I joined the 21st century late last year and got a smartphone. I mostly use it for reading tumblr, instagramming things I photograph with my cameraphone, reading email and things on AO3 and for the Poetry Magazine app, because nothing freaks people’s shit out on the bus like you reading POETRY on your phone, instead of oh, say, silly or steamy AO3 fic, in which case we exchange the tumblr handshake and admire one anothers’ shoelaces. (It’s a thing.) Needless to say, I’m having trouble managing to keep within my data plan, urgh.
One thing it’s been unexpectedly good for besides timewasting, however, is this– I use it for gentle reminders, notes to self, if you like. Aside from being an alarm clock to wake up, I can set the calendar with daily reminders as it sits to charge on my desk.
10AM– eat breakfast.
1130AM– go walk around the sales floor & say hi to folks or get out of the building– 10 mins.
1 PM– eat lunch.
2 PM– use the bathroom.
4PM– have tea & visit someone.
7PM– go home, it’ll be here tomorrow.
(these are the actual calendar messages)
I forget to eat, or get caught up, or get interrupted. Then it’s three hours later and I can’t figure out why I’m in such a foul mood, why my head hurts, etc., etc. The employee bathroom is always crowded, and again, I am always getting interrupted, so yes– it seems silly, but a reminder to stop & use the bathroom is a good thing if I haven’t had time or have been stymied before then. Time in the bathroom, alone, to take care of your body, wash your hands, wash your face, smile at whatever coworker is in there? How is that silly?
I have other reminders relevant to work that are in my work calendar, set up in Outlook as recurring appointments (and now I’ve got to add them to my backup’s Outlook even if she’s a little alarmed at the number of them, I think she’ll see the wisdom)– to review my (myriad paper & computer ) to do lists at the start, middle & end of the week, to send out updates & request them, blocks of time in the week set aside when no, really, don’t interrupt me, unless you’re bleeding and there really is no one else in the building to help you, other productivity-oriented things I built in because I need the reminders against the constant onslaught of people, but these gentle reminders have been helping me feel a little more sane, as silly as they might seem.
I also have a sign taped to the inside of my bedroom door that asks:
Wallet? Phone? Planner? Keys? Nook/Something to read? Mail? Food & water? Silly, perhaps, but less frustrating then getting to work and not having the things that I need.
I used to think when I was younger that it was a sign of weakness to forget, to be absentminded, to be so distracted by other things that you couldn’t keep it all straight in your head. Now, I don’t know if I’d say I know better, because better implies that there isn’t some optimal plane of work/life balance where it would, in fact, be possible to keep all those things straight. Between my meds & side effects, my crazy, my family, and all the stuff at work, though, I’m not going to try– I’m just going to shoot for alternate mechanisms that allow me to be care-full of myself– and therefore for others.
If I remember to eat, I’ll be more attentive and in better blood sugar/mood, and therefore more patient. If I’m not distracted by the fact that I haven’t been able to get into the damned employee bathroom for 5 goddamned hours, I’ll be more likely to give the problem its needed time. And if I’ve been out of my office & around the store for a walk, taking the air & incidentally just saying hi, I’m not only socializing and not getting trapped in my office by one damned walk-in problem after another, but I’m meeting the problems somewhere where at least I’m not cornered and then I can walk on to the next one.
I’m considering adding more to this list for when I get home & for my before bedtime routine, but that’s a different post.
What are the reminders you could stand telling yourself?