Proposal Writing and Pictures of Mountains

Ok! we are back in the big leagues again – 70 and more hours/week. Its mostly because I have started working on a big fat federal grant (due in less than 3 weeks) that will hopefully make Iridescent’s life happier.

One interesting thing I have noticed is that when I have to work on a proposal, I seem to get a lot of other smaller tasks done that I have been procrastinating about for weeks. And I also spend more time looking at how many people have joined our Facebook group and Facebook Cause. And after that is done I spend some time looking longingly at pictures of mountains in India. And yes, I am very religious about Toggl and I pause it each time when I indulge in pictures 🙂
Here is a beautiful blog of a friend of my husband’s. Looking at these pictures (although not from India) totally relaxes my mind and I can literally feel the band loosening.

Dammit! I so want to go to the mountains!!!!!!!!!!!!

Where does the time go?

Weekly report # 4 and I am increasingly puzzled as to where all the time is going.

I started keeping the Toggl reports a month ago and logged a respectable 80 hours/week the first two weeks. And then it slid to 60 or so. At least my learning hours are increasing. I still work all the time (there are so many cool things to do and try!), but where is the time going?

Here are some conjectures:

  1. Transitions: I remember reading somewhere that a lot of time gets wasted transitioning from one activity to another. The past two weeks I have had more meetings and maybe that is where the leak is.
  2. Tennis: I also started playing tennis twice a week. This week I will try to throw in a few runs as well. I am in this for the long haul, so might as well stay healthy!
  3. Cooking: I am finally tired of frozen dinners (3 months of FFF or focused frozen-food eating). So we made a salad this week and one rice and beans.

On a related note, I would LOVE to know how intense CEOs like Howard Schultz, Wendy Kopp and the like manage their time. I know they run (or did when they wrote their memoirs) and have families and they must eat. So how do they manage?

The wondrous incident of the dog in the night-time

Before I explain more, here is my weekly report.

As you can see , there has been an almost 20% decrease in productivity since last week! I did crank out two proposals (one to Lowe’s on behalf of Trinity St. School and one to Motorola), but then towards the end of the week my family in India had a crisis with our old Boxer dog, Tyche. He was abandoned and then came to us through a series of owners and has been with us for 10 years. He has arthritis, is deaf and can’t see very well. Then on the 14th evening he started having seizures. A seizure is extremely exhausting and after he had one, both my mom and brother thought he was going to die. Then he had another one and they really thought he was going to die. They gave him anti-convulsants (my mom is also a doctor), but he kept having seizures everytime he would try and sleep. He had more than 20 seizures over the course of the night and day until one vet finally told them to give him calcium and a steroid injection. All the canine epilepsy websites say that it is a serious emergency if your dog has more than 2 seizures in a day. Tyche had more than 20 and survived! What a miracle!

So I had a hard time concentrating on stuff! But, now that Tyche is fine (just cranky from the steroids), we can move on 🙂

The interesting thing I learned from this week’s toggling was that it takes me pretty much the same time to write a new proposal as to reuse an existing one (~14 hours for the former and ~10 for the latter). I wonder what is wrong!

How hard do I work?

I came across this online program called Toggl and was hooked. I am addicted to logging stuff and this makes it pretty easy. Plus I have always wanted to know how I spend my time and how to be more efficient.

Here is the first report from the week!

I had an 80 hour week, battling jet lag, two proposals and a broken website (both are amply reflected in the graph).

I love how I know exactly how much time to budget for when writing the next proposal.

The Toggl interface could improve, but thats true of all of us and everything. Its a really neat tool if you want to figure out where your time goes and what to cut.

This coming week I want to focus on learning, planning long-term and following up on projects.