One Week Later: Building Room (At the Coffee Shop)

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of nuttakit / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Last week, I rejoined the construction crew in Rome, and helped put the finishing touches on our very own coffee shop. You should stop by for a beverage of your choice. There is quite an extensive menu. It’s nice to take a break along with the other builders.

Speaking of which, it would be great to encourage some new and returning builders to join us. Bradley has put together this wonderful space to help us all build the part of Rome we most want in our lives. It’s a fun way to stay motivated, build community, and inspire each other with ideas and support. Spread the word!

So in terms of my goals for last week, I knew it was ambitious. I knew I would not complete everything, but the challenge was to throw it all out there and push myself to do more than I might have with a more “realistic” list. As you can see, this approach definitely had some benefit. Completed items are crossed out. Items in orange have been moved to this week.

For the week of February 9

Teaching

  • plan ppts for upcoming Japanese intensive English program
  • set up lessons for first four weeks for writing classes
  • sort papers for comments
  • pull document together for JJE project

Research Presentation

  • set up data collection file for last group
  • set up first round analysis
  • register for May conference

Job-Hunting

  • Finish CV
  • Write letter of intent
  • Send CVs for review

Editing

  • Finish G project
  • Finish current JR section
  • Start JL

Personal

  • Two blog posts
  • Go for appt on Friday
  • Catch up on Fast-Forward Fridays
  • Do some sewing for my play date

 

While several things did not get finished, many things did. With my helper, we got much further on the research data than I had hoped. In addition, my co-presenter needed some materials from me, and I was able to get that put together to send him. Since the main goal was to make a dent in this mountain, I am happy with the progress for the week.

That said, I am reminded that this outside accountability for one’s goals and intentions is really helpful. I like this weekly check-in. That’s also part of the reason why I encourage and invite people to join us above. It doesn’t have to be a big list. Maybe just something you’ve been putting off for a while. Break it down into a few steps, and put the first one on a list for next week. I’ll be there to cheer you on.  🙂

I’m crazily considering doing a long-range plan for the year and posting it in another ongoing challenge. I’ll report in about my experience if/when I take the plunge.

So, on to the new week! I am moving all my incompletes from last week to this week and adding a few more things. This is my last full week before the new semester begins, so there is lots of impetus to press on. See you in Rome!

 

For the week of February 16

Teaching

  • plan ppts for upcoming Japanese intensive English program
  • set up lessons for first four weeks for writing classes
  • write comments for JJE project
  • review thesis draft for TC
  • finish textbook answer key

Research Presentation

  • set up first round analysis
  • prepare ppt slides of first round of analysis
  • register for May conference

Job-Hunting

  • Write letter of intent
  • Send CV and letter for review
  • Prepare reference information
  • Submit main job app
  • Travel web-site

Editing

  • Finish G project
  • Start next section JR (20-26)
  • Write questions for JL
  • Meet with JL

Personal

  • Two more blog posts
  • Catch up on Fast-Forward Fridays
  • Do some sewing for my play date

Best of luck in whatever the week brings your way!

 

 

This ongoing challenge to keep people focused on weekly goals and projects provides both the method and the support to keep participants going. You can check it out here: Bradley Corbett at: http://greenembe.rs/2015/02/16/building-rome-week-7-for-2015/

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Building Rome: At the Coffee Shop

janfricoffeeI’ve been away from the Building Room project for several weeks months, but I’ve returned because: 1) I miss all my fellow builders and 2) I need a kick in the seat of my pants to get back on schedule. For some reason, when I post things here, I stand a better chance. So I’m back.

I did make sure that one item now stands in Rome: a coffee and tea shop. When I need a break from building, here it is. It’s a nice place with lots of lovely drink options. I invite anyone to stop by when the building gets to be a bit overwhelming.

