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May 2007 Archives

May 9, 2007

Shame - Day 1 results

I was going to post this yesterday. Yesterday I was mildly ashamed of what I was going to post about, but today I no longer care. And to cut the suspense, I am going to write about my work lifestyle, so nothing risque (don't worry mom!).

I recently took a small personal trip and the book I choose for casual reading was "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferris. If you look through it and the associated website, it comes off like an infomercial on crack. But the one thing that actually convinced me was this posting from the author's website: From Geek to Freak: How I Gained 34 lbs. of muscle in 4 weeks. So call me easily impressed, call me whatever, you can not deny that this man is capable of change. And I haven't seen too many sterling examples of empowerment around me lately.

The premise of book is that we can all live better lifestyles, and the means to accomplishing that is to trim the fat by becoming more effective at our work and income generation. So I have been trying to implement the initial stages of becoming more effective at work, through the following actions:

Focus on what is important:
Every morning I note down the two work actions that would leave me satisfied if they were the only things I accomplished that day. This worked really well the first day. I accomplished my two actions. They were important and took more time than I had expected. Defining the vital items allowed me to appropriately ignore all the other work requests that came in. I've also stopped attending or minimized attendance at meetings that don't directly require my participation for the entire meeting. This has worked out pretty nicely except for a couple of meetings that I haven't managed to convince my management that I don't need to be present for. This is a future action item.

Check e-mail twice a day:
This was hard on the first day. I used to check my mail constantly which allowed me to tangent off constantly. Day 2 is much better. Plus when I stopped instantly responding to ALL requests, people stopped expecting instant results on THEIR priority issues. If it is really important, they will find a way to bring it to my attention.

Stop inventing things to avoid the important:
As per the book recommendation, I put an Outlook reminder to go off three times a day to remind me to stay on track. This is working well so far and not actually annoying the hell out of me as I expected. I have stopped reading news webpages like cnn.com and removed myself from the work IM.

Learn to Eye-gaze:
This is part of the book that is attempts to extend your comfort bubble. So far I have only managed to perform a three minute eye-gaze with the loml, and he kept giggling. I am supposed to be doing this with strangers, making sure to blink so that I don't come off as a total psycho.

So what did I actually accomplish? This is the part that was mildly embarrassing for me. On Day 1, I came into work at 10am. I went to lunch from 12 to 1. I left work at 4:30. I then went off an did some personal errands and hung out with my sister. I spent 5.5 hours at work and still maintained my usual level of performance. Since I didn't waste the extra time screwing around at work, making up tasks to extend the work day and tiring myself out, I had a great time outside of work as well. eeeeeeee. let's see how the next few days go. My next big goal is to work from home on Mondays and Fridays. I am testing this out by taking this Friday from home.

May 11, 2007

wow - day 2 and 3

ok, so here is an update on my new goal of becoming more effective (note* I don't want to be more efficient. I just want to be more effective) at work.

day one was great, but day 2 and 3 really blew. In just one day, I managed to free about 3 hours of my work time but cutting down on reading the news, not attending unnecessary meetings, checking my e-mail twice a day, and only targeting two key goals a day.

on days 2 and 3, I lost that time right back to meetings. I spent 50% of my complete work day in meetings, which completely violated at least two of my action-goal things. I had all that free time and couldn't handle it!

So today I am working from home, which has the nice benefit of removing me from being available in person. When I got out of bed, my thought was "wow! i can wear whatever I want!" and I even got excited about it. Now, I just find that to be sad, in a pathetic kind of way. but hey! I am dressed now (in exactly what I want) and I'm off to tele-commute from the car inspection waiting line!

on a side note, its entirely possible that at some point, someone I work with may read this. and i guess it could go badly. large corporations don't always like it when their employees are trying to do the same amount of work in less time, without giving that time back to the company. and more to the point, my actions are not those of someone who is happy with their current work situation. Which is exactly the point. I want things to change, and if it goes badly, that is why I have a savings account.

May 14, 2007

i love the consumerist

i just had an amazing experience!

There are a couple of web pages that I love to read and 'The Consumerist' is one of them. Its full of consumer tips, sob stories, and general info that every good consumer wouldn't mind knowing. And thanks to them, I just saved myself $10!

I have a retail credit card (like that JC Penny's card that you get cause its 20% off your purchase today). I don't use it a lot but last month I charged about $30 on it, and then made a late payment (I was hoping to fall in an imaginary grace period but nope, 4 days late is still late). So this morning, I was staring at a $10 late fee. Ridiculous!

I only spent $30 and I'm about to blow another $10 for a late payment? So I called customer service and the conversation went something like this...

CR: Hi, how can I help you today?
Me: Hello, I believe I have run up a $10 late fee on my account.
CR: Ok. Let me check into that. ... Yes, I see you have a late fee on your account for $10. What would you like to discuss?
Me: I was hoping that the company, in it bountiful wisdom, would remove the fee. I've never been late with a payment before.
CR: You want us to remove the fee?
Me: Yes, I was hoping that I could just skate by this one time.
CR: Let me see what we can do for you... Ma'am we have removed the fee from your account. Your balance at this time is $0.
Me: Thank you so much!

That rocked! I was polite, the rep was polite, and it all worked out in the end.

May 18, 2007

what i did today

the loml found me the best website ever! (note* usage of 'ever' may not actually mean ever).

I made this!

using the LolCat builder page.

