Day Twenty-Six: Taking Care of Business

Let’s start the day with some Canadian Content, shall we? We’re taking care of business.

About a month into this (26 days — the format for this thing does make it easy to keep track of the passing of time), I’m finally getting around to some Level Two nerdery with site security, locking down a backup scheme, checking the RSS feeds, and all that stuff. Which means I’m a little late getting the podcast up, because I’ve been up to my elbows in the back end of the blog.

I think that amazing trio of performers Bachman, Turner and Overdrive were onto something when they highlighted the importance of taking care of business. This has been a problem for me in the past.

Taking care of business means taking care of old business as well as new business.

I’m a very “new business” person. And restlessness and an appetite for new challenges can be a huge advantage in life. I think I’ve found ways to make it work for me. But tending the garden is not a strength of mine.

So while I’m enjoying this podcast and blog, the ongoing challenge is going to be to find ways to keep it fresh and recommitting myself to it. Keep it from getting YAGO.

And also to remaining committed to old business… existing volunteer commitments. The brutal boring business of life — housecleaning, finances, paperwork. Cooking food. Doing the dishes. And my actual day job, which is a pretty big thing in my life.

I’m glad I took the time this morning to go through the security settings on the site, enable two-factor authentication, all that stuff. It’s not a one and done deal, it’s part of the package if you’re running a website in today’s hackertastic world. I need to not get so caught up in new business that I stop taking care of old business.


Day Nine: when routine tasks go YAGO

I have a criminally short attention span. I like to think it’s a byproduct of some of my more positive qualities — the shadow of creativity and curiosity — but the fact remains that I have the stick-to-it-iveness of a gnat raised on video games. So one thing about this project is I need to avoid YAGO.

YAGO is something I made up last night.

I was trying to come up with a description of what happens to me when I start something I enjoy, but that takes small commitments over time. Like most learning or skills acquisition projects. After a while, I have a brutal tendency to start to resent the time and effort when I plateau or get stuck.

So I was looking for an appropriate phrase to describe the frankly overdramatic way my brain rebels against these things. I don’t go through a phase of winnowing away my enthusiasm, I seem to flip into a kind of fug of despair and malaise and frustration.

YAGO is Yet Another Goddamn Ordeal.

Over time, any task that takes routine commitment risks, for me, becoming YAGO. And once it’s hit that point, it’s hard to bring back. Once something’s embedded itself in your mind as “great, this shit again” it’s very difficult to reframe it as a positive part of your day.

It’s not impossible. Banjo practice (we’ll be talking about my stupid theme song at some point; short version: it’s me, I hate it, and it motivates me to practice) was YAGO for a while. But I’m pulling it back from the brink.

My banjo, YAGO, and motivation
Banjo practice has slipped into YAGO status, but I’m fighting to bring it back.

Do you have a tendency to turn things you should enjoy and learn from into YAGO? How can it be avoided or redirected? I desperately don’t want this podcast to become YAGO, so I’m going to have to start thinking about how to make sure that doesn’t happen.