Even though this post would typically start with how I did on last week’s goals, it seems kind of pointless to go back and talk about goals from August and September. So I’m just going to jump in with making a list of several things that have been stalling out on my to-do list. After all, some of them will obtain crisis status within a few weeks if I don’t get back on track.

Most of these are work related, either for my current job or upcoming work. But I’m including a couple of play and relaxation things as well. Take a deep breath, because the list will seem huge. And I realize that it may be too ambitious for the time I have. But I’m trying to give myself a jump start.

In other words, while I don’t really expect to get everything on this list done in a week, I’m thinking that I’ll get more done by upping the ante a bit. It becomes a game–a version of “Beat the Clock,” which seems to get me going sometimes. It’s my competitive nature.  Or my insanity, but I’m not taking a poll. My apologies to those of you who wanted to vote.

In addition, I have a student coming to help me with some of the research tasks. In addition, having her there will keep me more focused in general. Setting a good example and all that.  😉

Teaching

  • plan ppts for upcoming Japanese intensive English program
  • set up lessons for first four weeks for writing classes
  • sort papers for comments
  • pull document together for JJE project

Research Presentation

  • set up data collection file for last groups
  • set up first round analysis
  • register for May conference

Job-Hunting

  • Finish CV
  • Write letter of intent
  • Send CVs for review

Editing

  • Finish G project
  • Finish current JR section
  • Start JL

Personal

  • Two blog posts
  • Go for appt on Friday
  • Catch up on Fast-Forward Fridays
  • Do some sewing for my play date

Yeah, I told you it was big. Maybe next week’s list will be a little calmer. We won’t have a poll on that either, but if you’re curious about what happens, tune in next week.

 This ongoing challenge to keep people focused on weekly goals and projects provides both the method and the support to keep participants going. You can check it out here: Bradley Corbett at: http://greenembe.rs/2015/02/09/building-rome-week-6-for-2015/

 

97 days until 60!

Rome is Looking a Little Rosier

REPORT FOR LAST WEEK

1. Complete 12 one-hour blocks. The tasks for those blocks include:

  • editing project (2 sections) DONE
  • writing project (draft first unit; make plan for other units) (no real progress on this)
  • start a worksheet for new possibilities DONE
  • schedule the tasks from last weeks list to make a rough schedule for the coming year DONE

2. Go to Curves three times during the week. DONE

3. Maintain walking three times a week. DONE

4. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards. Done and did additional sewing as seen here.

5. Continue visiting my fellow builders. I wasn’t as good about this as I had intended.

6. Work on idea for decluttering challenge; continue posting daily; write a post about blogging Turns out that was a type. It was supposed to be a post about the decluttering idea. Regardless, it didn’t happen.

7. Catch up on my unanswered comments. I kept current with new things that came in, but didn’t make much dent on the backlog.

OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS:

  • Actually worked on the blog plan. Ready to put it on a calendar.
  • Made mini-lists of tasks for several of my major projects.

 

THIS WEEK’S COMMENTARY

Bradley has another great theme for this week: Finding Neverland!

This week take a break from your hard work and find your inner child. Find your way to Neverland! 😀

Wow, I feel like I’m finally ahead on something. Inspired by the Cartoon Craziness Challenge, I spent some time with my inner child over the weekend. I was so happy with my artwork, which followed closely on the amazing fabric play that is linked to on #4 in my weekly report above.

And I have an outing planned for next Monday, the 18th that involves flying a kite! OK, challenge accepted!

These two posts I refer to show something else. Building Rome is becoming less arduous on the day-to-day level. I don’t mind showing up. I don’t mind actually doing those blocks of time and staying focused for the duration. While the blocks have been helpful, they weren’t working as well as I had hoped for the last few weeks, but in the last few days, there is definitely a shift. My lethargy and lack of interest seem to be passing. I won’t start throwing confetti around yet, but as the title says, things are looking a little rosier for me around Rome.

