As I mentioned a week or so ago, my word for the new year is embrace. I’m trying to change the way I look at resolutions, and really just goals in general, in hopes of finding successes but in a more flexible and enjoyable way. I’m still fine-tuning my specific action plans, but to better organize my approach (and thoughts for blog posting purposes), I decided to break the overall concepts down into chucks.
One thing I really want to focus on is simplicity, and that actually spans a lot of different areas of my life (so I’m sure this is the first of two if not three posts on this particular area, with many relating to other themes as well). Probably the most notable, though, is clutter. I read The Joy of Less probably seven months ago, but even before then it was something I strived to achieve. People are constantly inundated with and surrounded by stuff. When I have less mess to deal with – whether it’s my inbox or a messy desk or the organization of my kitchen – I just feel better about life.
Perhaps for that feel-better boost following some over-indulging this holiday season, I’ve gotten a jump start on some of these purging action plans.
Email: I’ve got two emails accounts, although technically three if you count my work email account. I logged into one account the other day (my school account, where I still occasionally get legitimate email communication), and after not checking it for five days, I had 27 emails. All were from retailers. All of them. Talk about annoying. I know I did this at one point a year or so ago, but it’s once again time to take the time to unsubscribe to email listservs (instead of deleting as I roll my eyes and think about how annoyed I am) and purge unnecessary emails. My gmail inbox does not need 1,052 emails.
Computer Files: This is a hot mess. It’s very likely my computer is on it’s last leg, so this goal is somewhat two-fold. Ultimately I want to be sure all my files are backed up and appropriately organized/saved/stored. Before I do that, though, I want to minimize the crap. Do I really need two dozen photos of a recipe I tried 11 months ago? I started purging those files last July and made some progress, but it’s time to implement that daily 5-minute rule again. I also need to take a good hard look at my iTunes. The middle sister has a goal of listening to every single song in her collection in 2013. If she likes it, the song stays. If not (or if she doesn’t listen to it), then it’s gone. I like it.
Book Lists: The little sister and I were swapping e-books the other day when I hit a breaking point. I currently have not one, but four areas where I track books I want to read (which is now 5 if you count the tracking log I’m using in 2013, but that’s for a later post). And naturally the lists weren’t consistent with one another, making it equally frustrating when I was creating my 2013 log. While a Word document sufficed for quite some time, Amazon soon took over in the form of a wishlist. Then it seemed only natural to have an electronic “For Later” bookshelf under my library account so I knew which books I could check out instead of buy. And then I discovered goodreads. I didn’t need another list of books to read, but I love recommendations and seeing what others are reading or have read. There’s a purpose for each list, but seriously, this madness needs to stop. I’ve decided to not only purge and cross-reference those lists, but also have a comprehensive list in a particular location so I’ve got a go-to instead of having to check four different lists when I want a new book. I love lists, but this is exhausting.
Facebook: This is also a newer purge item for me. I’ve had various conversations during the last few months about the purpose of social media. I’m not really one to use facebook (aside from catching a few updates here and there/wasting time) primarily because I have my blog. That’s where the real updates on my life occur and are shared with those who find it interesting or at least want to know what’s going on with me. I also don’t promote my blog on facebook because my friends list is so expansive and I tend to be a private person (although that seems a little odd given what I tend to blog about, huh?). It’s time to look at how I use social media (I mean, do I really need a twitter account when I log in once every four months?), trim it down and actually use it as a way to stay connected with people.
As with other goals, I may have bitten off more than I can chew. But that’s where embracing a process-oriented view of action plans comes in handy. Some goals will certainly take a bit of time and there will undoubtedly be days where I don’t want to tackle it, even if it just takes five minutes. But I’m already finding that the more I do, the easier it is to purge and the better I feel. Before long I’ll really be embracing simplicity, and not a moment too soon.