Pester Fest

Today’s post comes from perennial sophomore Bubby Spamden of Wendell Willkie High School.

Hey, Mr. C.,

In Mrs. Hecubensen’s “Modern Living” class we’ve been talking about time management skills and staying on-task, which is pretty much the same stuff we covered back in kindergarten but it feels like I have a lot harder time paying attention to it today.

Mrs. H is a real hard-liner when it comes to staying focused. She’s all about schedules and lists, which is why we’re always trying to steal the lesson plan off her desk. If we can get it, it’s like unplugging a machine! She literally slumps down in her chair. Pretty amazing!

Anyway, last week we covered to-do lists and one of the assignments was to ask an older person for some detailed advice on how they keep track of all their tasks, and then write a short report about what they said.

Since you’re old, I’m asking you!

But don’t answer right away, because Mrs. H said “If anybody takes time right then to go into detail with you about time management, listen politely but ignore everything they say because only a poor time manager will accept such a distraction. The right answer is to say – ‘Let’s schedule a meeting to talk about it.'”

So why don’t you think about it and get back to me! I don’t want to have to listen and ignore what you say! I want to be able to write my report and THEN ignore what you say!

Also, I had a business idea about this – there’s this study where parents were sent text messages to remind them that they are supposed to read to their children. I guess people are so busy they don’t remember to do the things they already decided to do until somebody tells them they meant to do it.

I got to thinking, that would be a good line of work for me. I’m already an expert in being nagged about stuff that’s not done. Maybe I could use all that experience to bother other people about things they’ve blown off!

Then my job could be messaging people constantly, which is all I do anyway! I’m thinking I could call it “!”

What do you think?

Your pal,

I told Bubby “Pestertext” is a great idea – so great that I want him to take me on as his first customer and send me a text to remind me to put him on my schedule so we can talk about how I manage my time. He said he would do it, but that was a couple of days ago and there’s been nothing so far. So I think I might be off the hook!

How do you manage your time?

58 thoughts on “Pester Fest”

    1. every time i see that i remember how much jim enjoyed his playi ng. i saw him at the guthrie a couple months before his plane crashed. i saw a year or two ago the side man guitar player monte something must have been taking the slow route and he is still around. monte played killer little back up trills and sang in a way that made it sound like 3 part harmony. never experienced it before or since (except one time when i did it singing at a
      if i dont take time now it will get away form me. wedding with a gal whose voice meshed perfectly. it was eerie

      just a little side track


        1. ok spoil my illusion. i saw a guy namedmonte and was happy he found a way out. but i gess it was a twighlight zone episode in the world of tims memory and the song time in a bottleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


  1. Good morning. No one should ask me for advice on how to manage time. I keep thinking I should make better use of my time My efforts to do that never amount to much.

    When I get backed up on things that I really need to get done I make a check off list of those things that I shouldn’t avoid doing. Usually, I do manage to get important things done when they are on my to do list. There is a long list of other things that I think I should do that are put off too long or never get done.

    I don’t like dealing with deadlines and often have to work up to the last minute to meet them. A guy told me that when given a deadline he drew a red line throughout the deadline. That is a time management technique that I am tempted to use.


  2. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    What time? Since Lou’s dad became ill in July, there has been no extra time. I had no down time at all which makes me pretty crazy. The last 2 weeks seem to have finally turned this around, for which I am grateful.

    Otherwise, my answers to this are:

    Work at the office otherwise I wander around the house doing not so much at all.
    Have something planned everyday outside my house so I have a firm demand on my day. Otherwise I just think, “oh, I don’t have anything to do” and I do nothing but play games on my iPad.
    I have to have a little down-time everyday–even 1/2 hour–to function and not be crabby.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know exactly what you mean about having something outside the house to get you moving. I find it’s best if I schedule something about early to mid-afternoon, that leaves me a little time to accomplish something in the morning. If I schedule an appointment too early, then I don’t have time to do anything else first, and the chances that I will pick it up when I get home are not so good.


      1. Linda, I like to schedule appointments for 1 PM. I am wide awake by then and have energy and time to do things. The real reason, however, is a pill I take each morning that sends me rushing to the bathroom a dozen times or so. By early afternoon that is no longer an issue. So there are several ways to plan a day’s activities.


