Posted by: nedpelger | August 2, 2008

A Difficult Week

I’m completing one of the crappiest weeks I’ve had in a while. I keep things in perspective, of course. My son didn’t die smashing his car into a tree on Pierson Rd. and my wife isn’t dying from cancer. Still, it’s been a tough week.

We had tenants moving into a new apartment building starting August 1st and on July 30th the State Elevator Inspector failed the elevator for going up to the top floor before coming down to the first floor in fireman mode. After much discussion, it turns out that the State requires this feature, even though they know it doesn’t make sense and are in the process of changing it. So the elevator company wants to charge $200/hour to have an operator run the lift to help tenants move in over the week-end. As you can imagine, no one’s thrilled about paying those costs. One of my last calls on Friday was a bit of good news, though. The State agreed to allow the elevator inspection to be valid and for the residents to use the lift.

My entire week, though, consisted of design changes, meetings to understand disputes, meetings to see changed site work conditions, and scheming to  get a  Highway  Occupancy  Permit  before the  Municipal Officials start using me for target practice. I had a plan for what I wanted to get done this week and none of it happened. Like the Chinese proverb, I was managing too many affairs, like holding pumpkins under water. One pops up while I try to hold the others down.

I’m normally a good time manager. I value time. I organize myself well to get the most out of time. I say no easily and try to understand and focus on the truly important things. But this past week, none of that seemed to matter.

What I can learn from the week, though, is how my response to the crap made me even less productive. I let myself get stressed. I started to live in the future, worrying how bad I’ll look when something isn’t done that I planned to have done. I know better. Worry stupidly wastes my time. I need to recommit to live in the present, to not be anxious about the future.

Next week I plan to get up a little earlier, work a bit more and exercise a bit more, focus on my present task (having chosen it as the most important thing for me to be doing at that moment) and not worry about the future. I’ll survive…until I don’t. It’s not much more complicated than that.

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