The loose ends, still fraying

I was reading an old post of mine from my LiveJournal, Oops, the loose end fell out again. Coincidentally, I read it just after reading a post by a LiveJournal friend about her goals for 2009.

I usually don’t start thinking about my goals for the next year until after Christmas, but the two posts together really brought home for me that this problem with loose ends is still a major issue for me, and that it might be a good candidate for a 2009 goal.

One reason is that this came up at work recently. We’ve tried a couple more systems since that old post, and my reaction to all of them has been pretty much the same: it seems like they should be helpful, and in concept I think they’re cool, but I just don’t use them. This isn’t necessarily good for me, and may not be good for my coworkers either, since the system might help us all more if I would use it.

Another reason is that my personal life has changed a lot and gotten more complex over the last year, to a point where I feel like I need more “overhead” (reflection, organization) time to handle it well than I previously did, but I have less, and I don’t have much in the way of new ‘improvised’ systems to help yet. I say ‘improvised’ in the sense that I create and change them in response to some kind of perceived failure event, like a missed payment or commitment, or the apartment reaching a state of emergency. This is how I mostly run my life right now; my systems continue to work pretty well, but they don’t catch all the loose ends, and the ends are still out there, fraying.

The economic downturn stuff also contributes: watching my spending is of greater importance since my salary isn’t keeping up with the rising costs of some of my purchases. I also missed two payments this fall because my systems failed: an email didn’t arrive (darn you Comcast), a paper ended up in a stack instead of in front of me.

I think I’d like to spend some of 2009 working on figuring out what things I want to be doing, and setting up systems to help me do those things; systems I can be comfortable spending time with because I know how they are supposed to work and what they are helping me do. I suspect it’ll be a long and gradual process of trial and error, and I can only hope it’ll have a worthwhile result.

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