May 21, 2007

10 impossible things before breakfast

Is it possible to live without actually working?

and when I refer to work, I am speaking of that reality inhabited by asshats, red tape, quarterly reviews, mis-directed requests, and co-workers who don't always help. the one that we are supposed to exist in from 8 to 5 and whenever else the boss says to.

I had a job interview today. I'm not planning on taking the job but wanted to do the interview for practice. I haven't actively pursued a job for years and boy, did I 'learn' some stuff. The main thing I learned is that people are cannibals. And I'm not pointing fingers here, because I do the same thing when I interview someone. I skim the strengths based on the resume and then chomp in at the soft spots.

What a tiring experience. I suspect my resume may have been mis-directed by the HR person but we'll see. I spoke well, but managed to piss off one of the company directors when I made a comment about how constantly checking e-mail results in reduced effectiveness. I'm not sorry I said it, but did concede that if that was your job function, you should probably do it.

So back to not working. Here is a nice article about those people you see hanging around outside while you are on your way to work. What are they doing?

May 23, 2007

I am a sad, hungry, tired potatoe

well, i think the title says it all for today.

May 24, 2007

OMG! IZ LOL!

I love this stuff

May 29, 2007

juice fasting again

I had the best camping weekend. I ate, I drank, I ate some more, and maybe some more drinking...

So in the spirit of excess, its time for a juice fast. For people who aren't familiar, I am going to stop eating food/drink with the exception of prune juice and apple juice. for three days. yeah! sounds exciting eh?

(don't worry mom, this is not nutritionally harmful, i swear!)

May 30, 2007

who needs an enema?!?

well, I'm on the first day of my 3 day juice fast. I've done this a couple of times before so nothing unexpected. Normally I just drink prune juice and a tonne of apple juice, but I was at Whole Foods yesterday and they really have a nice variety of juices. After the last two times, I am getting pretty sick of apple juice too.

So today, after my prune juice breakfast (blech!), I am having R.W. Knudsen Simply Nutritious juice mix. Today its the mega antioxidant blend and its pretty tasty. I'm about 500 calories in and not feeling hungry at all. I did have a small emotional pining for some curry though.. oh well.

I haven't posted this link in a while, but for those of you who are interested in 'cleansing' at home, here is a blog (its pretty candid so watch out). People do this for some pretty weird reasons (like weight loss), but I do it to remind myself how much of my eating is emotional.

--------------------------------------
wow, i sure do have a lot more time when I'm not eating. I thought I would share more thoughts from my day. I was a very loyal 'oil of olay' fan. I have been using their facial moisturizer, facial cleanser, and body wash for at least a decade. Recently, the loml bought me some aveda body wash as a gift. Its pretty neat and when I was reading the bottle, I noticed that their manufacturing process uses natural sustainable sources. you know, more green stuff. I thought that was pretty cool because I had already switched over to Paul Mitchell's tea tree shampoo (they donate enough money to the american tree charity to fund the planting of enough trees to offset the carbon emissions from their manufacturing process).

anyway, so i started wondering. What's Olay doing to help clean up their environmental impact? I love their stuff so I sent them an e-mail informing them of my concerns and asking for more info. This was the response I got:

Date: Thu, 5 Apr 2007 10:37:26 -0400 (EDT)
From: "[email protected]"
Reply-To: "[email protected]"
To: [email protected]
Subject: Thanks for contacting P&G. [Incident:070405-002066]

Response
---------------------------------------------------------------
We are addressing an unforeseen company-wide issue, so we need to take some time off from answering email. We're sorry we won't be able to reply to your message, but we expect to be up and running in the very near future.

As always, we appreciate your loyalty to our products and understanding of our current situation. Thanks for your patience!

=======

hahahah = and no, they didn't ever follow up. so now I use Burt's Bees orange Essence facial cleanser. and I must say, this stuff is da bomb, and I heavily recommend it.

May 31, 2007

odoriferous

looks like its going to be one of those weeks.

I don't know why, but a few weeks ago I was at Trader Joe's looking at the personal care section. They had some nifty natural deodorant in a pretty container, and I was like "ooh, I think I'll try that". Now it took me a couple of days to realize this, but evidently natural = no antiperspirant. I should've known. People are meant to sweat and I guess smothering your cells with chemicals to make them dry up isn't in the natural scheme of things. The reason it took me a couple of days to figure this out is because I'm a delicate girl and that is how long it took the chemicals from my last deodorant + anti-per. to wear off.

So what did I do? I rolled with it. It still spring so no biggie, right? After a while, it occurred to me that I might need a reality check. Who else, but the long suffering loml. So I explain the situation to him and ask the question "Can you tell?". And he said, "yes, I can tell a difference".

Now, I didn't ask for specifics and he wasn't inclined to give them. Though I vaguely recall that he may have asked me to consider switching back to my old stuff. I can't be sure. So I went on with my bad self and kept up with what I had. It is actually an interesting thing to get used to, but I will leave this as an exercise for the reader.

Now if you read yesterday's post, you will know that I have recently become enamored with Burt's Bees orange facial cleanser. I was so thrilled that I went back to the store to see what else Burt had been up to. And lo and behold, they also make a natural deodorant. Seeing that it was almost my birthday, I bought some and have been testing it out. I'll let you know how it goes. and if we are really lucky, maybe I can get the loml to write a snippet on his side of things.

About May 2007

This page contains all entries posted to daisyblahg in May 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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