What is on tap for today?

I am not sure what today will hold yet. It is still early. I have way too much to do and I have submitted to the fact that I will not get it all done so I am going to have to pick a few things and focus on those.

Today I am going to focus on a few areas: web and graphic design business stuff, cooking, some cleaning tasks that need to be done, and my office/craft room/piano room. While doing that I will be rotating the laundry through the wash.

Now everyone is probably going to say, “Hold on, that is a lot!” You are right, it is a lot. The fact is that some how I am going to get something done with all of those today. It might not be a lot, but it is going to get done.

First, however, I am going to make two phone calls that I have been so busy the past two days that I have forgotten to make them because I would get distracted with other tasks at hand and just forget. It happens. This morning, I am going to make those phone calls. First to the AT&T store to get the unlock code for my iPhone 4. Second to the junior high school to Kyle’s counselor to find out about the little discovery I found out about on Monday when I was in the school to get something else.

Then when I am done with that, I am going to sit down and fill out two sets of GT Testing request forms for my children (Lance and Kyle). I will then run those to each of their schools when I go back out in a little while. They are essentially just surveys on why I think my child should be tested for GT. Why do I think my child is GT material? They are a bit lengthy. The point is that I want them tested and frankly if it means that if I have to jump through a few hoops to get them tested, I am going to jump through the hoops. After the stuff that we went through with Andrew and trying to get him evaluated for GT in elementary school, this process just seems easier. I am glad that they changed the process. It ultimately did not matter with Andrew, when he was finally tested in junior high he blew them away on the tests and now he is in IB and is as content as can be. So yes, I will get to these today.

As for the other tasks, they will be prioritized and if I do not get to them, I do not get to them.

For the web and graphic design stuff, I have a project that I am working on that the colors scheme for the website and logo is giving us fits. We (the client and I) cannot seem to find the right color combination. It is not a big deal, we will get it right, it is just taking time. The project is just taking longer than I had originally planned for a variety of reasons and this is the big one. We just need to figure it out and finalize everything so the rest of the project can move forward.

Now that I am in the phase of actually designing the website layout, the colors are a bit easier to visualize and the logo is color reliant so we are just adjusting as we go. I am changing the colors on the logo as we go and see if it helps. We will find the right combination! I am determined. The logo has not been finalized so while I am doing things out of my normal phased process it is working.

I am improvising. I do this with a lot of projects. It is what I have to do to keep the project moving along. I go with the flow and it works. It does not make it easier to say, “It is now time for you to give me the next payment” because that clear cut payment point has now been skewed, but at least the project is moving forward. 

I also need to work on another website review for another client. I have completed two, but I have one more to go. These are not necessarily hard, but they can be a bit time consuming. To put the words “your website sucks” down eloquently is a bigger challenge than one might imagine. Fortunately for this client these are redesigns of original work of mine and the websites do not “suck” per say, but they are old and they are outdated. They need a bit of plastic surgery – a facelift so to speak.

That being said, the website review has become an important step for me when I have client meetings. It puts me on the same page with the client. When I present to them where I stand with the website from a professional perspective, it helps them understand that I am not picking on them personally. The review for my personal clients for redesign work is loaded with statistics from their own website history. Often website owners are attached to their websites, I present to them a review that is objective and states the obvious once the emotion is removed from the equation. My clients can see in the numbers what is working and what is not, as well as where visitors are going and not going. It paints them a clear picture as to how their end user is using their website or not.

On the other hand, I have started offering website reviews to outside websites as a courtesy service. For these I may not have access to website history and statistics. For these I am presenting an objective review of the usability of the website. Can the user access the website? Is the website easy on the eyes? Is it easy to navigate? Does the navigation make sense? Do I get lost when I am there? Are the sections logically divided? Does the site follow basic design principles? Are the colors playing nice together? It is more about the design. Good design reviews can be objective. I do not have to like your website for me to say, “Yes, it follows all these points.” I may not like the color orange, but that does not mean that if you had the right contrast that it does not work. If it is appropriate and I can clearly read everything on the screen, it works.

Today I need to do some cooking. I think I might need to go to the store to grab a few items, however. I need to decide exactly what I am doing with the items I have in the fridge. I have ground beef and chicken. I keep looking at this recipe for Creamy Chicken Enchiladas. Of course I would have to modify the recipe for me, but I think I can. I need a few items for the recipe, however. I am fresh out of diced green chilies. There is also a recipe for Sausage Lasagna Roll-ups. My family loved the Lasagna Roll-ups that were made before using ground beef. I found an Alfredo Lasagna recipe that I could also try. I am fresh out of spaghetti sauce, however. Of course I could make my own. I am just trying to minimize time in the kitchen because these recipes are time consuming as it is. I also am going to be making the Cinnamon Raisin Bread today. Although I might put it off until tomorrow.

Cleaning tasks involve the rest of the kitchen and some light bathroom cleaning. The bathrooms actually need more than light cleaning, but alas it is all I am getting to today.

And prioritizing the list now, it looks like the office/craft room/piano room is going to have to wait. Although, I do have to say that I did get the table cleaned off halfway yesterday so we are already one step in the right direction there.

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