Defend your schedule

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives. What we do with this hour, and that one, is what we are doing. A schedule defends from chaos and whim. It is a net for catching days. It is a scaffolding on which a worker can stand and labor with both hands at sections of time.”

— Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

We all have a list of things that we want to accomplish. And probably a bigger list of things that require our attention. And, if we’re honest, an even longer list of items that others need from us.

When we make time, we take time from other items that could be consuming our attention. The economic principle of opportunity costs. What we are giving up.

Remember: The most successful people are generally those who eliminate the unnecessary from their lives.

Mise-en-place

Another in a series of thoughts on decluttering and belongings, the French culinary specialists have given the world mise-en-place, or everything in its place. And the principle extends beyond the kitchen. When I lived in my small home, I tried to adhere to this principle to maintain my sanity (with mixed results).

How far you take it is up to you. Maybe the bookshelves keep a clean and orderly appearance.

559404-istock-512966920_0

Or you meticulously organize your pantry.

0841b355db23d1b5d4e2362cf6cf1775.jpg

On the other hand, maybe you’re lucky if everything fits on a shelf. 11844881464_95278ba223_b

Whichever side you currently find yourself on, remember that it can be better. Find a home for everything – one that looks pleasing to your eye. Then, make sure every item returns to its home after use.

If you don’t have room for everything, then that’s a discussion for a later time.

Simplicity

When working towards simplifying life, it’s easy to forget to take care of certain things. Relationships, for one. And the quality of your relationships directly affects your well-being.

Remember to be honest with those closest to you, and honest with yourself. What are you trying to achieve? And why? Knowing your reasoning, and being able to communicate it, will go a long way towards easing your transition into a scaled-down lifestyle.

More

It seems that we’re constantly in search for more. More money, more time, more freedom, more happiness.

I’m actually looking for my space on my computer, prompting this post.

And I started thinking about all that I already have. And it’s a lot. I think we accumulate a lot of stuff. Would I like more time? Sure, but I could be using the time I have a little better.

More money. Absolutely! But I don’t need to be spending the money I do have on things that aren’t enriching my life.

We often focus so much on the more, we neglect the why. And if you’re not appreciating what you currently have, then do you really need more of it?

Kondo

In my realm of time-suckery, I’ve been decluttering a house ala Kondo. It’s exhausting. When I’m not working, I’m decluttering. There’s quite literally stuff piled on every possible service in this house, because I’m emptying boxes, cabinets, drawers, and doors that had been closed off for years. Jimmy Hoffa may still be in one. I haven’t checked them all.

While doing the task, I’ve noticed I’ve had little energy for reading or writing. My mental capacities have been used up in decision making – Does this item bring me joy?

If the answer is no, it’s gone. But then it gets separated into donate, sell, or trash/recycle/shred. It seems as though I’ve spent 16 hours a day on this project, though I know that’s not possible. Not because I’m sleeping 8 hours a night, but because I know I can’t concentrate on any one thing for that long. And I’m tempted to just leave everything outside and let Dorian take it when it comes by.

However, the light is starting to appear at the end of the tunnel, and it is a joy-filled light free of unnecessary things.

Hacked

Well, my Netflix was hacked. Not a big deal, and with as little as I’ve been watching tv over the past month, it was a while before I really noticed.

Now Netflix had been sending me email alerts, but the culprit was in Mexico and had changed the language preference to Spanish – and thus each email alert that Netflix sent was non-English and I mistook them for spam.

I’ve recently spoken with my friend and IT cohort, and he scolded me for not utilizing two-level authentication on all of my accounts. Now, I think I’ll have to be more diligent about my security.

The technical

With a blog I’ve been working on for about three years (on and off), and other social media accounts I’ve had for longer – as well as the new website, a podcast, a radio show, and a new media showcase about to start production on Sunday, sorting through the technology requirements on a limited schedule is complicated.

Right now I’m working on batching blog posts so that I can have at least five done each day. The last two weeks were pretty well shot with rehearsals, a new office, and advisory council appointment orientation. As everything settles and I work on processing incoming data efficiently, I’ll lay out those inbox sorting techniques here (somewhere.)