Vie de bâton de chaise [fr]

[en] If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that I have top-priority conflicts these days (well, have been having them for a couple of weeks, and it's not going to get better, not with all the mad travelling all over the place -- but I'm happy about the travelling, so I won't complain too much).

A bit like Suw, I feel the need to reclaim blogging as a priority. So watch this space -- and in the meantime, if I'm silent, enjoy the cute kitty photos.

Mon pauvre blog… bien délaissé ces temps. En fait j’ai des tonnes de choses à écrire — je ne mens pas, ma liste “blogme” dans [iGTD](http://bargiel.home.pl/iGTD/) ne cesse de s’allonger, et j’ai même la tête qui menace de péter avec tout ce que je n’ai pas le temps de coucher sur clavier. Des tonnes à écrire, des autres tonnes de choses à faire, d’endroits où aller, de [voyages](http://www.google.com/calendar/embed?src=5844p36ob825j95ijode3ihm54%40group.calendar.google.com) (malheureusement à mes frais pour la plupart), de gens à voir, d'[appartements à organiser](http://steph.wordpress.com/2007/04/01/the-last-shelf/), de rendez-vous divers et variés y compris avec une très sympathique journaliste — jetez un oeil à 24heures ou la Tribune de Genève de demain et aussi [online](http://www.lesquotidiennes.ch) (j’avoue me réjouir beaucoup de la parution de ce portrait, qui combine une version courte papier, une version plus longue en ligne, un photo quelque part, des liens, et même un extrait vidéo).

Donc, juste là, depuis quelques semaines, je cours après ma vie et j’ai un peu de peine à la rattraper. Oh, je vais bien — très bien, même. Mais bloguer a tendance à ne jamais se retrouver assez haut sur la liste des priorités pour que je le fasse (c’est le problème aussi avec [le fameux livre](http://climbtothestars.org/categories/livre/), mon matériel d’enseignante à débarrasser, les catégories de ce blog à refaire, bref, vous voyez. Priorité numéro 1: ce qui paie directement le loyer et les croquettes de [Bagha](http://flickr.com/photos/bunny/tags/bagha).

Ce n’est pas pour dire que je ne blogue plus, hein. D’ailleurs là, je suis en train d’organiser mes “choses à faire” pour les semaines à venir, et je peux vous dire que j’ai la ferme intention d’être bien présente ici (pas sûre en quelle langue, par contre) comme [mon amie Suw](http://chocnvodka.blogware.com/) qui est un peu dans la même situation que moi, et qui a décidé de [bloguer chaque jour durant une semaine](http://chocnvodka.blogware.com/blog/_archives/2007/4/26/2907465.html) histoire de réorganiser un peu ses priorités.

C’est aussi un peu pour ça que j’écris ce billet. Pour écrire, il faut commencer par écrire.

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Getting Things Done: It's Just About Stress [en]

[fr] Getting Things Done: non pas un moyen d'accomplir plus de choses, mais un moyen de passer moins de temps sur ce qu'on a décidé qu'on devait accomplir. Moins de stress. Plus de liberté. Plus de temps à soi.

Anne seems to have struck a chord with [thing #8 she hates about web 2.0](http://annezelenka.com/2007/03/ten-things-i-hate-about-you-web-20):

> Getting Things Done. The productivity virus so many of us have been infected with in 2006 and 2007. Let’s move on. Getting lots of stuff done is not the way to achieve something important. You could be so busy planning next actions that you miss out on what your real contribution should be.

[Stowe](http://www.stoweboyd.com/message/2007/03/anne_zelenka_on_1.html), [Shelley](http://burningbird.net/linkers/linkers/) and [Ken](http://ipadventures.com/?p=1653) approve.

It’s funny, but reading their posts makes GTD sound like “a way to do an even more insane number of things.”

Huh?

That’s not at all the impression I got when I read and started using GTD. To me, GTD is “a solution to finally be able to enjoy free time without feeling bogged down by a constant feeling of guilt over everything I should already have done.”

Maybe not everyone has issues doing things. If you don’t have trouble getting stuff out of the way, then throw GTD out of the window and continue enjoying life. You don’t need it.

But for many people, procrastination, administrivia piling up, not-enough-time-for-stuff-I-enjoy-doing and commitments you know you’re not going to be able to honour are a reality, and a reality that is a source of stress. I, for one, can totally relate to:

> Most people have been in some version of this mental stress state so consistently, for so long, that they don’t even know they’re in it. Like gravity, it’s ever-present–so much so that those who experience it usually aren’t even aware of the pressure. The only time most of them will realize how much tension they’ve been under is when they get rid of it and notice how different it feels.

