3 Ways to GSD

It's a short work week this week. And a non-week next week (better known as VACATION), which means crazy town in my brain as I try to prepare to leave work and busy business time and get everything together for travel (crisis of the moment: it is apparently SNOWING in the mountain town I've been planning for months on hiking in shorts [kill me now. Or then, it this cold front keeps up]).
Distraction is no stranger to my work day (I tend to blame the Facebook mentality [productivity 140,characters at a time], my monkey mind, birth order [younger children have less structure], being too capable for my own good, or being a millennial wholly lacking in work ethic) and I've done the rounds of self help books (post on that to come). There is, unfortunately, no panacea for distraction, but here's my current method for getting it back together when my brain is spinning, or even focused -just not on the right things at the right time.

To Get Shtuff Done:

1. Stop multi-tasking
It is scientifically proven that women multitask well (better than men at least). Doesn't mean it's good. Someone posted on Facebook the other day that "monotasking is the new multitasking." Why? Because doing 10 things halfway is still worse than doing one thing all the way.

So close browser tabs, unsent emails, open programs. Put away your phone and your snacks or whatever else you sneak peeks at when the whim arises.

2. Complete Something. Anything.
Productivity builds off itself, as does being a totally useless tool of a person, frittering away time on endless preparing, research, and perfecting.

Do. Anything. Do like done. I recommend cleaning your work space (productivity double whammy)(even cleaning out my purse works, and there's little potential there for a rabbit hole of other tasks). Also, paying a bill online. Even I'd it's not due yet. Especially if it's not due yet (extra Responsible Points). Anything that takes less than 5 minutes gives you the productivity

It's addicting and makes you want to do more.

3. Set a distraction time limit
This should maybe go first, because it's really a non-action. Sometimes you get distracted when you're fighting whatever thing you want to do so much that you can't scratch the itch. So scratch the itch! Take a walk, Facebook for 5 minutes, stare at the wall for ten. But do it all the way and don't feel bad about it. Get it out of your system.

This here blog post is an exercise of setting a distraction time limit. Instead of writing a sentence or two between tasks, but thinking more of my next sentence than my task, just give in for a minute. And you're ready to go.

And now I'm ready to go.


Music Monday: 3 Concerts I'd Pay a Bunch of Money for

I love music. Big time. It's in my blood and makes my life better. But I've never been much of a concert-goer, one, because I'm cheap and would rather spend money on travel and dessert and two, because there aren't too many artists I like enough to listen to them for an entire album, let alone live, for hours, with other people singing along. There are musician's I'd see for less (a post on that later)

1. Justin Timberlake
Maybe I'm 14 years old. Maybe it's because I never had boy band mania when I was 14. Maybe it's just that Justin Timberlake is talented, dreamy/steamy, and and obnoxiously charming and funny that I think he'd put on a great show. Sadly, I didn't discover this until recently, and the man came to Seattle in January. I'm seriously considering flying to Omaha (or somewhere random) for a show. That's hour fourteen I am.
I'll take the man on the right, thank you
2. John Mayer
No surprise, I'm a Mayer-o-phile. I can listen to John Mayer many days a week for hours on end. I've been unable to attend every time he's come to the Gorge, and this year he's doing Europe, probably grieving his and Katy Perry's relationship demise, and writing poignant songs that get right to the heart of love, loss, and living life. It's what he does, and what I want to be a part of it in an audience.

3. Elton John/Billy Joel
Seriously the only concert I've ever paid more than 20 bucks for and I DIDN'T EVEN GET TO GO. They rescheduled for 3 months later when I was out of the country. I was robbed and am now waiting for the two to join forces again. (Get your alcoholism together, Billy, and Elton will take you back!)

Join me?


Three phrases every traveler should learn

Travelers' language books are totally useless. I buy one for most new languages I'll be confronting and am disappointed every time. It's worth having them for the easy access dictionary (my vote goes to ones with listings by category, like 'food' 'hygiene' and 'family') but for conversation, I've always found them lacking. It doesn't help that the common (and often accurate) assumption is that anywhere you go someone will speak enough English that you won't be stranded. Doesn't matter. Well, shouldn't matter. We're not going to throw out the old 'loud, stupid American tourist' stereotype if we go about making asses out of u's and me's'. We do it by trying, and by being polite.

With our Switzerland trip now within a month, I've just started wrapping my head around having to communicate. Switzerland might be one of the safest places to assume that I'll never have to speak a different language, but no matter. We'll be spending most of our time in the French side of the country, but will dip east into the German side (no Italian this trip :( ) so, as with every destination, I'm going to try master AT LEAST three things:

1. A polite way to say "I want". Filling in the blank is easy. You can look them up as occasion requires . Some suggestions: go, eat, buy, look at, this, that, cheese, water, bathroom, and anything else you might want or want to do. Yes, it will be grammatically incorrect. But people will understand. And that's the point.
     French: ja voo (soft j)
     German: ick vill (v is almost a w)
2. Basic subjects and possessives, i.e., Me/my, you/your, he/his, etc. Yes, many languages conjugate these into their speech, or gender them, but you don't know how to do that, and won't likely for a week long trip. Give yourself a break and learn how to gesture.
     French: mohn (my), votre: (barely saying the e, your), son (barely say the n, his/her)
     German: mine (my), ire (your/his/her)

3. "Thank you, really." For dramatic effect, pause after saying thank you, making eye contact, then add the "really/so much". Gets 'em every time.
     French: Mer- see ... bocu
     German: danka shoen (Ferris Bueller was singing it wrong!)

Bonus points: Excuse me, pardon me, or sorry. When traveling, you are so commonly an idiot it's good to know how to apologize.

Double bonus points: Listen to YouTube videos of people speaking French or German or whatever and try your darndest to mimic. Language books are generally awful at describing sounds, and no matter how many times I try, I always seem to get the phonetic guide alphabet they use in dictionaries backwards. Listen, mimic, sound like an American trying and failing. But trying.