Odds & Ends

I am trying to be productive by sorting through all the miscellaneous crap (like expenses, taxes, bills, etc) that you manage to justify ignoring when you are super-busy. I should have taken a before picture of the coffee table in my room that was piled high with the paper detritus of a modern life unattended.

As part of the process, I finally bought a bunch of things I had been meaning to get from Amazon. And as lip-service to the notion that I’m going to improve my record of bi-polar behavior in dealing with personal matters, I threw in a copy of David Allen‘s Getting Things Done. I hope I have better luck with it than Russ has had. For those of you not in the know, David Allen is like the Malcolm Gladwell of personal organization — they have both become famous putting common sense into book form. That alone has been enough to keep me from joining the GTD cult thus far; then there’s the small matter of the GTD cult itself, which I was exposed to in its full glory at BarCampLA.

But despite my self-righteousness, I can admit that I have an issue dealing with the mundane but mandatory administrative tasks of our age. Plus, as one of David Allen’s minions astutely paraphrased, getting things done just feels better than procrastinating. The scary thing is that I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t feel like there was something else I was supposed to be doing (I always *HATED* homework, and rarely did it).  And if that isn’t enough, Ian recommends this book and he is astonishingly productive. So, we’ll see how it goes.

As part of my productivity spree, I am also catching up on the charitable donations I’ve been meaning to make. The Yahoo! Employee Foundation will match any employee donations up to $1,000 per year if they are made through the GivingStation (internal link). So, I have spent a few minutes navigating through the clunky GivingStation UI adding my charities. And even though I already knew to which charities I wanted to donate, I spent some time surfing around Charity Navigator, which does financial analysis of non-profits’ public filings (check out the CEO pay numbers!).

The charities I am giving to are:

And finally, there’s a little newspaper clipping that I have been carrying around for months. It’s from a NY Times review of a book called The Big Why by Michael Winter. The review was lukewarm, but it excerpted the title passage from the book, which I vowed to blog:

The question is not were you loved. Or did you love. Or did you love yourself. Or did you allow love to move you, though that’s a big one. Move you. The question, Rockwell, is did you get to be who you are. And if not, then why. That, my friend, is the big why.

How do we know if we are really being ourselves? That’s definitely one to ponder.


2 thoughts on “Odds & Ends”

  1. I’ve come to the conclusion that you have to also decide who you want to be. If you can do that and identify the “gaps”, then you can sort out what it is you really can and want to change. By extension, the things that you really can’t change about yourself should begin to become really obvious. In theory, then, you have a pretty good idea not only of who you are, but who you’re capable of becoming. Of course, this means that you never actually “are” because you’re always changing. That sounds just about right to me though 🙂

  2. My guess: you know you are being yourself when you are so confident in who you are that you don’t question it. Great post Strauss.

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