Depression Meds

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When I was living in Houston I had some phases where I tried to be Mister over-achiever. (Some would say I’m still in that mode, but…) I would make lists of things that had to get done and put deadlines on them. One of the problems with most to do lists, is that they are just lists of things “to do”. Writing deadlines on them helps make sure the list actually accomplishes something other than being a list. One day, a colleague was strolling around the building, clearing his head, and he wandered into my office. He came around the back side of my desk and watched me scratching madly away. When I finished writing and pushed it to the side, I looked up to see if he wanted to chat a little or if he just wanted to see how I organized myself.

No sooner had I set down my pencil than he picked it up and scratched another item on the list: relax. This really was an important point, because going full-steam from morning to night with no break doesn’t make much of a life.

Recently I have been feeling like my remaining things to do grow faster than my things done list. When this happens I tend to get into a funk and then it is hard to motivate myself to get any of it done. Rather than going to the doctor to get some kind of happy pills, I like to create my own depression meds.

One trick I use is to force myself to chip away at the list, but ignore priorities. If I freely choose from the list, I typically grab items that are not above my current motivation level. Generally the things that get done were going to have to be done sometime, so the only downside to doing them first is something high-priority gets delayed. My experience has been that not much really needs to happen by the deadlines we set for them, and the fact that I am staying motivated and moving ahead far outweighs any other juggling. Naturally, things like “Pay The Rent” have a proper deadline that shouldn’t be missed, but it doesn’t take a high level of motivation to go take money from the bank and give it to the property manager.

Another method of keeping motivation up is just positive thinking: rather than get mired in what isn’t yet done, I try to think about what got done. So, today was a planning day with no classes; what got done?

    1. Cleaned kitchen carpet and bath entry carpet
    2. Studied kanji on my DS Lite
    3. Organized kitchen cabinets more (two thirds done?)
    4. Bundled up giant weeds (which have been laying out since we pulled them several weeks ago) for the garbage man to take away tomorrow
    5. Weeded back and front yards (half done)
    6. Petted neighbor’s miniature terrier (see, I can still have fun)
    7. Went to get replacement toaster oven pan that the home center ordered for me
    8. Explained to home center staff that I would like them to order a toaster oven pan, after I found they had ordered the grill (oops)
    9. Got sunoko (簀の子) for one closet. Worked well – plan to buy more
    10. Cooked breakfast, ate lunch at Sakamoto’s, and cooked dinner
    11. Crushed 30 aluminum cans and took them to the waste center because I don’t trust them to get recycled if I put them out on metal day.
    12. Washed almost all my bedding and pillow covers; and was shocked to find at least nine pillows in my possession.
    13. Learned at least four new error codes (because of what I was washing) for my washing machine and how to adjust several features. This is a complex beast with three manuals that cost more than my car.
    14. Organized the bathroom (including an experiment in refilling a small tube of toothpaste from a big one)
    15. Contemplated the best ways to: repair a shelf outside the bath; put towel racks in the toilet room and outside the bath; hang my packs in the shed; and install a step/shoe rack for people to enter through the kitchen in the rear
    16. Did some thinking about better study methods for my own Japanese study and my student who learns Japanese from me (eventually to be written up on my much neglected Bikkurinippongo blog)

      A few other things got done that I can’t recall right now and I still have a couple hours before bed to do a little more. While most of what got done is not directly related to my business, I sure am feeling a lot better and can attack some of those things between classes tomorrow.

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      8 Responses to “Depression Meds”

      1. Sylvia Says:

        Sheesh, I’m tired just reading that list! You healthy people amaze me. If I could do all that in a week I’d be laughing. Well, for me it’s a good day if I can do anything more than clear my Bloglines and maintain my caloric intake. 😀

      2. Kelsey Hough Says:

        I think it sounds like you had quite the productive day. 🙂

        I make lists with deadlines, too. My original goal is always to accomplish things in a timely fashion, but I can easily end up becoming stressed and legalistic about my own self imposed deadlines.

        Focusing on what you’ve gotten done at the end of the day, rather than what didn’t get crossed off the list, is a good idea. I’m generally a lot more lenient when it comes to other people, so I need to be reminded to think positively, relax and be nice to myself.

        ~Kelsey

      3. びっくり Says:

        Sylvia – Problems maintaining caloric intake? Try Nanaimo Bars! They aren’t very healthy, but they are tasty and loaded with calories. Thanks for thinking that I’m healthy; I’m sure most of my friends think otherwise. 🙂

        Oh, I forgot one. Someone gave me some shears and curtains several months ago. I cleaned them and hung them in my sleeping chamber yesterday. With both storm shutters open, a lot of light comes in in the morning. I guess I need to get to sleep earlier now.

        Kelsey – Indeed you should be nice to yourself. I often need to work on the being nice to others part as well. 😉

      4. Sylvia Says:

        Perhaps I should have said “mainting my caloric intake in a way that won’t give me diabetes or cancer.” 😀

      5. びっくり Says:

        Yeah, it’s probably best to avoid diabetes and cancer if possible, but those Nanaimo bars sure are tasty. I imagine there’s a lot of good fish available locally, that would be much more healthy.

      6. Sylvia Says:

        Sadly, the fish stocks are crashing here like everywhere else. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the vast Japanese open-ocean driftnet fishing fleet…

      7. You Call That a Pan? « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

        […] on which the pan would rest. They were very apologetic and assured me that it would be reordered (see #7 and 8). We discussed which part I needed a little more, just to be on the safe […]

      8. What are Sunoko? « Neo-新びっくりブログ Says:

        […] have to rely on my writing to captivate readers. (Troublesome to be sure.) Late last year, I made mention of sunoko (簀の子) as if it were something any person would commonly know. Either everyone knew or – the […]

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