Friday, April 13, 2012

Weekend Reading - Time management || April Vacation Week || Document Design

It's April Vacation Week on the east coast. In the southwest, where I grew up, we didn't have April vacation week. We didn't have February vacation week either. We had spring break. But, in the northeast, school children get two weeks off and inconvenient time for parents.

Now, it seems awfully selfish to say that their breaks are inconvenient to parents, but seriously, who wants to leave work in February, just as the rhythm is back to normal after the holidays and before the cold has burned off in all the warm-weather places? And then, if you do take time off in February to be with the children or travel, who can do it again in April? But, April break makes more sense to me in the northeast where children don't get out of school until mid-June or later. April break is warmer than February break. My mind has started to wander and everyone is ready for fresh air and sunshine and the garage really needs cleaning. I can get on board with April break.

But, alas, I teach at a college, and colleges have never heard of this thing called April break. They have spring break, so I am working, and I cannot "put in" for vacation days. College does not work that way. And, not only am I working, this is a busy time of year. I want students to get jobs and I'm writing letters, networking, putting together internships and assigning final projects, and handing out criticism. Who has time to take off work? And besides that, I don't really want to clean out the garage.

HvZ 2010
April also means it's Humans vs. Zombies week on campus.
(And reason #2 my 9-y-o son wants to go to college. He likes to spot students hiding in
the bushes. Reason #1 is that you're allowed a TV in your dorm room.)
(photo: Creative Commons licensing by flickr user Dr. Stephen Dann.)
So this week I emailed my son's go-to place for vacation camp to see if they had space, and I had to delete three pages of stuff that's not quite spam, but junk I could live without, to find out if he had a spot at camp. I was thinking yesterday how much more patience I would have if I could stop having to delete unwanted email. Apparently, time-management guru Laura Vanderkam has been thinking about the same thing.

Vanderkam always examines things in terms of time, which I appreciate. She writes:
How many unwanted emails do you think you get per day? How much time do you spend deleting? At 3 seconds a pop, if you get 60 unwanted messages a day, that’s 3 minutes, which comes out to about an hour a month (just looking at work days) or 12 hours a year.
I definitely have more than 60 messages a day that I do not want. How many do you get?

What do you do about April vacation week?

A Non-Designers Guide to Typefaces and Layout 
I love this. This quick guide from Lifehacker explains how to choose typefaces and fonts for your projects because, as Lifehacker points out, even non-designers design something every day. This week, I'm designing new business cards and an invitation to an annual event. What are you designing?
Do you have time for a start-up?

Thursday Bram explains how to streamline life in order to make space for your start-up. She stresses how much time is the commodity people need for their start-ups. What do you need more of to get your start-up off the ground?

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