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Monday, December 8, 2008

Thoughts - again

I had trouble spelling "Thoughts" as the title for this one. It was almost "Thoughta" or "Thoughs". I got the old fingers back on the home row however. I am going to exercise my prerogative as one of the (almost) senior citizen camp - that prerogative that says I can comment and complain about things, and also let everyone else know how they should run their life. First, if you need air in a tire now-a-days, what to do? No one has an air compressor with a tire valve connector on it available anymore. I am talking about a REAL air compressor. One that can blow the paint off the metal if you aim it wrong. You have to use those tiny little boxes you put from $.25 to $1 in (and I NEVER can find the quarters!) and it starts whining. It sounds like a moped for a mouse. The air comes out at about 35 lbs of pressure. Now that would be fine if you were trying to pump up a beach ball, but a tire....no way! I am trying to reach 32 or so pounds of pressure which is just shy of the maximum output of the moped! So, let's say you start at 28. You put your quarters in, and it starts pumping. First, by the time you get to the tire and get the connector over the tire valve, you have lost half your time. Then the machine starts struggling. Oh, it handles 29, 30, and maybe 31 OK. 32, 33, and up are a STRUGGLE! Again, using the moped analogy, the mouse would have to push this baby up that hill. It stays on 30 forever, and then the quarters run out. You start losing air! So, you are back down to 29. OK, I have now spent $.50 (I will use this as an average) for one pound of air pressure in one tire. If I am lucky, I find two more quarters. I go at it again. 30, 31, 32......32......32......32. Good enough. Now, three more tires to go. I should have robbed a drink machine for change. For those of you under the age of 30 or so. Gas stations (which I just realized also are gone for the most part - FYI - they were the predecessors of convenience stores. They just sold gas and a few snacks...maybe more later) had real air compressors in the garage area. These babies had a half horsepower motor hooked to piston from a '55 Chevy that would keep 100+ lbs of pressure in a tank big enough to fill six or seven cars worth of tires. You could go in with a tire totally flat and fill it in a minute or so - (hold on) for FREE! Yes, air was free. No hunting for six pounds of quarters to get a tire filled. I curse the entrepreneur that invented those stupid air machines. Now some advice to live by - On getting things done - DO THEM! There is never a "perfect" or "right" time. There is only NOW. If something needs doing, do it. Waiting usually only makes it worse. If something pops up that needs to be done by you - do it then. One exception, if you are already doing something that needs to be done - FINISH IT! You will never get anything done if you are always starting something new. After doing the first necessary thing, start on the new one. To help with the above - Usually we do not have the luxury of having our jobs come upon us one at a time. We all have some time during the day - early morning, late in the evening, etc.; that we can get alone and have some quiet time. List all you need to get done, or would like to get done. Then, PRIORITIZE! Rank the tasks in the order of importance. A "1" or "A" should go by anything that is critical. Critical is defined as something that will cause a problem at work or home if it is not done. Then put a "2" or "B" by the ones that are not critical, but are important. Then put a "3" or "C" by the ones that it would be nice to get done. If you have any you cannot really put even a "C" by - why is it on your list? Then - start with the first "A". Work it through. Then go to the next "A", and so on and so on. Then you move to the "B"s. At the end of the day, you will have a record of what you have done and a sense of accomplishment. During your planning session for the next day. Take any remaining tasks and re-rank them. I will say if any "C" (or maybe even "B") stays on the list for days and does not get done, and the world is still spinning - drop it. It probably did not need to be done anyway. To be fair, this system is not my own. It is a variant of the Franklin/Covey system . They sell fancy planners to help you with this, but you can use a legal pad or a computer. Try it. Adios, I have tires that are low - gotta go look for quarters.

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