Disconnection and Organization
As I sat there drinking my cortado, I went through the checklist of people I had to email. All minor, small things to take (or to have taken) care of. Some internal; some external. All my emails would of course come with the courteous disclaimer that I "didn't expect a response until after the holidays."
I've always thought it was important to respect the schedules of others, including holiday schedules and vacation schedules. That's not to say that I didn't like to work over the holidays. Although I have rigorous vacation standards, for some odd reason, I find myself doing at least some work over traditional holidays. Perhaps it's a combination of not being a serious celebrant with the fact that the approximately six weeks or so of vacation has to be spread out over some time of the year. All of it does not fit within traditional holidays.
Anyway, coming back to my emails, I wondered how people would react or if they would react at all to the fact that I was sending out emails on the Sunday before Christmas Day and through Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. That's when it hit me. Many of these issues I would address in the emails are not "mission critical." They are far from it. As a good friend used to always say, "we're not exactly dealing with the Exxon Valdez here". Sure, I have my fair share of stuff that I end up devoting a lot of waking hours to, but in this instance I was thinking about cleaning up a bunch of smaller issues, where timing was not particularly important. Sure, I have my own practice and utilize entrepreneurial instincts in this endeavor, and some amount of 24/7 thinking about work was to be excused. But to send an email to the person that deals with invoicing that "let's make sure all of the November invoices were out by year end?" . . . did I really need to send this email today. Now?
I took a long look at this and thought about it and I think it boils down to a certain extent to disorganization. I am the type of person who doesn't go crazy on maintaining a to-do list with lots of bells and whistles. Apart from a few minor forays into GTD, I've never gotten anywhere with "to do" systems. Sure, I have a docket for when I have case deadlines, and I have an overall to-do list with big picture items, but beyond that I use the "brute force" method of making sure I get things done. A not-so close cousin to the "Pomodoro" method, it basically entails that you think about what's on your plate for an extra hour or two and you'll eventually make sure you don't miss anything. Sure, I'm the type of person who responds to emails and never (or rarely) "misses stuff" but this comes at a cost. Particularly under the current regime of organization. I wonder what the best way is to change this.
As for blogging while on vacation, let's not get started there. I always debate as to whether it's an indulgence, or more of the same.