        1. l’m having a bad morning on the Trail. For one thing, l have to log in every time l want to post here (if l want my avatar to show); secondly, l just typed a whole post, then hit a key which made it instantly disappear!

          Like Jacque, Linda, and Steve, l so agree that it’s important to get out daily, but inertia grips my lifestyle. The few clients l have come here, the freezing temps make leaving unattractive, and virtually any errands can be done in one afternoon. Every day l ponder the meme “A body in motion stays in motion” and the reality that if l were in a nursing home, l’d be doing nothing different that what l do here. Then l beat myself up for it.

          l’ve long since established the one spot in the cottage from which l can sit and do every activity – books, TV, computer, cell and land line, write bills, make lists, journal, etc. The only time l move at all is to use the bathroom and kitchen. Then, most Saturday nights, l go dancing for hours. Patrons of the venue where l dance are astounded by such energy, but they’ve no idea that l literally sit on my ass all week conserving enough energy to dance for three hours running!

          To be honest, l don’t sit here all week for the purpose of having energy to dance. l sit because l’m too lazy to make my self move!

          l’ve had an epiphany recently after reading the 400-page book l wrote four years ago, “Dancing With Cancer”. lt’s very obvious to me now that when l face adversity, l’m truly at the top of my game, highly energized, and brimming with the vitality of purpose. Once a challenge of huge proportions has been met and life gets back to normal, l tend to flat line and lose a sense of direction, relevance, and enthusiasm for life. This is where l’m living for a while and, although l don’t like it, the motivation just isn’t there to change it.

          Now that l’ve shared my inadequacies, l think l’ll sign off and read a book.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. CB – it sounds like you’ve been able to get back to the dancing – congrats on that.
          I too seem to have bursts of energy followed by a lot of lethargy… I need to have some deadline to get me moving. Some of the family are coming here for t’giving, so I’m suddenly motivated.


      2. I am just the opposite of this. I find having something scheduled in the middle of the day just keeps me looking over my shoulder worrying about being late.

        My idea of a really productive involves having the whole day without getting in the car or looking at a clock.

        Mind you, those days are very few and far between, but the sense of accomplishment I get out of them is golden.


  3. i do everything on my calendar on the phone. if i lose it i am toast. i used to use a day timer, actually a franklin planner and i kind of miss it. i was just talking about how my emails stash is out of control and i need to figure out how to file it where i can get at it but its not there for me everytime i open my phone ipad computer etc. its eating up way too much memory and i have filled my cloud account with old emails. they want more money for a bigger stash account.

    good illustration of how it screws up though… i didnt put my doctors appt on the calendar for today and it effects my whole day. i had to call the doc and see what time it is set for and then plug it in and work around it. if the organizer is the problem its beyond all hope.

    people who need reminders of their reminders are a sorry lot and i am in that list. what the heck. my grandpa used to say if its important you will remember but that was years ago when times were moving at a different pace.
    i heard a radipo interview for a guy at garrisons book store on slow living and i thought that sounded interestign but i wrote the time down wrong on my calendar and missed it. i posted yesterday on my facebook thing a ditty about lenoard cohen going into a meditation year where he acted as a student to his mentor the buhhhist monk and it was interesting. a bit to much but i need to slow down.. but before i do i have to go… im running late

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve always preferred to get my work done first. I like to get major projects out of the way, if possible. If it’s not possible to get it done right away, I like to sketch it out or make some kind of plan for it, then pick at pieces of it until I can get it done.

    My current job doesn’t allow me to plan or to get work done in advance. The guys’ immediate needs come first and, well… talk about pestering… My coworkers and my supervisor also derail my plans. Just when I think I’m going to sit down and fix up the medication sheets, somebody comes along and informs me that I need to do something else. I’ve decided that I’d just better get used to it.

    At this time of year, at home, I have a mental checklist of everything that needs to be done as far as home maintenance. I usually get the windows washed on a calm sunny day in early November, but that was curtailed by the abrupt commencement of winter. I was lucky to get the rain barrel drained before it got really cold.

