Glasses & Contacts changed my world – For better and for worse

My friend Cecily Kellogg recently blogged about her experience being a glasses and contact lens wearer for Buy More Contacts. It brought back several memories of my own glasses/contacts transition, but the bonus was that  in coordination with Buy More Contacts, Cecily is giving away an iPad.  To enter, all I had to do was leave a comment and post a tweet about the contest, but posting a blog entry about the contest and my own glasses/contact lens experience gets me more entries – so here goes!

I started wearing glasses in 2nd grade.  The day I got them, my world changed – for the better and for the worst.  Finally I could see signs, the blackboard in school, the TV without sitting on top of it…colors and shapes were finally clear!   But, like most things in life, there is a flip side.  Imagine the little girl who is the shortest in the class, is smart, shy, is always the “new” girl because her military family moved often and she wears glasses!  Fast forward a few years and add braces.  Children are cruel.  We can just leave it there.  Everyone knows how that story ends.

Thanks to genetically poor eyes, I spent as much time in the optometrist office as at the dentist.  If I went a year without a change (always stronger) in my glasses prescription it was a long time.  The average was every six months.  Until I was 13.  I can not remember the doctor’s exact words, but I remember the meaning… If I did not start wearing contacts, there was a good chance I could be legally blind by the time I was 30.   Do not ask me the science behind it, but I vaguely remember him explaining something about the effect of contact lens on slowing down the deterioration of my eyes.   Being 13, I had pretty much tuned out the explanation behind why, I only heard that I was FINALLY going to not have to wear my glasses!   And contacts it has been pretty much ever since!   I went from wearing standard hard lenses (pretty much the only choice 33 years ago) to GPR – gas permeable lenses.  Those wonderful throw away soft lenses were never meant to be for my needing significant correction eyes, but that’s ok.

  That little girl grew up to realize that I could be as pretty and cool with my glasses as without,     but the effect the contact lenses had on both my vision and my self-esteem was significant.       Did I still get teased about being short, smart, shy… Sure I did, but at least with my contacts, “four-eyes” was one less taunt that I heard.

What do I work on first?

In both my consulting business and from friends, I get a lot of questions similar to this one…
“I came up with a list of 14 possible projects to work on yesterday but now I need to narrow them down to ones that will, well, work.  When you have a list of projects, is there some equation you use to determine the priority?”
Although the process of prioritization comes naturally to some, it can still be a time waster for many.   We can get so wrapped up in setting priorities and writing lists that we fail to take action and move forward with completing the things on the list.  Since I can be as guilty of this as anyone, I work with a simple structure to prioritize those things on my to-do list. 
1) Deadlines – obviously the soonest deadline gets the first attention
But for those items when deadlines are not a factor –
2) Try to alternate easy/short projects with a longer/harder projects. By allowing yourself time to do projects that you can complete in a shorter period of time you are consistently rewarding yourself with the feeling of finishing something.  This feeling of accomplishment and completion are crucial to maintaining motivation when your to-do list is long and/or complex.
3) Try and determine which of the 2 or 4 projects you will enjoy doing the most. Put 1 or 2 of them at the top of the list and 1 or 2 of them at the bottom.  You get to start with something you enjoy and have something else you will enjoy towards the end.   It is the ages old carrot – stick method of motivation.  Start with something you enjoy to motivate you and get your creative juices flowing and then accomplish other things by knowing there is a fun reward at the end.
So those are my tips on how to prioritize.  How do you prioritize that never-ending to-do list?