Sunday, July 12, 2020

FOLLOW THE COLORFUL (NOT CANARY YELLOW) BRICK ROAD

Recently, I heard a fascinating interview of Lauren Meekes, about her system for getting organized, which she calls "Structured Freedom." It's a time and project management system for people whom she calls "creative rebels." This resonated with what Gretchen Rubin, in her book, The Four Tendencies, identifies as a rebel, whose motto tends to be "You can't make me--and I can't make myself." I am a rebel as well, and accomplishing things often has to be done by sleight of hand. I need to think I am doing something I really want to do rather than something I have to do. If this is combined with perfectionism--which in my case it is--then it leads to a great deal of procrastination until a deadline forces a flurry of activity when I don't have time to set up any resistance, or--in some cases--I discover that my procrastination has led to my not doing something that really didn't need to be done, or something that has been canceled by someone else--or in these days, by the requirements of trying to evade Covid 19.  Many of us who are also introverts are rejoicing in the fact that we can let go of all kinds of appointments and practices and things we ordinarily did on a Monday or Tuesday night, and spend our time in other favored occupations.  
In the course of the aforementioned interview by Deborah Hurwitz (Productivity for Perfectionists),Lauren Meekes casually mentioned that she discovered that Post-it Notes come in a lot more colors than the original canary yellow.  I immediately went on the 3M (creator of Post-it Notes) website to see what I could find out, and learned there are now over 1000 Post-it Notes products in an astonishing array of colors--AND in collections.  When I discovered the existence of these collections, many of which are named for exotic cities, I was entranced and immediately ordered (from another website, since Post-it Notes are apparently not sold directly from 3M) an inordinate number of collections.
Now I can feel as if I am traveling around the world when I choose a note to list some of the projects involved in getting my book to publication.  So far, I have Bali, Bora Bora, Cape Town, Rio de Janeiro, Helsinki, Miami, Marrakesh, Jaipur, and Highland Pop. The only city collections I didn't order were New York because it included two dull blues, two yellows, and a gray, and I particularly didn't want gray, and Marseilles, which seemed to come only in a very large box which had more pads than I would probably every use. Of course, I probably now have more Post-it Notes than I will ever use, but by arranging them in a repurposed artisan olive oil box, I have what looks like a beautiful window box of flowers on my desk--and no watering needed!  And it is a delight to write down the tasks I want to keep track of, and much more motivating than a to do list in
black and white.
As you can see, I used my trusty labeler
so that I wouldn't forget which each collection was called. I noticed right away that Bali and Helsinki were quite similar, and I could never keep them all straight without the labels.  One friend asked if I have a different color for different tasks--there was a time when I might have succumbed to such a lure, but I was afraid that I might never think of enough tasks for each color, so I just enjoy choosing a different color as I think of an item to be done. And in these days of being quarantined at home, I can also imagine that I am globe-trotting at the same time that I am getting my book closer to publication.


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