The Notverygood Guide to Time Management

I woke up this morning full of energy, bursting with ideas and all set for an extra-specially  productive Thursday. All seemed to be going well until, with a nasty jolt, I realised that it was in fact Friday.

Well, never mind. At least I could make it a super-productive Friday. Just need to check a few things and answer an email or two and then … it’s lunchtime.

Time to take the longer view. Let’s make 2016 the best year ever, because it’s only just started, right?

Well, in any case I’m sure I’ll be much better at this time management lark when I get older …. oh dear.

Have a lovely weekend, unless it’s already Monday of course.


How Does Anyone Get Anywhere?

Arriving on a station platform yesterday, I was greeted by one of those announcements along the lines of: ‘If you’re going to Destination X, you’re clearly a person of no importance and you can huddle in the front 4 carriages and be thankful.’

And was struck by the thought: how do people work these things out? For instance, if a train is in the terminal even I can work out that the front of it is going to be the end that isn’t pressed up against the ticket barrier. But if it’s just there, in the station, and you didn’t see it arrive, how do you know where the front is, any more than you know where to start feeding a tucked-in tortoise? And yet everyone else can be seen streaming confidently towards what does, invariably, turn out to be the right end.

This must be the same talent that allows everyone (else) to find their way back to their own coach after a ferry crossing. It’s one I don’t have; indeed, some of us would settle for being able to find our own car after a spot of shopping. I’d love to blame all this on age, and then I could look back to a carefree youth spent leaping on and off moving buses without ever once finding I was on the wrong one. Well, I can’t.

There must be a solution to all this, but clearly this page isn’t the place to find one…

[Small note: there’s now a ‘subscribe by email’ button at the bottom right of the page. Just in case anyone would like to get these notverygood posts as they appear.]

Not Very Good at Bluffing, or Is That a Bluff? No, It Isn’t

One skill you really have to develop if you’re not very good at anything is the ability to pretend you are good at things, or at least know what things are. There are bluffers’ guides now to all sorts of things, including meeting your in-laws for the first time (I am not making this up); in fact there’s even a bluffers’ guide to bluffing.

Which sort of underlines the fact that it is a skill, and one I at least have finally given up trying to master. It’s time to accept that I’m a very, very bad poker player.

The thing you never hear about bluffing is how massively it can add to your stress levels. Let’s suppose you do manage to get yourself mistaken for a wine expert, a top financial advisor or a desirable in-law: what’s the next step? Of course if this was a Hollywood film, the bluffer would turn out to be miraculously good at everything and it would all end happily.

But in real life, if you’re notverygood – and why else would you be bluffing? – you’re more likely to find you’ve blagged your way into a situation where blagging won’t help you.

So I’m pioneering an anti-bluffer’s approach. Something along the lines of ‘No, I don’t know a thing about [fill in blank]. Would you like to explain it me?’ Then you sit back and find out just how many people  around you were bluffing all the time.

Results to be announced – meanwhile, I’d love to hear from anyone who’s already a practising anti-bluffer …

A Job Description for the Notverygood

While still hammering out the perfect plan to work as little as possible, I find myself wondering: when did job ads get so frightening?

For instance: in my distant youth I can well remember blithely turning up to apply for bar, cleaning and catering jobs that basically stipulated you had to be alive, free at certain hours and able to find your way to the workplace. And on that basis, despite not being terribly good at any of the aforementioned, I took the jobs and did them until I was asked not to.

Now? I just wouldn’t dare. I wouldn’t have the nerve to market myself as a motivated, committed, self-starting individual who is passionate about everything from making coffee to cleaning out the bog. And what does giving 110% even mean?

Maybe some posts would be easier to fill if they were a little more honest; more geared to all the notverygood applicants out there.  ‘Low-paid but  undemanding work, would suit  mild-mannered individual who is unlikely to threaten anyone else’s position. Hours by agreement, but we promise not to wear you out.’

Hmmm, that really doesn’t sound too bad. It must be the weather …