Category Archives: Big Stone Gap

Time is of the Essence – –

Jack uses a time management tool to get his post up on time –

When I was first promoted (to everyone’s surprise, including my own) to head of the construction department at Lauder College in Scotland, I was immediately overwhelmed by the tasks I was faced with. But eventually two things saved me.

The first was learning how to delegate, which more or less happened by accident. What I learned was that, given half a chance, people will take on tasks if it’s something they enjoy and if they feel competent to do them well. As long as I remembered I was still responsible it worked.

The second is really what this post is about –

A member of the senior management introduced me to a time management tool that has stuck with me ever since. I later discovered it’s called ‘The Eisenhower Matrix’ and many variations have evolved over the years. The closest to the one I used is pictured above.

I used this tool so much that eventually I didn’t have to put it on a white board on my office wall – it just sat in my head.

After I retired I continued to work as a self-employed training consultant, so the matrix continued to be my fundamental template for organizing my work. Even when we moved to Big Stone Gap I was running a bookstore, organizing a Celtic festival, an annual group tour of Scotland and still gigging – so time management was still important.

You might think that after closing the bookstore, the Celtic festival and moving to Wytheville that I wouldn’t need a time management aid, but I still find it hovering – even with everyday domestic tasks.

The only thing is that I’ve no one to delegate to anymore, although when it comes to looking after our vegetable gardens Wendy tells me I’m management and she’s labor.

Finally – I am and always have been a serial procrastinator. So given the choice between vacuuming the floors or checking FaceBook  – – –

Leave a comment

Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, home improvements, humor, Life reflections, Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap, Scotland, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch

Hear, Here – –

Once again Jack’s Wednesday post is on Thursday – but here’s why

Wendy and I went to visit friends in North Carolina over the weekend where we would be joined by other friends, one of whom was celebrating a birthday. So six of us enjoying a relaxing time while we gossiped, blethered and caught up on our pandemic lives.

Except – I had noticed earlier in the week that Wendy seemed to be talking more and more quietly.

I am practically deaf in my right ear due to an un-diagnosed infection many years ago and a few years ago I was persuaded to get a pair of hearing aids. I duly inserted them before we set off and packed spare batteries just in case.

When we got to our destination and met up with our pals it was obvious that I had a problem. I changed the batteries but no difference. I checked the tiny filters and they were both clogged with wax. Oops – no spare filters! Aarrghh – the dreaded wax in my ‘good’ ear, which has sometimes happened in the past.

Our friends, like us, rescue cats so a syringe was easily produced and much sluicing ensued, but to no avail.

I was due to record radio shows yesterday at Dirk’s excellent home studio so I was worried. Not only that but Wendy was telling me things and I had no idea what! What had we just bought??

So from Sunday until Tuesday I Regularly put in the fizzing drops and lay on my side, then sluiced with warm water. Finally, as in the past, it just suddenly cleared – what a relief!

As I get older I appreciate the senses I still have – eyesight is not as great but still there; Sense of smell long gone but the reason I like spicy food; hearing still there as long as I don’t let the wax build up!

Leave a comment

Filed under between books, Big Stone Gap, humor, Life reflections, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA, Wendy Welch