Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 25, 2004
Back To Basics
Short Stories From 10 Years Ago – November 25, 2004 – I am in the process of drawing up a list of my real estate clients, which I am going to print out on paper and put into a paper file folder. This file folder, probably a red one, will be placed in my “work” basket, where I can pick it up, touch it, write on it or edit it. It will not disappear, explode, experience a black out or be bothered if there is a power failure.
It doesn’t have a battery, it won’t beep, ring, vibrate or take pictures. It may get a little dog-eared with repeated use but that’s that worst thing that can happen. I suppose I might lose it somewhere on my travels, but then I can refer to the back-up copy which I will have cleverly hidden in my filing cabinet.
I’ve relied so heavily on “technology” in recent years, that I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like to use a pen and paper. In the process of writing up my list, I came across some client names that were missing from my newsletter database, and others that had been duplicated, after my August hard drive crash. You may recall that I had the odd rant or two during that somewhat troublesome month. As I was working on this list, I thought about the incredible value of a paper “To Do List”, firmly attached to a clipboard.
I’m not talking about another three ring binder with a detailed – guilt inducing – plan inside, but a simple list of things to accomplish on any given day or during a typical work week. The carry-over is simply forwarded to the next day. The real beauty of the list for a perfectionist like me, is the deep satisfaction I derive from putting a red check mark beside the completed item. I’m just about ready to accept the fact that some things about me are never going to change, and I think that’s okay.
While I’m at it, I’m going to do a personal, as well as a business list. I didn’t have much luck this year with “clean basement” sitting in a daily slot on the desktop version of my Palm Pilot. Shortly after I saw the movie Gladiator – I named my hand held, keeper of data, my Palmius Pilotius. Perhaps that’s why I’ve had three Palms explode. Actually perhaps they imploded, in a fit of indignation, at my name calling audacity. Of course Augie suffered the same fate, becoming the Auginator, and fortunately he has neither exploded nor imploded. But back to the discussion at hand.
I think I need to get back to basics with my entire life. Enough of this frenzy of activity, plans in triplicate, goals with parts A-B-C, electronic gadgets beeping and buzzing and vibrating. I want some simplicity. I have no intention of tossing out my cell phone or my computer, but I need to temper my electronic life with some old fashioned human interaction. Gosh, if I’m not careful, I may even end up making some phone calls or even meeting people in person.
What a concept that would be. Of course an even better one would be to combine the two disciplines, and use the benefits of each to its best advantage. The timing is perfect. It’s approaching year end and that’s an ideal time to plan for next year.
I used to approach problems by creating a “Ben Franklin” – a blank sheet of paper with a line drawn down the middle. Pros were on the left side and Cons on the right. It was an invaluable way to look at the overall scope of something that was vexing me or when I needed to make a decision. There was often an element of intuition or gut reaction thrown into the mix to keep it interesting – but it’s a good way to get perspective on an issue, and it remains a valuable tool in effecting a decision.
Of course, there is nothing electronic about it – once again, it’s back to the basics. I think there may be a lot to learn from the simple ABC’s of life, and I’m really looking forward to re-acquainting myself with them. However, first things first – tomorrow’s “To Do List”.