Ok, so we’ve moved, I don’t have a commute anymore…well, I do, but it’s to the coffee maker then to my desk. Then it’s riding the wild Internet for the day job. A five second commute back to the living room and on with the rest of my life.
I noticed that somehow, my 3 hours that used to be spent driving to and from work was STILL being eaten up, but not by driving or more constructive pursuits. Not consistently anyway. Then, I had an epiphany of sorts. I haven’t changed my habits at all. After all, the commute wasn’t my only obstacle in the way of getting things done. Between the day job and personal life, I often feel scattered. I love to collect information, but then rarely do I get around to processing it and doing anything with it. I realized this yesterday when I looked at my Google Reader. Holy mother of ding-dongs…Sooooooooo many blogs…soooooooooo many RSS feeds. More than any human could ever read if they wanted to. And why? Because I saw a cool article there once and decided it would be useful info to have, and one day, I’ll actually get around to reading it. All I need is some time!
Now, I have more time, yet I still didn’t read it. So, I deleted it. And about a zillion other blogs that I saw one cool piece of info, and never read again. Think of it like an episode of “Hoarders” but with RSS feeds. Much more sanitary, but just as disturbing. Why did I have all that stuff? That’s the same question I asked myself when we were moving. Some stuff, you need. Some stuff, provides stability, etc. But MOST stuff, in and of itself, is not necessary. We like it, but we don’t need it. Turns out, it’s the same for RSS feeds. And I realized that not only was I not reading the majority of them, I wasn’t really reading any of them, because what would happen was I’d see that huuuuuuuge list of feeds and feel overwhelmed and close the window. I don’t think I’m alone in this, but correct me if I’m wrong. Pick a huge unmanageable task. You see it, you start feeling overwhelmed, you have no idea where to begin, so you shut down and it said task never gets done.
This can happen with cleaning, homework, packing, moving, and you guessed it…writing. I have an idea for a book, I don’t know where to start, I’m overwhelmed, and no writing occurs. Has that ever happened to you? That’s when I usually pull out the Fabulous Approach from a previous post. By no means foolproof, but if nothing else, it’s a snappy little song to have stuck in your head.
So now that I’ve hacked away at my Google Reader to a manageable few feeds, it’s not as overwhelming. I feel more in control of it. It’s kind of like anything else, it’s not about how many tools you have, but how effectively you can use them. So I’ll start using less tools, but using them more efficiently.
Do you see any of this in your own life? What do you do to simplify things so they’re easier to manage? Or are you just one of the lucky people who was like that all along?