I feel okay this morning, though my eyes are a bit puffy and my head a bit cloudy. It is a dull day outside, in fact, and rain may be on the way. Regardless, I feel rested despite having had some weird dreams about work (about picking up the department mail, examining some new kind of digital office equipment, talking to staff about all this...?).
It has been a productive day, overall. I experienced a little seasonal stress, mindful of the calendar and clock but getting through some tasks and finishing work on a Friday kept it in check. I even completed tasks I had not expected to get done today.
Also, scratching some things off of the to-do list for next week helped. The classes went smoothly, and I have decided to let go of a couple things that I wanted done by next week. Why worry about them unnecessarily? We are moving forward and the exams are set up and the students primed for them, and yet there is still one week to go before the exams. I even cancelled a couple of classes next week because the students are working hard and getting tired, and we are on top of the courses.
I think that reviewing and realigning tasks can be just as helpful as making to-do lists in order to create balance in life, and keep the anxiety from taking over. Sometimes asking whether something really needs to be done, then assigning it a lower priority or just ditching it all together can be the best thing to do in order to maximize productivity. We can be more productive by selecting the best or most important tasks and focusing on a few things rather than trying to do too much. Quality is not quantity, right? There can be a greater impact in terms of results, including personal experience, from concentrating on the right activity. I guess I am trying to say that analysis with action leads to more effective action. Taking time to study the rock and make a precise blow in the best part and at the optimum angle with the hammer can result in a fabulous cut stone sculpture. Without critical aforethought, you could end up with some useless scattered fragments.
What tasks did I accomplish? They were significant and helpful, and a relief to get done. The registration form for the education conference in Italy accepted at last, and a new form of payment established, the conference fee is paid. Ta-da!
The conference coordinator having informed me that the deadline for conference presentation proposals had been extended, she encouraged me to submit an abstract by tomorrow. I dug up a previously written abstract for recycling as I had not gotten very far with the original one when I had proposed it before. I even have images and text for a poster and now I know how to get a proper poster made up professionally.
That leads me to the next items I was able to cross off the to-do list as done today. As for the second thing, I posted the 2012 tax forms package and they are on their way to Canada. Coming out of the post office, I stopped in the print shop and inquired about getting the poster for the office glass wall done, and the guy made it right there and then in under 30 minutes for about 10,000 won ($10 bucks). The poster is up on the window, and a grey chiffon scarf is hanging from it so as to obscure the view from the lower perspective.
Thirdly, I connected the new printer and got it up and running. I gave it a trial run by printing up a contact sheet which I have been wanting to peg up onto the wall.
I still had time to meet B and N for lunch in the staff canteen. The meal was odd but we had a good time chatting and catching up. N just dumped her full-time job as a translator and got a new one handling translations in a medical center where she feels more comfortable and valued. The former boss kept demanding more and more from her without showing any praise or gratitude. Was he astonished when she told him off and quit!
One of department brothers popped by my office just to say hello. He said our office looks spacious and inviting. As he also teaches the civic employees group, we had a chance to compare notes. He agrees with me that they are the wrong people for the program and not very deserving of the opportunity or responsible as city employees benefiting from citizens' taxes. He thinks that their trip for English immersion in the US in June might end up a disaster, and I suspect so as well. We are wondering how the program is being weighed and whether the city will keep it up and fund another cohort for another cycle. We will see.