Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sunday Salon 2/7/10: Challenges . . . Reading and Otherwise

The Sunday
I am settled in with my second up of coffee this morning - I have been up for a full two hours and got out of bed with the intent of writing me TSS post and moving on with my day. I am only now starting this post because I have been traversing the book blogosphere reading posts and commenting. I have mentioned this before but I am struggling to find the right balance between blogging (posting on my blog and reading others), reading and the rest of life including my day job. Sometimes I feel I could get more blogging and reading done if I didn't have a damn job!

Day Job
Work has been challenging of late - we seem to be in perpetual reorganization mode and frankly its starting to wear on me. I usually consider myself to be someone who manages through change well, especially at work, but of late my patience with the lack of predictability is beginning to undermine my productivity. I find myself flitting aimlessly between tasks and projects and procrastinating on things that really need to get done (have I mentioned that reading blogs is a great diversion when one if procrastinating?) In addition to the reorg angst, I am also leading a team with serious dysfunction (I inherited this team) and we have just extended our times through Q4 so we will need to work together for the year. In order to tackle these issues at work, I have two business books on deck and hope they hold all the answers:

The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels As I take on a new role thanks to the most recent reorg, I hope that putting together a 90 day plan will structure and focus me so that I am less likely to flounder!

The Five Dysfunctions of a Team: A Leadership Fable (J-B Lencioni Series) - I hope to learn something in this one that will help me lead our team through some tough months ahead. Anyone know of a "Team Whisperer"?

Due to other priorities (see above), I didn't get much reading done at all this week. In finished and reviewed Nine Parts of Desire: Hidden World of Islamic Women for January's theme of Religious Freedom for the Social Justice Challenge. Yes- I am a week late with this one! But I have resolved to get right on February's theme of water so I am not in the this predicament at the end of Feb. I also reviewed humorist Celia Rivenbark's You Can't Drink All Day if You Don't Start in the Morning on audiobook.

I signed up for three more challenges (check my challenge list here):

Battle of the Prizes Challenge (British Version) hosted by Rose City Reader - this unique challenge has you read books from two British Challenge - the Tait and the Booker

Ireland Reading Challenge hosted by Books and Movies - how could I resist? My mom is from Ireland, I spent a lot of time there as a child and I read a lot of books by Irish authors

NYC Challenge hosted by Fizzy Thoughts - this one only requires one book set in NYC by May 15, 2010. As part of the challenge, I have compiled and posted my 10 Best Places to Read in NYC

That brings my total challenges this year to 12 - considering I face the challenge of finding enough time to read and blog, perhaps I should exercise some restraint and keep my challenges to an even dozen!


Since I am new to blogging, I was excited to hear about the Blog Improvement Project and started my first task for the project this week. I intend to work on my blog over the next year and bring it up to the standards of the many blogs I currently follow- you are my inspiration!

I am hosting my first giveaway! Check here to enter for a chance to win 1 of 3 copies of David Baldacci's Absolute Power audiobook.

Hope you all have a great week in reading and otherwise! If you have any advice to share on how to fit blogging and reading in with the rest of your life, please send them my way!


  1. Haha, I sometimes feel that way too - I could definitely do more damage to my TBR pile if I didn't have to go to work for 8 hours a day ;) You are definitely much more on top of the social justice challenge than I am - I haven't read anything yet :/

    I have an award for you at my blog:

  2. I can definitely relate to needing to find some balance between reading, blogging, day job, and other desirable activities. I've been trying for quite some time now, and I definitely haven't even come close to getting that balance down yet. I agree that if I could just bag this stupid day job, I'd have a ton more time for all the good stuff. Of all the things I do, the day job definitely takes up the most disproportionate amount of time, especially considering it's the thing I probably get the least enjoyment out of. But I guess no day job=no book buying, few "other desirable activities," and no, you know, feeding myself. Most unfortunate, but I guess I'll have to keep up with that time suck of a job! ;-)

  3. I hear you on needing to find a balance. Since they monitor Internet usage at work, I do not have that distraction, but I could certainly use some extra time during the day to at least whittle down my feed reader each day.

    I think finding balance is even more difficult when you are experiencing dissatisfaction at work, which it sounds like you are. I know exactly how you feel when you mention the chaos of reorganization. My company was purchased almost three years ago, and there is still so much reorganizing and issues to work through that at times, you just want to throw up your hands in frustration and give up. You will get through it and find that all-important balance!

  4. I wish you the best of luck with your work situation! The books that you are reading look like they should be helpful (I hope). :)

    I can't imagine working a job and balancing time with my kids, husband, reading and blogging. I know that someday (at least a few years from now) I will probably go back to work and will have to cut way back on my blogging and reading.

  5. I hear ya with work. It's such a nuisance.

    And I'm serious jealous about the time you got to spend in Ireland as a child. I always wanted a European relative to visit.

  6. We use the 'The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels' book where I work for new employees and I think its an excellent resource.

    Good luck with your striving for balance! I struggle with the exact same thing! It's a tough thing!