    There are sundogs out today.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It did seem like winter came out of nowhere this year. I know, I know, this IS minnesota and i’ve lived here long enough to know better, but it seems like the cold weather came on very suddenly. I usually dig up a few herb plants, pot them up, and bring them indoors for the winter. This year I also was going to build a raised bed for herbs with some retaining wall blocks. Well, those plants are still outdoors, and the blocks are still just randomly piled in stacks. I guess that bit of construction won’t happen until April or May. Then the other day I realized that the aloe vera plant that I had outside in its pot for the summer is still outside. I’m afraid to look at it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Morning-
    Post it notes are a wonderful thing. Except they don’t stick to my computer monitor unless I use tape which sort of defeats the purpose.
    I’m putting more and more stuff in my iphone calendar. Which is sync’d with my Outlook Calendar.

    My mom always says ‘What the head forgets the feet remember’ which I think about every time I walk back to get something I forgot…

    I believe in the hereafter. I stand in the room thinking ‘What was I here after…?’

    Craig Ferguson says ‘Tomorrow is just a future yesterday’

    Lincoln said ‘No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar’.

    Kelly and I both find it a blessing that I have a short memory.

    Mind like a steel sieve I tell you.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. In some ways that’s right, Steve. Depends on what a person is forgetting. Stupid stuff your spouse did, old arguments that should have been left to die a long time ago – yes. But forgetting what your spouse said 5 minutes ago (especially if she/he said it 3 times in 10 minutes)? Or what he/she said to you 5 times or more in the past couple of weeks? Not cool. Way to make someone feel like they really don’t matter.


        1. Whoo-eee, I got the blue doily. That’s what I get for trying to do this on my phone. And the “huh?” was in response to tim.


  6. I’m famous for being fuzzy about appointments. The weirdest example was when I was a week early to pick up a friend from the airport. A week. When I did pick her up a week later I was still a bit angry at her for being “late” and making me circle the airport for an hour.

    My social life now is 95% about doctor appointments. My new medical provider is 50 (!) clinics in Portland, and I have had appointments at many of them. I don’t see much of my primary doctor (a fascinating woman), but I have all these appointments with specialized clinics.

    Last week I downloaded a new calendar program for my computer, then spent time arranging things so my Kindle can communicate with that new calendar. This is a classic example of the kind of computer task I screw up, and yet this was a rare success for me. I cruise into my future confident that my next appointment is November 18. Give or take one week.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve used iCal reminders to try to nudge myself into doing some everyday tasks earlier. Otherwise if I get on the computer I tend to not notice what time it is while I’m wiki-walking.

    Another thing I’ve discovered is a web site called Letter Me Later, where you set up e-mails to be sent to you at a later date. This is useful for appointments, and if you lose your regular computer, you’ll still get the message, as long as you can get to your e-mail from somewhere. I also use it to remind myself of things I intended to get done in a vague time frame, such as “before spring” – I set up a message for early March or so that says “Bring the amaryllis upstairs now!” or something like that. Sometimes it works.


  8. Lists, multi-tasking, post-it notes and a deep acceptance of a critical fact: if it doesn’t get done before 6 p.m., it probably isn’t going to happen.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. As a teacher I was a very good manager. I spent June preparing materials and writing an overall plan for the year. Then in my classroom I had the old-fashioned blackboards on three walls, with a corkboard over the blackboards. I would post the plans for each day for the next week in each class on Friday. I would leave the previous week in place until the next Friday. Absent students were to check the cork board for makeup work. It was a huge part of how I taught. The other think I learned from a wonderful continuing ed. program some of us used was to not waste the best times for teaching, the first few minutes and the last few minutes. So I l always started the class a few seconds after the bell rang and always did some activity to sum up the lesson for that day in the last 2-3 minutes. I refused to take attendance until I had things off and working, which did not sit well with the school secretary who wanted the slips picked up in the first 3-4 minutes. My principal backed me on it. I ignored kids who were tardy. With the pattern set the kids came in ready to work. I had a few tardies, but I just assumed they had a good reason. Only one or two students a year tried to take advantage of me on that. Most you could see appreciated the breathing room. All of that helped set a god tone in the room, focused but relaxed.
    When I left teaching I had a very hard time transferring those skills to business.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a tragedy (in my eyes) that the average person knows so little about the passion that drives so many teachers. Many heroic, lovely things are happening in our schools that are seen only by a few students and the teachers who struggle to make education work. Bless you for being one of the good ones.


    2. teaching was your calling. students are more open than buyers. maybe teahing sales guys would have been the ticket. i saw sunday we have 200000 motovational speakers in the us,. i think youd be a good one


      1. I was for 10 years in part a motivational speaker (as well as a trainer) for teachers. We shall call my time a lukewarm failure. I love the the bit about the motivational speaker in Little Miss Sunshine.


