Sunday, December 07, 2008

"Why do I drink?" asked Hank Jr.

I haven't for a while, actually, but I was thinking about it. Not surprising; I think about it a lot.

I haven't read Future Shock, but according to this guy:
Alvin Toffler predicted that we would be overwhelmed by too many items competing for our time and attention, especially in the workplace. He foresaw that this would inhibit action, result in greater anxiety, and trigger a perception of less freedom and less time. Having choices is a blessing of free market economy. Having too many choices results in increased time expenditure and a mounting exhaustion.

The article is about time management. He's got a better suggestion than hitting the liquor store (or knockin' one over, or visiting your local illicit substance dealer...):
Whenever you're about to make a low level decision, consider: does this really make a difference? The executive or manager today who seeks to stop racing the clock, to keep piles from ever starting, and to have more energy each day needs new perspectives and fresh approaches for managing his career and his life. Get in the habit of making fewer decisions each day--the ones that count.

Sounds like creative procrastination to me. Well, OK, he means judicious procrastination. Oh, all right! Dump that p-word and call it 'delegation.'

Michael Masterson ignores his emails until the end of the workday, when, hopefully, all the minor stuff people wanted to bug him about has been resolved. He works on projects of his own choosing until then and only deals with other people's problems when they turn out to be incapable of dealing with them without help.

How all this fits with my title is that I was just thinking that a major contributor to my last relapse was my feeling of guilt that I wasn't making progress on the long list of commitments I'd made to myself. I just wanted to hit CONTROL-ALT-DELETE.

The goal of all those commitments was to show everybody that "Life's not so bad! Anyone can succeed!" But I've got tons on my plate: I want to be a great husband, a great father, an expert on Aristotle, an economist, an entrepreneur, a marathoner, a strongman, a benefactor of Mankind, rich, honorable-just-moral, smart-learned-wise...

Those are the things I want to be great at. The list of good-enoughs is at least twice as long, with no overlap. I read about setting goals and priorities all the time. Sometimes I take some of the steps. They say writing those things down gets you a long way toward getting them done. Somehow, it seems, my unconscious mind thinks that once something is written down it's done. Move on.

So, I hit CONTROL-ALT-DELETE...but the same, damn page just comes back. Unchanged. Except that I'm older, and have less time and less health.

Wow! Dr. Amen (pronounced A-men - long A, accent on the first syllable) is right: negative thinking shuts down your brain. He was pushing this book on PBS today.

Oh, I see QuackWatch has a page on him. Hmm.

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