I made no progress on the Org part of this project. I’ll see if I can prioritize it this week.
I made lots of progress on my scheduling notes, which are growing into plans for a full-fledged app. In my software development reading I’m learning about requirements, so these plans will become more formal soon.
I’m starting another round of streamlining my tasks to expand my project time. Optimizing a schedule is exciting, but it can only go so far. If each task takes too long, I’ll still be slower than I want. And all my slow tasks will crowd out the time I need for optimizing, not to mention the other projects I care about. So I’m looking again at how I can achieve satisfying results while taking less time for them.
This time I’m taking a few approaches: First, I’m learning to outsource. Specifically I’m researching my purchases less and instead relying on published reviews. That worked really well for buying a new Dutch oven.
Second, I’m work journaling to keep myself unstuck. Even though writing slows things down in some ways, my impression is it speeds them up in others. It unclogs my brain when it tries to think about too much at once or when it stops thinking because the work feels hard.
And third, I’m focusing on practice. I’ve gotten a lot quicker at the routines I’ve made timers for, and it’s because I do them all the time and pay attention to efficiency. So if I do my slow tasks more often, they should get faster.
Cooking is my first activity to practice in this round of streamlining. During the pandemic I’ve been cooking my way through Betty Crocker One-Dish Meals, starting with the salad and soup sections, which have taken me this whole time. I’ve tried several times to convince myself to pause the project, but I’ve been strangely attached to it.
Well my new agenda has motivated me, and so I’ve rated my favorite recipes on their level of effort, and I’ve chosen the easiest of those to practice. That gives me four recipes. My goal is to reduce the time it takes me to shop for them, prepare the ingredients, and manage the cooking.
I’ve started a tea tasting project. I’ve never been a big fan of tea. There were a few kinds I liked, but they were all the overly sweetened, iced kind. Regular tea was always disappointing to me. It smelled good but only tasted like hot water.
Then my sister brought Celestial Seasonings’ Candy Cane Lane to our Christmas gathering, and at last here was a tea I didn’t have to struggle to enjoy. So now that I feel tea has potential, I’m on a quest to explore it and perhaps join the tea-loving population.
This will go quicker than the coffee because tea has a longer shelf life, so I don’t need to get through a whole box before trying the next one. Plus some of the boxes are samplers. In fact, I’ve started with Celestial Seasonings’ herbal tea sampler.
My scoring scheme:
- 5 – I like it, and it has an actual flavor or other interesting qualities.
- 4 – I like the fumes and aftertaste. (In my view, this is what tea is made of.)
- 3 – It’s kind of bland and forgettable.
- 2 – Making it enjoyable would take work.
- 1 – I’d actively avoid it.
My scores for the herbal tea sampler:
- Chamomile – 3
- Lemon Zinger – 2
- Peppermint – 4
- Honey Vanilla Chamomile – 3
- Sleepytime – 3
Snuff is a satisfying meal of detective work, action, satire, and human rights. When it comes to fiction, Discworld is my comfort food, but it’s the nutritious sort. Terry Pratchett had a sharp eye on the world from a perch somewhere on the left. But where exactly? In the years since I last listened to a Discworld book, I’ve learned a lot about feminism, and I wonder what the people I listen to would say about this story. He seems to mock many of his characters simply for not measuring up while innocently being themselves, and I imagine that could raise some hackles.
Coming back to the series after my break, one thing that strikes me is how real Pratchett’s characters feel, despite being caricatures. In this story even the laughingstocks of the series get some respect. The message I pick up is the dichotomy between how different people are—how strange, absurd, and sometimes even subhuman we can seem to each other—and that we are all nonetheless fully persons.