Getting comfortable with things that work – and changing things that don’t

I was on a roll this weekend.

  • I had finished reading The Secret some time ago. While I don’t buy into all of it, there was some encouraging stuff in there. Being intentional about how my brain works, where my thoughts go, and what my energy is focused on has been very helpful.
  • My inbox is still at under 10 messages. Talk about GTD. The lesson here is the fewer times you can touch something (email message) the more productive you can be. Get the email, process the email, file it or delete it. Don’t let it hang around.
  • After reading a few of Lyman’s post on Simpleology, I decided to check it out. I dig it. Deliberate, paced, and fun. The Daily Praxis has been most helpful. And Mark’s delivery is very funny – I like funny.

These things are working. They may not work for everybody, but they (with my tweaks) are working for me.

Tweaks…that’s where my train got derailed.

I have decided I am going to start The Reading Chair here at Beautiful Chaos. Why?

  • I like to read smart stuff. There are all kinds of people reading smart stuff. I make a little note to read whatever the recommendation is, lose the paper, spend a ton of time trying to find the recommendation.
  • I like to tell you about the stuff I read but I want the posts all in one place. Remember, I am trying to streamline certain aspects of my life.

Well, in an effort to do this, I got lost in the tweaks.

  • Wow, I must have this new plug in.
  • Look at this neat format idea.
  • My blog just would not survive without this.

Hours later, I am no closer to standing up The Reading Chair than I was 15 minutes into the endeavor. Stupid.

So, here is my daily affirmation.

  • I like the way Beautiful Chaos looks.
  • Beautiful Chaos serves its function as a blog.
  • Beautiful Chaos is user friendly and aesthetically pleasing just the way it is.
  • I will save mindless tweaking for my free time.

Time wasters. We all have them. This is one of mine and it is sickening. It must be eradicated. Sounds overly dramatic, I know – unless you see all the “to dos” yesterday that suffered from my lack of management.

Did something else this morning. I changed the way my email runs. I can’t turn Outlook off – it has my schedule on it and I have set up some alarms to keep me on track. But there is no doubt that real time email is this shiny thing that glitters and I find it impossible to resist – time waster. Solution – I turned off the “automatic send/receive.” Yes, I am experiencing withdraws. Yes, I am twitching a bit. No, I will not turn it back on. I hope.


  1. Hi April,
    I can’t imagine my inbox being under 10! Wow! That’s amazing. You rock!

    I love your blog affirmations! Tweaking and new applications are sooo tempting. I have had to limit myself from mindless tweaking too.

  2. Lyman Reed says:

    I really felt you on this, April… I can get so lost in “feature creep” that suddenly *hours* have gone by and nothing has really happened except for a whole lot of “Hey, let’s try this! And this… and how about THAT!” 🙂

    And the email thing… I’m working on that myself. Keeping Gmail closed, but knowing it’s just a click away from my calendar is tough. Kudos for turning off the auto send and receive.

    I look forward to “The Reading Chair”… sounds really cool!

  3. Kirsten – it was painful…really it was. Maintaining it is harder than turning down birthday cake. And if you like my affirmations, then I am for sure doing them right 🙂

    Lyman – And the really irritating thing is when the tweaks don’t work or don’t do what you thought they were going to do…ack! Ah…my beloved real time email. I miss it so much…

  4. April, great idea on the Reading Chair! I spend most of my “free” time reading blogs, news, business journals online, etc. but I do have a degree in English (so I think I’m supposed to like reading). Combine paper with wine and I pass out, so I’ll skip the wine.

    I can’t wait to hear about your recent readings (and tell you what the most awesomest (that’s my B.A. in action there) bestest book is). Can’t wait!!!

    P.S: I am no help to your Inbox, nor do I intend to be so. I will continue to write a sporadic long email. 🙂 Great work- keep it up, April!!! Great example for the kiddos!

  5. Lani,

    Yeah, I run into that pass out problem too…but, what the hay, I try 🙂

    I am really looking forward to your English major suggestions. I really slid through my classes in high school and challenged out of them in college. I KNOW I missed out on some great stuff. Just deciding where to start can be so overwhelming.

    And you, my dear friend, can have all the inbox space you want! I would be saddened by anything else 🙂

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