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Conscious decisions April 13, 2006

Posted by Michael McVey in Online Tools.
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choice   Even with a day off, I am still wildly behind where I think I should be as far as catching up with my work goes. On Thursday morning, I thought I had no meetings scheduled for Friday so I would be able to get a lot of work done. However, with each passing hour, a new request for assistance came in making my dance card for Friday rather full.

Managing time is one of the things I am working hard to do since I insist on having a life outside these walls. It is like a penny sweep machine where you drop a penny along a slot and it lands n a platform. If you get it just right, the sweeper pushes your penny and a dozen others into the collection tray. Most times however your penny just ends up in the pile and you never see it again. For me, and I am not whining, when something new comes in something eventually falls off. I am down to less than an hour of television a week so I catch my news in RSS feeds of several newspapers, listen to occasional summaries of the news on podcasts, and pile up more leisurely readings for a weekly visit to a coffee shop.

Reading novels for fun is something I do not do any longer but that is okay. Everything we do to our time is a reflection of either a conscious or an unconscious choice. I choose to spend time learning new software and tools. I choose to write each day. My wife raised a quotation attributed to John Steinbeck about the writing habit that she said related to me and I suppose it is true that now my writing has become habitual and no longer a conscious choice.

We also sometimes make conscious decisions to cut seriously through the clutter of our lives. Yesterday I made a conscious decision to stop teaching a course I had taught for seven years. You know, when all you have to do is glance at the topic for the day, pull a file folder out, and walk into the classroom minutes beforehand, it is time to move on to more challenges. When teaching a particular course no longer defines you, it is time to move on. When, despite having the best class of students ever, you find grading is a chore and not the essential part of real education it should be, it is time to move on.

I am ready for other challenges.

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