Week's End

Here it is the week's end.  A short week, but one that had lots going on.

As part of my time management resolution, I have been using a free countdown timer.  I'm finding it terrific for many things, not the least of which is to set timers for my cooking dishes.  As my computer is just off from the kitchen in my office, I can hear the alarm easily.  Because the alarm is labeled, I know exactly which dish it is for.

In order to give myself a gentle kick to get started on something that is disinteresting but necessary, I created a 13 minute timer.  Why 13 v. 10 v 15?  13 minutes just felt right for my procrastination rhythms. I've been using that to 'start' projects that I otherwise like to put off.  This a.m. I set my 13 minute timer, and I cleaned the kitchen.  While I didn't finish, I got 13 minutes worth of 'stuff' done to make it look presentable--and to be able to bake a pie and invite guests over.

I also need such a timer to remind me to get up from a task when I get absorbed into some bit of problem solving or model creation.  The good news is that I do have a rather infinite capacity to laser focus on a project (once I get started of course).  When I do this, time goes by, and I don't notice it.  Mihály Csíkszentmihályi  wrote about this state and called it Flow.  You can read about it here. (Of course TV has that capacity to suck me in too--that's not Flow, though, it is called vegetation and is generally useless!).   When it is work related, I forget to get take necessary breaks.  My body reminds me when I'm all knotted up from being hunched over for too long. And I've done this for several days straight which lands me in the chiropractor's office after about 10 days.  Hunching, and no-breaks is not kind to the body.

Long ago, one of my colleagues on a VSCPA committee told me his secret (after seeing him having visibly lost quite a bit of weight).  He simply set his digital watch to beep after 50 minutes of work.  He would get up, walk around,drink a glass of water.  He'd sit back down, head down on his task and do it again.  After 8 hours, you have 80 minutes of time that is not at your desk--time that you've hydrated, relieved and refreshed your body and your brain.  That makes for very productive work. For me, I have a 53 minute clock.  Three's are my friends.

House is clean, so I can comfortably invite some folks over for an informal dinner.  My NY day feast was really delicious--in fact, I think that is one of the most successful dinners I've fixed--and I have alot of those under my belt.  I call a dinner successful when all of the dishes are perfectly harmonized in terms of texture, color and taste. This one was just that...plus it all came together beautifully thanks to my efficient countdown timers.

And...my pie crust timer has gone off telling me that it is time to roll it out.


  1. Hi Leisa
    Just dropped by to take a look at the furries and the next thing you know it's 2 hours later ... so much good stuff here.

    I particularly enjoyed reviewing PeterDag's business cycle and the supporting pdf. Even though the Fed has skewed much with the continuous pumping of liquidity and keeping a lid on interest rates it's still applicable. JMO

    Stop by the Algo Fighters and say high when you have a chance.

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