David Allen, Getting Things Done

GTD, as I understand it, isn’t about cramming more on your plate. It’s about freeing yourself of what’s already on it, doing the dishes straight after the meal and spending your whole afternoon walking by the lake with a friend without this nagging feeling that you should rather be at home dealing with the paperwork, but you just don’t want to face it.

Here are the very few sentences of “Welcome to *Getting Things Done*”, the forward to GTD (and yeah, there’s a bit of an upbeat, magical-recipe tone to it, but bear with me):

> Welcome to a gold mine of insights into strategies for how to have more energy, be more relaxed, and get a lot more accomplished with much less effort. If you’re like me, you like getting things done and doing them well, and yet you also want to savor life in ways that seem increasingly elusive if not downright impossible if you’re working too hard.

David Allen, Getting Things Done

And a bit further down the page:

> And *whatever* you’re doing, you’d probably like to be more relaxed, confident that whatever you’re doing at the moment is just what you need to be doing–that having a beer with your staff after hours, gazing at your sleeping child in his or her crib at midnight, answering the e-mail in front of you, or spending a few informal minutes with the potential new client after the meeting is exactly what you *ought* to be doing, as you’re doing it.

David Allen, Getting Things Done

I don’t hear anything in there about “doing more things is better” or “you should be doing things all the time”. The whole point of GTD is to get **rid** of stuff so that it’s done and you can then go off to follow your heart’s desire. It’s about deciding not to do stuff way before you reach the point where it’s been on your to-do list stressing you for six months, and you finally decide to write that e-mail and say “sorry, can’t”.

That frees your mind and your calendar for what is really important in your life (be it twittering your long-distance friends, taking photographs of cats, spending time with people you love or working on your change-the-world project).

You’ll notice that I didn’t use the word “productivity” in this post a single time. “Productivity” is a word businesses like. If people are “productive”, it means you get to squeeze more out of them for the same price. That isn’t an idea I like. But being “productive” can also simply be understood to mean that it takes you less time to do the things that you’ve decided you needed to do. In that way, yes, GTD is a productivity method. But I think that calling it that does it disservice, because people hear “squeezing more out of ya for the same $$$” and go “eek, more stress”.

Bottom line? (I like ending posts with bottom lines.) If you see GTD as something that takes away your freedom and free time, turns you into an even worse workaholic, and encourages you to become indiscriminate about interests you pursue and tasks you take on because you “can do everything”, think again — and re-read the book. If you spend your whole time fiddling with your GTD system, shopping around for another cool app to keep your next action lists in, and worrying about how to make it even more efficient, you’re missing the point. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

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Stress [en]

A few lines on the stressful life of an apprentice-teacher. Don’t tell me we don’t deserve our holidays. Ever. Again.

[fr] Un petit aperçu du stress de l'enseignant. Et qu'on ne vienne pas me dire qu'on se la coule douce, qu'on est trop payés, et qu'on ne mérite pas nos vacances.

I’ve been thinking a lot about stress this week. I’m pretty stressed these days. I didn’t feel the stress much before the autumn holidays. I just felt very tired. Now I’m much less tired, and much more stressed.

Even though my sources of stress are multiple (private and professional, emotional and simply the sheer amount of work to do) it translates into a permanent background of “thinking of my pupils.” I just can’t get them out of my head. I go to sleep thinking of them, I wake up in the morning dreaming of them, I worry about them during the day, and even when I try to relax, they just won’t leave me alone. I’m usually pretty good at “blanking out” and thinking of “nothing”, but it just doesn’t work anymore nowadays.

It doesn’t help that I don’t have much time to do non-school things. Most of the time I have out of school is spent correcting and marking tests, preparing tests and classes, or discussing various school issues (relational or directly educational) with various people (some of whom must really be sick of hearing about all this stuff by now). Oh, and sleeping. Did I meantion dreaming about school? To put it shortly, I’m finding it hard to unwind.

However, even though I’m having a hard (sometimes rough) time, I’m confident that I’m doing what is necessary to improve the situation, and that I’m handling it as best I can. I am surrounded by competent and helpful people, and that helps a lot. It won’t last forever, and things are under control.

Just don’t tell me that teachers do nothing but sit on their arse all day waiting for their undeservedly long holidays, and go on “strike” because they think they’re not being paid enough. It pisses me off ever so slightly.

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Gros stress [en]

Stress pré-départ.

Deux jours de gros stress avant le départ. Finir mon inscription pour la HEP, y compris la lettre de motivation manuscrite écrite l’après-midi avant mon départ pour Genève. Quasi pas mangé, peu dormi, sur les nerfs, limite de craquer, bagages faits en une heure et demie… Je me dis “plus jamais ça”, comme à chaque fois, et chaque fois, ça recommence…

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