  10. I too use my phone calendar for one reason. Sandy likes to ask me about dates and events in weird places like the grocery store. Having it in the calendar means I can answer it for her right then. But I hate the “pester chimes,” as I now shall call them. And in my phone you have to click three buttons to turn them off.


  11. Over the weekend as we were babysitting, their sixteen-year-old cat was having huge issues. So my daughter is at the vet right now. This morning the two grandkids said good bye to the cat before getting on the school bus. The cat slept with Lily most nights. Hard on them but an important life experience for them. The other cat is fourteen and blind in one eye.


    1. my basset is doing the slow fade. she has some giant pollups on her head and on eye so glazed over it takes strangers by surprise,. i was told the pollup is bleeding right now. i suppose ill have to deal with it and hope for the best.
      i used to think pets were a good way of getting you used to loved ones dying. im not so sure its a good excersize anymore. get a critter that will rip your heart out every 10 years? a friend of mine goes out and gives a woman he hates a house everytime he thinks about getting married. says it saves all the angst and just gets to the bottom line. i feel kind of that way with critters.


    2. That’s sad and that’s hard, Clyde. One summer a few years ago, l had to put down 4 cats in just one month, all but one were around 14-15 years old. l’ve always lamented the fact that these wonderful fur persons only live such a brief amount of time. l’m sure that people owned by dogs feel the same way. l’ve thought that maybe the reason they grace our lives so briefly is to teach us how to love then let go – a sort of rehearsal for human deaths.


      1. Suddenly it is Mr. Tuxedo who is having a hard time. He is so sensitive.Their other cat will not be around long. My daughter fell in love with an 8-year-old cat a the vet, but the kids for now want to wait and get two kittens when the other cat dies. The two cats did not get along, but I think the death of the one will be hard on the other.


  12. There’s “keep track of” time, and “manage” time. To keep track, I still have my (paper) pocket calendar. Refuse to go electronic. But then I do have to remember to update the wall calendar in the kitchen… sometimes get it wrong in one or the other of them.

    To manage time, I am trying something new. On the days that time allows, I want to sit with my cup of tea in the morning and think about my day… instead of just sort of crashing through it. Plan when to fit in the little things between the big things, plan when and what to eat… be more conscious about all of that. I’ll let you know if it works.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I do not manage my time. I muddle through some things okay, but I am currently 6 months late on scheduling the vet appointments for the cat and dog. I’m also several months late in scheduling some medical appointments for myself – and several years late for a certain medical procedure. I’m a mess.


  14. I have an electronic scheduler to keep track of all my appointments that is linked to our billing department. It works fine in theory, except for the one weak link, which is me. A person has to actually put the client’s name in the scheduler.I sometimes forget to do it, and then I find I have double booked people. Sigh!

    Today has been stressful. The carpet installer showed up at home but the movers didn’t, and then phoned us to say that they had been injured moving pianos yesterday and couldn’t make it. Husband and I moved all the furniture out of the rooms to be carpeted ourselves, and the wonderful owner of the local music store came and moved our piano. He is now moving it back into the newly carpeted room where it lives. I am very grateful. I will probably be quite stiff and sore after we move all the furniture back into the bedrooms tonight.

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I was trained up early in life to think that my time was always someone else’s and that I must drop whatever I am doing to accommodate the much more important needs of someone else (right down to having frozen hair because finishing my shower and drying my hair was just not that important, I need you to go right now-okey dokey).

    So in that way, I am trained to be a horrible time manager.

    but boy howdy can I scramble something together at the last minute.

    Often comes in handy working in theatre.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. i find my time is best used in planning and motovating. i once told a perspective boss to leave me alone as a sales guy and not try to plug me in as an corporate officer. im a great worker but a lousy employee.
    i do it my way and like to have others get the detail kind of stuff in my hands and let me do the fancy stepping to get the finishing result. i have more cnfidence in my ability to wing it than i do in my ability to dot those i’s
    i do littel mind games with myself to get the stuff doent at needs doing because i am the worlds best thinker of other stuff to do instead of the task at hand in the northern hemisphere. i know there is a way and i will find it but… can i just do this first?
    i have projects that are old clip board notes that will happen when i ma ready and im getting damn closte to ready.


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