Recently I’ve been muttering about how I’d like to get an assistant, and part of the reason for that — besides enabling my own laziness, of course — is that it seems like in the past couple of months both my basal level of energy has dropped and the amount of stimulus I have (in the form of correspondence, business issues, various responsibilities ranging from trivial to fairly significant) have increased, and as I result I’m feeling myself slipping behind on a number of fronts.
I’m feeling it particularly in case of e-mail, where there has been especially significant recent growth; whereas before I could barely keep up with it all, now there are substantially more e-mails I don’t respond to, even when I intend to; I make a mental note to reply but then later in the day they’ve dropped below the fold and I’ve clean forgotten about them, and often later I simply can’t find them. I’m almost certain, for example, I was recently invited to be a Guest of Honor at a convention, but I can’t remember which convention, and now I can’t find the e-mail where the invitation was extended. So if you’re that convention, er, sorry. Please send that e-mail again. But even very close friends have suffered my e-mail lapses in the last couple of months, along with other correspondents of both a personal and professional nature.
I hate it because it makes me feel like a flake. Some of that is about me being flaky, I suppose, but some of it is simply having to ride herd on a mailbox that’s gotten progressively unruly. I think at some point I may have to steal a march from Lawrence Lessig and simply declare e-mail bankruptcy and start over. And that’s just e-mail; there’s lots of other stuff, too, which I can’t declare “bankruptcy” on.
To be sure, this general increase of busyness and responsibility is not a bad thing; it’s a reflection that my career’s going nicely, and it’s sure nice to be popular. But it’s getting near the point were I think I’m going to need an actual outboard brain, because my brain is close to max. And while on one hand some risidual Protestant Work Ethic in me points and laughs at the idea of me getting an assistant of some sort, that same work ethic can’t help but notice it’s up to its neck in stuff I’m supposed to be doing. All of it’s got to be done; some of it could be handled by someone else.
And yes, I’m aware of the irony of writing for 500 words about how I’m finding it more difficult to get everything done. I am my own worst enemy, thank you very much.
In any event: Sorry to be behind on everything. I’m working on catching up.