Checklists do not an existence complete

006 3Today I felt especially like a mindless automaton checking items off a list. It's pretty rare that I have that experience in my "day job" at Summersault, but sometimes the combination of a burst in client project activity + a bunch of administrative things + an overflowing inbox + accumulated personal tasks from the weekend add up to a big long to-do list of calls and e-mails and paperwork that I just have to plow through. A lot of our organizing tools in the office environment seem to promote this: a numbered e-mail inbox, an ordered list of voicemail messages, a stack of papers. It's all so linear and narrow. Sometimes I'm tempted to scatter my paper inbox around the building and create a little scavenger hunt for myself - decipher a clue to figure out which bill to pay next! Or I want to delete, without response, every other odd-numbered e-mail message whose subject line contains the letters "s" and "a", and just be okay with that. Hmmm. It's all too easy to just get in that flow of "next...next...next" without really fully appreciating the people and ideas I'm encountering and the contribution I'm making to the overall work that Summersault is doing, let alone the incredible wider world that's going on around (and just fine without) me. And like today, sometimes it takes seeing how amazing the Sun is in the warmth and light of Spring it brings, or thinking about a far away friend who has had a loved one die just yesterday, or hearing the sounds of laughter from the kids playing in my neighborhood...all of these things help me remember the things I need to remember, and the checklists start to fall into place.

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