Friday, April 25, 2008

There Simply Aren't Enough Hours in the Day

From The Simple Dollar :

"The problem for me, though, is that it’s often too empowering. To put it simply, I often add more to the pile than I have time to ever accomplish. Right now, my task list has about sixty items on it and even if I worked like a madman on these items over the next week, I’d still end up with thirty or so items left on it.

Here, the problem isn’t the organizational structure - that’s good. The problem is that there’s simply not enough time in the day to do all of the things I want to do and thus things start falling through the cracks.

This is a problem that many people run into no matter how well organized they are. Our interests are so diverse and our ambitions are so large that we end up piling more and more on ourselves. Eventually, it doesn’t matter what kind of system you’re using - there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get it all done.

That’s where I’m at right now."

I completly concur. Yet, no matter how much I have to do, there is always something else that I want to try. Right now new projects running around in my head include: beginning a Professional Women's mentoring group, joining the Junior League, strengthening my daily prayer life and training for a half-marathon.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Audio Books

I have a current obsession with audio books. As mentioned previously, I have listened to them for a long time on road trips, but now I'm listening during all of my drive time. My main goal is to listen to books that will develop traits and skills in my job.

I'm currently consuming Blink by Malcom Gladwell.

Next in line from Knox County Library are:

Good to Great by Jim Collins

Basic Economics by Thomas Sowell

The one down side is that my new obsession is squeezing out time that used to be dedicated to another obsession. Thank the good Lord for podcasts.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quote of the Day

I stole this today from a non-profit blog that I like:

"I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do."

- Leonardo da Vinci

HT: Perspectives from the Pipeline

Sunday, April 13, 2008

A Depressing Look at White-Collar America

A wonderfully talented niece's dance recital drew me home to St. Louis, Missouri, this weekend. That means between Friday afternoon and Sunday evening I spent 16 hours in a car with only my affable pup Franklin for company. However, I try to hit up the library for audio books before long trips, so I can make decent use of the time I spend barrelling down the highway. Four selections found their way into my CD player: Who Moved My Cheese, a sorely disappointing lesson on achieving your goals, Bait and Switch and Don't Eat This Book.

The content of Bait and Switch is almost haunting me. Barbara Ehrenreich, of Nickle and Dimed fame, undertook investigating the white-collar unemployment by posing as a middle-aged, upper-middle class PR executive looking for work. The book jacket describes the work this way:

"Bait and Switch highlights the people who' ve done everything right-- gotten college degrees, developed marketable skills, and built up impressive resumes-- yet have become repeatedly vulnerable to financial disaster, and not simply due to the vagaries of the business cycle. Today's ultra-lean corporations take pride in shedding their surplus employees-- plunging them, for months or years at a stretch, into the twilight zone of white-collar unemployment, where job searching becomes a full-time job in itself. As Ehrenreich discovers, there are few social supports for these newly disposable workers-- and little security even for those who have jobs."

Ehrenreich is a brilliant author. The book was entertaining and gripping, but in the end, the subject matter was quite depressing. The job hunters that she describes sound like my friends, my parents and my parents' friends. These were people who "had done everything right" and cannot keep jobs because of the current corporate culture. A culture largely built on greed. The author makes the arguement that these workers are victims of corporate greed, but it seems to me that we are victims of our own greed. We need good jobs with high earning potential to keep up with what our society tells us we need to be happy.
This is just the beginning of my thoughts on the book as I am still churning through the material I ingested. It is quite disheartening and makes me wonder what we have become as a nation, society and people.

As a side note of interest, if you saw the documentary Supersize Me then you'll know the basic agenda of Morgan Spurlock's Don't Eat This Book. The movie had me off of fast food for a few years and I have recently gotten lazy and back into the habit. I am only a third of the way through the book and have renewed my commitment to not eat the junk. Although you should know, that I ate McDonald's for lunch today before popping in the first CD.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Leslie Loves

Back when I used to blog a lot, I did a little column called "Leslie Loves." I am bringing it back as a light-hearted weekly look into things, people, places and topics that make me smile. So, what do I love today?

1) French-pressed coffee.

2) Ballet flats.

3) Forsythia in bloom.

4) Wedding planning.

5) New babies.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Who Really Cares: Introduction and Chapter 1

Brooks begins the book by explaning that he has been a polictical liberal his entire life and was sure to find that liberals cared more and gave more to social ills than conservatives. Through years of quantative research he found the opposite. Here are a few quotes that I found interesting from the Introduction and Chapter 1:

"All together, private charitable donations in the United States add up to a quarter of a trillion dollars per year. Three quarters of this amount is from private individuals (as opposed to foundations, etc.). To put this dollar amount in perspective: Private American giving could finance the entire annual gross domestic product of Sweden, Norway or Denmark." page 3

"The working poor in America give more of their money -- not less -- to charity than middle class people. Indeed, not being able to afford to give is more typically an upper-income excuse: Among people who did not give in 2000, the majority said it was because they couldn't afford it." page 8

"But young liberals -- perhaps the most vocally dissatisfied political constituency out there -- are one of the least generous demographics in America today." page 22

The last statement is particularly disheartening since I really believe that my generation wants to change the world. I hope that we can band together from all ideologies to do so.

Quote of the Day

“You’d have to be comatose not to feel God’s hurt and anger ooze from the pages of Scripture over the oppression of the weak and vulnerable. I can’t get away from the fact that the main message of God to His people about injustice is to get off our rear ends and do something! I’m trying to figure out how I got to the place where the things that break the heart of God are so marginal to me.”

Jim Palmer
from Divine Nobodies pages 145—146