Math and Organization. What Fun!

April 02 2014

Hello, Listservians! (Listservites? Listservants? Listservicals?)

Fun fact: The odds of someone winning the Listserve lottery in their first year of joining (if they joined today) are about 1.45%. The odds of winning it within 5 years of joining? About 7.04%
Note: I make a few assumptions with these estimations.
1. If you win once, you can win again
2. The approximate 25,000 Listservians remains constant

If each person is eliminated from the lottery once he/she wins, your chances don’t increase by much (fractions of a percent). And I would guess there’s some sort of slow exponential increase of Listservians over time. In other words, your odds of winning are pretty low and only decreasing.

On math:

I’m currently a math tutor. When someone says “I’m not good at math” I always tell them that some people are just more naturally skilled at certain things (like math). For those who are not as skilled, you have to work hard at it. Saying “I’m not good at (some skill)” to me means “I haven’t given this particular skill my very best effort.” I always tell my students that because they have to work harder, it means they’ll gain a deeper appreciation of that subject or skill.
Above was a general statement, not a catch-all for every single skill. I’m a tutor, not a life coach! Haha.

On organization:
You can organize just about every aspect of your life, so why not try organizing the time in your life? Try breaking your day / week down into a few different categories:

- Personal health and hygiene (e.g. sleeping, showering, eating, and exercising)
- Work (or school)
- Fostering social relationships (e.g. talking with friends and family, picking up chocolate for a friend, seeing friends)
- Errands / Life Maintenance (e.g. groceries, plumbing issues, paying bills)
- Self-Improvement (e.g. learning a foreign language, practicing a musical instrument, listening to an informative podcast, reading, exercising)
- Me time (e.g. watching your favorite TV show, taking time to decompress, enjoying some peace and quiet)
- BoguS (aka BS) time (watching an excess of TV, playing video games for hours, mindlessly wandering the Internet)

These categories can change from person to person (especially parents) but you can fit almost all your activities into one or more categories. Work and personal health take up a large portion of each day and week, so it’s important to cut down on the BS time and try to find time for Self-improvement and Fostering social relationships on a daily and weekly basis.
One activity can fit into multiple categories.
Also note that activities like your commute to work can be productive. I read on the train or listen to fun and educational podcasts so it can be counted as both “Work” and “Self-Improvement.”

Finally, “me time” is necessary for most people on a daily basis. Just make sure that your “me time” doesn’t turn into BS time.

On my favorite newsletters:
If you like the Listserve, consider trying some weekdaily newsletters: “Now I Know” by Dan Lewis and “Next Draft” by Dave Pell.
Now I Know is a “free daily email newsletter of interesting things, you'll learn something new every day.” Dan Lewis has perfected the “fun fact of the day.”
Next Draft is essentially your 5’o’clock news and morning newspaper in an email, except there’s no commercials and you get to read what you find most interesting. Dave Pell always has witty headlines.

Take care of yourself,

Eli Easty
[email protected]
New York, New York

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