Monday, July 02, 2007

The winner is…

While I’m still a long way from finishing the report, I’ve made progress on it, and your suggestions helped. Actually, just writing about it on the blog has helped keep me accountable and working on it instead of avoiding it. However, it’s very slow going because I only average about 15 minutes of reading a day. I’ve read about 59 pages in approximately four hours. That’s just sad, but it’s not regular reading—it’s “editing” reading, which does and should take longer. I have about 70 pages to go on the hard copy. Then I start the soft editing, which might actually go faster since I think I’ll have an easier time focusing on that part of the task.

Something I didn’t figure into the process, which made it hard to follow the “buckle down to it” advice, is that after reading for five minutes (or sometimes as long as ten), I’d come to something, a sentence, an oft repeated word (these writers are particularly fond of “initiative”), an unchanged-after-many-suggestions passage, and I’d get so angry I couldn’t see clearly and I’d have to stop reading. I’d take a walk and if TR was around, I’d kvetch to him for a minute about how frustrating the whole process was. The reason I hate this task is not just because it’s inherently hateful, it’s because it’s the third fucking time I’ve had to read this report and they STILL didn’t make the changes I requested.

I’m so exhausted today, I didn’t have the energy to get frustrated and I was marginally more productive than usual—a whole 30 minutes of reading! I’m into the “back end” (the case study summaries) and expect it to go more quickly from here. While this part of report is longer, it’s also less important than the front sections and requires less attention. I hope.

In the interest of not leaving you in suspense, and with the caveat that I didn’t time myself so I’m not sure which of these truly netted more report time, here are the winners:

First Prize: Nicky.
I adored this idea and I have been using it. Getting to color in the little circles is a wonderful feeling. In addition, it helps me keep track of how much time the task is taking and I have a tangible record of the work done. I didn’t follow the suggestion to the letter. My circles are lopsided and the result isn’t pretty, but it works for me. (Your prize is the CD. However, if you strongly prefer the book, it’s yours.)

Second Prize: Dee.
Several excellent ideas, however, I only used one:
Go to a coffee shop, get a good brew, listen to your ipod, enjoy the scenery and finish it! Women are natural multi-taskers.
It worked! (Your prize is the movie passes. But if you don’t live in the DC area, you can have the book.)

Third Prize: Study Skills Master.
I tried the idea of reading a page and then rewarding myself. Even though it didn’t work that well, I still like the idea and never would have thought of it. (Your prize could be the book, the CD or the movie passes, depending on what is awarded to the first and second prize winners. )

Honorable mention: Ross.
His idea to outsource made me laugh out loud. What is awesome (or sad) is that I could have done it! What a world. I owe you another beer.

To the winners: please email me (jamy dot barab at gmail dot com) with your prize preference and mailing address. I’ll do my best to get the prize to you in the next week or so.

Thanks again to everyone who played. It was fun!

Grateful for: helpful internet friends.

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