For a while I used to receive page-a-day calendars every year for Christmas. I find them fun, and I used to save some of my favorite pages and put them on my wall. One of the quotes that came from a long-ago calendar is turning out to be highly relevant this quarter:
The whole point of getting things done is knowing what to leave undone.
Sadly, I don’t know exactly to whom to attribute this quote since an Internet search reveals two names, only one of which is listed on the page I have on my wall. Suffice to say it was a wise person.
And, as this quarter has revealed, I absolutely suck at leaving things undone. My resolution for spring quarter was that I wouldn’t work any weekend, and so far, except for one day a few weeks ago, I’ve stuck to that. But every Friday I face a list of to-dos that I haven’t finished and a set of emails messages that are yet to be answered. I know I don’t have time to accomplish them before the weekend, and yet I want to stay strong in my resolve to take time off. So I do the triage I can, letting people know that I’ll get back to them on Monday. And then I tear myself away, feeling slightly guilty, and head to my weekly Friday date night. Luckily by the time dinner is over the guilt is usually gone. But it’s really difficult to do this, way more difficult than I would have imagined. And, yes, that probably means it’s a good exercise for me.