I overheard an editor and reporter the other day discussing coverage of upcoming events in the reporter’s beat. She had looked through all of her materials and couldn’t find a thing going on: “It’s August. Who would want to get out in this heat?”
This is the month when everything slows to a crawl. We’re used to the heat in South Texas, but it’s been brutal even for us. We’re even running out of ways to describe it; I recently saw the phrase “still very hot” on our weather page –after three days of “very hot.”
However, I don’t think it ever gets truly “slow” for any of us anymore. It just means that perhaps we have a chance to get to all the tasks we had been putting off while the daily workload was heavy. Now, we just have to remember what all those tasks were…
Go through your task list. Or more likely, excavate the pile of stuff on your desk or in your to-do bin. Confront your inner procrastinator by doing the one thing you’ve been putting off the longest. Check your Favorites on your Internet browser and look at some blogs or websites you haven’t visited in a while. See what they are talking about.
Navel-gazing has its benefits. We can become more efficient, troubleshoot problems, find a new resource, analyze our methods and more… if we would take a moment and do it. Of course, if you have the attention span of a gnat, like I do, try not to get too distracted (or click on too many unrelated links).
Since we’re not getting out in the heat, curl up with your circular fan and contemplate! Let the whirring of the blades become your white noise against all the distractions and pressures of your worklife.
Or call up a colleague at another library — one you haven’t talked to in awhile or would like to know better. Have a virtual back-porch-swing chat (some iced sweet tea might help too). Talk about a project or problem that’s been at the back of your mind but which you’ve been too busy to tackle. Let the conversation take you where it takes you. Perhaps you’ll learn a few things or solve some additional problems.