GOALS FOR WEEK OF AUGUST 11

1. Complete 12 one-hour blocks. The tasks for those blocks include:

  • editing project 1 (2 sections)
  • evaluate new editing project and complete 2 sections (if taken)
  • writing project (map out all sections and start to write SOMETHING)
  • Work on a basic plan for upcoming webpage.

2. Go to Curves three times during the week; walk three times.

3. Sew blocks for Clue 3 of Summer Mystery Quilt

4. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.

5. Continue visiting my fellow builders.

6. Write a post about decluttering; schedule launch.

7. Map out blog plan.

8. Catch up on my 20 unanswered comments. (Maybe if I choose a number instead of looking at it as catching up on all my comments, it will actually seem more doable.)

Good luck to everyone on meeting your goals this week!

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This post is part of the Building Rome Project. http://greenembe.rs/2014/08/11/building-rome-week-33-finding-neverland/

Where Did I Put That Map of Rome?

Image courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Building Rome is a mini-challenge hosted by Bradley at Green Embers. Participants set weekly goals, then report in the next week, and cheer each other on along the way. You might want to join in the fun.

As I mentioned last week, I’ve come up with a general format for these reports: (1) Report my progress for the previous week; (2) Provide commentary that explains shifts in progress and understanding and future goals–with the hope it doesn’t bore you to tears; and 3) the goals for the upcoming week. Preparing these posts really gets me focused for the time ahead.

Check out my idea in the COMMENTARY section for a challenge to clear out clutter, and let me know if you might be interested.

REPORT FOR THE PAST WEEKEND

1. Complete 18 12 one-hour blocks. The tasks for those blocks include: (12 one-hour blocks was much more workable)

  • editing project (3 sections) – 2 sections completed
  • writing project (finalize template, begin introductory material) template nearly complete
  • complete a project spreadsheet (PRIORITY) — list completed, incorporate with scheduling for yearly list below (next week)
  • write an abstract draft and other preliminary materials for new research project – exceeded — not only drafted, but revised and submitted
  • make a rough schedule for the coming year — determine which projects are really the priority in order to set appropriate course for return to US — the basic list is completed, scheduling for this week

2. Maintain walking three times this week (in spite of the heat). (I kicked butt here again. I’m leaving it on the list for next week though because I’m adding Curves back to my goals, and want to maintain the walking along with the additional exercise.)

3. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.  — gathered scraps from the scrap bag, pressed them to begin possible sewing

4. Visit more of my fellow builders and comment on their posts.  I felt like this was totally on track this week.  🙂

5. Make a plan for my blog. have done a lot of thinking about this. I’ll be posting about it soon to get feedback from others

6. Catch up on my unanswered comments. –significant progress

ADDITIONAL ITEMS COMPLETED:

  • mended a suit coat for a friend
  • continued posting on blog every day
  • started back to Curves

 

THIS WEEK’S COMMENTARY

Bradley has another great theme for this week: This Week’s Theme: Flying Your Colors!

How’s this for a challenge:  Find something this week that will show the world just how awesome you really are, no matter how freaky you think it is! 😀

So, this week I’ve been thinking a lot about stalling out. Yes, I got things done, and I got quite a few things done, but I’m not always getting the most important things done. I’m not even getting the things that are most fun done. I’m getting the things that require the least emotional investment. There are exceptions, but that’s the observation I’ve made.

But the other part of the observation has to do with clutter. I have too much crap in my life, and it weighs me down in ways I have been denying for too long. So I’m thinking my awesome thing might be to start my own challenge (in a week or two–so I have time to think about it and organize) for a challenge to lighten our loads. If anyone else is out there thinking it’s time to sort through all the stuff in your life, let me know, and I’ll see what I can come up with. The more the merrier.  🙂

 

GOALS FOR THE WEEK of August 4

1. Complete 12 one-hour blocks. The tasks for those blocks include:

  • editing project (2 sections)
  • writing project (draft first unit; make plan for other units)
  • start a worksheet for new possibilities
  • schedule the tasks from last weeks list to make a rough schedule for the coming year

2. Go to Curves three times during the week.

3. Maintain walking three times a week.

4. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.

