest without a professional should be delayed until the fall, when the nest is deserted)

By the end of the night, the dead rose bush was cleared of weeds and garbage, the tiles on the walkway were finally visible, the lawn was mowed, weeds were pulled out from around the fence, and Michael and I pulled out the hammock and Tiki Torch (We were also going to bring out the swing, but it’s too worn from the weather – a project for another time). The perfect end to an exhausting day was sitting out under the stars and sipping on pink lemonade.

For more tips on gardening, check out: myezgardeningtips.wordpress.com

%d bloggers like this: