Friday, March 27, 2009

I don't know how much time stress wastes.

Yesterday was not a productive day. Today is already a little better, but everything's taking two or three times as long as it should. I know that this is because I am anxious, and the anxiety distracts me and interferes with my ability to concentrate. I don't know how one quantifies this, and I don't know how what the cumulative effect on my work time is. It's bad, whatever it is.

Some people are compartmentalizers, and some are multi-taskers. I am not an efficient multi-tasker, as hard as I try. I need a list, and I need to work through that list one item at a time. The problem is that I see friends who are very good multi-taskers (Ms. Lechner, I'm looking at you; you too, Peggy), and think, "Why can't I do that?" Monkey see, monkey do, monkey fall off the tree branch and break a collarbone. (Actually, this is a question for another day: don't monkeys fall? Do they break bones when they do, and if so, how do monkeys in the wild deal with that? Something else my sister Peggy probably knows.)

Anyway, I'm still waiting to hear from the vet about next week's schedule. In the meantime I have canceled all of next week's commitments, and if turns out that we can get back to Maine after all -- if, for some reason, Dizzy can't get this procedure done next week -- I will be more than frustrated. But so it goes.

What I Read This Week

I have been listening to an audio recording of Bleak House in the car, but it's 37 hours long and I think I still have another 12 hours to go. In the meantime, I finished only one book this week that was not a manuscript:

Spencer Quinn, DOG ON IT. A completely adorable PI novel narrated by Chet the Dog, a large mixed-breed who flunked out of K9 school (for reasons he doesn't quite remember - something about jumping?). Now Chet is partners with Bernie, a down-on-his-luck private investigator who takes a missing person case, a teenaged girl whose father is a shady real estate developer. The mystery's pretty straightforward, but Chet is such a terrific narrator that I will be reading every one of the sequels. I feel as if I even learned a few things about Dizzy from this book.


Anonymous said...

I have a past issue of Newsweek magazine with a cover article on how "Stress is beneficial" not started it yet, but maybe if it keeps you healthy, it is not time wasted


Tom Ehrenfeld said...

And then there's the question for another post: I don't know how much wasted time causes stress....