5. Continue visiting my fellow builders.

6. Work on idea for decluttering challenge; continue posting daily; write a post about blogging idea.

7. Catch up on my unanswered comments.

 

Good luck to everyone on meeting your goals this week!

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This post is part of the Building Rome Project. http://greenembe.rs/2014/08/04/building-rome-week-32-fly-the-flag-of-freak/

An Alternate Route to the Construction Site (Building Rome)

Sm Steve n Menu at DebbiesBuilding Rome is a mini-challenge hosted by Bradley at Green Embers. Participants set weekly goals, then report in the next week, and cheer each other on along the way. You might want to join in the fun.

I’ve come up with a general format for these: (1) Report my progress for the previous week; (2) Provide commentary that explains shifts in progress and understanding and future goals–with the hope it doesn’t bore you to tears; and 3) the goals for the upcoming week. Then, me being me, I added a final note at the end.  It seems to work. Preparing these posts really gets me focused for the time ahead.

REPORT FOR THE PAST WEEKEND

 

1. Complete 18 one-hour blocks. The tasks for those blocks include:  Only completed about 6 blocks during the week.

  • editing project (3 sections) — COMPLETED
  • writing project (finalize template, begin introductory material) MINOR PROGRESS (need more)
  • complete a project spreadsheet (PRIORITY) NO
  • preparing for fall classes — type notes for two lessons NO
  • Writing 201 — read post, choose piece for revision, and spend at least 2 hours on said revision  NO

2. Maintain walking three times this week (in spite of the heat).  DID THIS FIVE TIMES

3. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards. NO

4. Visit more of my fellow builders and comment on their posts. I visited everyone. I left some comments.

5. Make a plan for my blog. I gave some serious thought to this and have a general idea. Will pursue it more this week. However, extra points for posting every day last week!

6. Catch up on my unanswered comments. Made some progress. Need more.

THIS WEEK’S COMMENTARY

I love Bradley’s theme for this week: SETBACKS ARE NOT ROADBLOCKS! Truer words were never spoken. It’s so easy to use setbacks as an excuse to stop moving forward. As some of you know, I didn’t have a great week, and it shows in my unfinished business above. But I am gradually becoming more and more like my normal self, and I expect this week to be better. In addition, I’m still pleased with the fact that I still made some progress in many areas. Plus, I did something that wasn’t on the list. I read a book! I can’t tell you the last time I read a book just for the enjoyment of reading. So that’s a bonus. I think it’s something we should remember in our reports–that sometimes things we didn’t think of when we were planning come up. If we take care of those things, or if we accomplish something that wasn’t on the list, it’s still an accomplishment. So it’s good to report the extras too.  🙂 

For example, I had three! unexpected social events this week. In other words, none of them were planned when I set my plan for the week. They were real opportunities — and with my current moods, it really made sense to embrace the opportunities rather than stay holed up at home trying to meet goals for the sake of goals, while ignoring relationships. So on Friday, I went to the ceramic museum with two friends. On Saturday, we attended a good-bye dinner for my colleague, Steve. (That’s Steve in the thumbnail above.) That evening, another colleague came to spend the night, and we spent Sunday morning together, before she headed back to Taipei. Those three events may have done more to help my spirits start returning to a normal level than any amount of work I might have gotten done.

My last bit of news has to do with a couple of meetings today that have the potential to change my life dramatically. This is particularly significant in light of the fact that I’m planning to return to the US in a year or so. The meetings have helped me think of alternative ways of meeting my objectives. I have a new perspective on a couple of things, and I have someone who wants to collaborate with me on a new research project. Doing something with a collaborator is going to be an added impetus to get it done.

