Twenty Two Ways to a Better Flight Path

Please excuse me while I have a great laugh WITH a recent article at Flying Solo. This very funny article outlining the twenty two things you MUST do every day has a few items that I really would NOT do, not even if you paid me. Integrity and Dignity just won’t let me. Let me explain by way of going through each item…

This is the Flying Solo recipe for bliss and prosperity. Noel has managed to squeeze all the most important aspects of time management into a list of twenty-two. Excellent. But be prepared…

1. Be sure to get eight hours sleep every night.

Eight hours every twenty four hours works better for me. I’d hate to hear someone saying, “Well, it’s now night, I’m going to sleep, although the boss is paying me to spot-weld this car together!

2. Eat five serves of vegetables and two serves of fruit.

Hmmm. I need to work on this one. (Written whilst eating a punnet of fresh strawberries.)

3. Drink three litres of water every day.

And have easy access to the bathrooms. Three litres can be done, but about two litres should do it. Unless you work on a cattle-station.

4. Dress for success! Make yourself presentable before starting work.

While I totally agree with this, it’s the level of presentable clothing that matters. My day-job is 98% in a cubicle doing a lot of monkey-work. In the beginning I used to wear ties, spotless shoes, and top of the range Italian clothing. Over the last few years I’ve resorted to soft slip-on shoes, comfortable slacks, and no ties unless absolutely necessary. (Ironically, I have around forty ties. All organised by colour in the front of the closet.)

Sometimes the best you need to wear is a jacket and shirt … and with a pair of good denim jeans, this is professional enough. If you work in computers, nobody expects you to wear a pin-striped suit to work. They’d think it bloody weird to see you rolling out fifty new computers with your jacket flailing around you. No, dress comfortably and professionally according to the job you are being paid to do.

5. Make your own lunch every day rather than buying it.

Oh, yes, totally true. I’ve done the calculations: It’s so easy to spend $100 a week on lunches. That’s $20 a day. Which means $6,260 per year (based on actual working days). That could buy me a lot of great photographic equipment! Time to resume making lunches!

6. Take a nap in the afternoon to re-energise.

Wow! Who has time for this? That and eight hours sleep a night? Dang, I wish I had more disposable-time. Can someone else sleep it for me? We have four cats who sleep about fifteen hours a day. I proclaim Mischief to be my nap-taker.

7. Do at least half an hour of exercise every day.

Turns out that this is true. I’ve got an exercise bike near my home-desk. It’s proven handy: I ride it while uploads and downloads are happening on my computer. This gets me a minimum of thirty minutes a night!

8. Don’t skip lunch – get out of the office to eat your sandwich.

Well, I’d say just eating at lunch-time is a good idea, no matter where you eat it. But I do agree – getting out of the office to eat or exercise is a damn good idea.

9. Have dinner as a family – it’s important bonding time.

And it’s an ideal time to eat something good for you. Company coffee and chocolate treats really don’t count as a meal.

10. Spend 20 minutes planning tomorrow with a detailed to-do list.

Ok, so I don’t do this all that often. I know I should. When I have, it’s made a difference. Like a life-plan and time-profit-exercise, writing down the schematics for a project, day, or hour of work does make a difference.

11. Do one thing every day that scares you.

I’ll tell you what really scares me and doesn’t cost a cent: Passive smoking. Though why it’s called ‘passive‘ I’ll never know. Down Pirie Street in the Adelaide CBD is an obstacle course of cigarette cannisters and smoking-humans, all of whom I have to navigate around in order to get to my office. I cannot count the times I have had to hold my breath as some BASTARD exhales their noxious fumes at me as I walk by them. If you love it so much – DON’T EXHALE!! KEEP IT TO YOURSELF!

Ok, something scary to do: Pick the biggest dumbest smoker (oh wait, those last two words formed a tautology), wait for him to squash his cigarette under his foot … then pick it up and say in your loudest voice,
Hey MORON, you dropped this! Don’t you have children, parents, family or friends? How would you feel if they put this in a glass of water for you to drink? Well, that’s what you just did! This path goes to that gutter to the drain to the damn … and that’s where this city gets all its water from!! Forget destroying the Ozone Layer with Noxious Fumes … You’ve just effected the entire City Water Supply! Feel Proud now?!

Problem is, the offending smoker (another tautology) will have walked away already. And nobody else seems to be listening. Why am I the only person who really really really cares about the effect of smoking on the environment?!“

12. Make some quality time for your partner.

As we all know, time cannot be made. It’s already there. Therefore, organise the time, and it will be quality! So this is really just about choice-of-words.

13. Make sure you get some ‘me‘ time.

My wife agrees with this one. In fact, she says it’s all about “Me, me, me!” And she’s not talking about me…

14. Read industry magazines to stay on top of trends.

Yes, this is a lot of fun. I also suggest that if you buy a certain magazine regularly: Subscribe. Not only will the costs be brought down, but it’s one less thing you need to organise. They’ll simply appear on your desk every month. Perfect.

15. Slow down – take time out to smell the roses.

Definitely. And then photograph them with a macro-lens. It’s amazing how easily you can escape into the world of the miniature with a good camera!

16. Those of us with bills to pay will be required to spend some of the day doing actual work.

Please, please don’t remind us.

17. Some of us have dirty plates, carpets, kids, desks, bills and/or family members to clean up.

We do? Oh, yes, we do!

The desk really needs cleaning up. Those dirty plates and glasses should be returned to the kitchen some time soon. Children? Who left them here? Bills, Schmills. Family? Oh wait, the ball&chain on my left hand, that’s right. She’s buried around here somewhere…

18. Read the sport and gossip section of the newspaper in-depth.

No thanks! Trivial humdrum is of no consequence to my life-style. Unless I’ve been photographed and interviewed for inclusion in the gossip section!

19. Go and buy a coffee and whinge for a while about how busy work is.

Hmmm. My version of this statement is “Buy a Coffee, Sit Down Quietly and Dwell on Everything You Didn’t Enjoy This Morning at Work. Then Let it Go and get back to the grindstone. Nothing is so important it can’t be forgotten at the door.

20. Discuss what you did last weekend with whoever will listen.

Finding anyone who cares what I did last weekend? It’d be easier to obtain world peace and solve the global-warming issue. OK, I do exaggerate. But this means discovering like-minded individuals who also spent their weekend photographing flowers and insects, testing landscape photography on a green-rug with books under it to simulate mountains. Definitely a good idea to find other people who are eccentric enough to listen long enough to say, “That’s just like the time I…“, and you both talk in depth on the use of effective lighting in a portrait photo-shoot.

21. Make arrangements for next weekend.

Even if it’s a few extra hours sleep. I prefer to spend my weekends organising SFA and taking it easy. But Noel is right. Time needs to be organised, even if only to negotiate window-shopping with the female partner or teaching your male-counterpart how to successfully fold and put away dry clothes. Which reminds me…

22. Check Facebook in case old friends that you never liked have ‘poked’ you.

Eeek! You are kidding right?! Not all of us are addicted to Facebook or LinkedIn or any other social network. As much as it might be the in-thing this year, Online-Social-Networking hasn’t changed since MSN nor IRC.

It all seems to remind me of Geocities and MySpace, a large mass of entwined tentacles all reaching into a black molasses depth of nothingness. Ok, so I sound a little cynical on the whole thing … but I’m not convinced being ‘poked‘ on Facebook is good for anyone’s cranial-health.

For most of the twenty-two you can see I concur entirely. Only a few had a negative view. What are your thoughts?

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