So there are some adjustments to my to-do list for this week. Some things that didn’t happen last week will indeed carry through, but I’m going to step back a bit and do some longer range planning so that my goals in future weeks are more in line with this new perspective.

 

GOALS FOR THE WEEK of July 28)

1. Complete 18 12 one-hour blocks. The tasks for those blocks include:

  • editing project (3 sections)
  • writing project (finalize template, begin introductory material)
  • complete a project spreadsheet (PRIORITY)
  • write an abstract draft and other preliminary materials for new research project
  • make a rough schedule for the coming year — determine which projects are really the priority in order to set appropriate course for return to US

2. Maintain walking three times this week (in spite of the heat).

3. Start piecing possible designs for quilted postcards.

4. Visit more of my fellow builders and comment on their posts.

5. Make a plan for my blog.

6. Catch up on my unanswered comments.

As I made the new list, I realized not that much really changes. I cut down the number of one-hour blocks, and make them more focused to leave other time for the other things that I want to pursue (quilting, blogging, and decluttering). It turns out the non-work items (#2-6) really don’t change much at all. I’m just focusing the “work” time differently. It will be interesting to see what next week’s goals look like after I spend some time this week looking at the big picture.

Good luck to everyone on meeting your goals this week!

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This post is part of the Building Rome Project. http://greenembe.rs/2014/07/28/building-rome-week-31-setbacks-are-not-roadblocks/

Building Rome: My First Day

Image courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of 89studio / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

After weeks of watching people make posts on this Building Rome theme (hosted by Green Embers), I’ve decided to dip my toe and try it. I chose today because I was particularly inspired by this week’s posts from Mental Mama and Not a Punk Rocker. The main idea is to have a place for goal setting and accountability. So today, because it’s my first time, I will post a set of goals that I want to accomplish this week. Then, next week, I’ll report my progress on those goals and post my goals for the new week. I know firsthand that this kind of accountability system works because I was part of a similar group with three other women located in various parts of the US. We did ours by email, and our weekly “check-in day” was Tuesday. We kept at it for about six months, and we all found that we were much more productive when we were using such a system. I’ve even tried to recreate it a could times–without success. So, after several weeks of hemming and hawing about joining this adventure, here I am. Since one of my goals is to have more time for writing and quilting, I want to reduce my working hours to 20, at least for the rest of the summer. But I want to those twenty hours to be focused and productive. My hope is that I can accomplish as much in those twenty hours as I normally would by working longer hours by being more intentional during those 20 hours. Taiwan 047To that end, I am setting up four one-hour blocks for each workday. I then make a general task list for those 2o hours, i.e. what I need to get done this week, and estimate how many of these “blocks” it will take to accomplish each task. Maybe it’s crazy, but I’m going to give it a try. I’ve been trying it for two days so far, with great results on Day 1 and less spectacular results on Day 2. BUT I still got more done on Day 2 than  I would have otherwise. I suspect it’s because it’s easier to tell myself, “Just focus for an hour. Then you can take a break.”  mmmmmmmmmmmm coffee! Part of the reason I told you all of that is that my goals are going to focus on blocks of time and more general names for some of my projects. I realized that part of the reason I didn’t join sooner is I didn’t want to post some of the specific things I’m working on, so now I have a solution for that issue. So now that I’ve bored you to tears, here are my goals for the week.

GOALS FOR THE WEEK of July 8

1.  Complete 18 one-hour blocks.  The tasks for those blocks include:

  • an editing project
  • writing project
  • completing a project spreadsheet
  • preparing for fall classes

2.  Maintain walking three times this week (in spite of the heat).

3.  Complete Step 2 of the Mystery Quilt Challenge.

4.  Visit more of my fellow builders, now that I’ve jumped into the fray.

5.  Make a plan for my blog.

There you have it. I feel more accountable already.  🙂   If you’d like to play along, you can join in here:  http://greenembers.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/building-rome-week-28-silver-napkins/