After reading Leo Babauta’s book Focus I find myself wanting to reduce.
My life is full of stress, tasks, and stuff that pile up to build barriers between me and my goals. I need to focus, minimize, and I need to learn how to let things go. After clearing a path, I need to start. In fact, that’s what I’m doing right now. Starting.
Leo’s book has five sections:
- Step Back
- Clear Distractions
One reason I want to clarify my life is to let go of stress and focus on writing. Writers write. I spend more of my time whining that I don’t have the time to write than actually writing. Let me say it again.
I plan to allocate time each day to sit at my desk, put on my headphones with some ambient music, and write. There will be no cruising the Internet, reading Twitter, or scanning headlines during this special time. Notifications and alerts will be set to a minimum level (or turned off).
Self-imposed limitations are reducing the amount of time I spend rooting around in RSS and Twitter. I pruned both my list of news feeds and the Twitterers I follow. I also try to ferret out the most interesting items and send them to Instapaper for reading later; sometimes much later. My Instapaper list is quite long these days.
If my findings are timely, or if they include photos or video I want to enjoy on a bigger screen, I email them to myself to read when that bigger screen is available.
Much of what I write ends up posted on this blog, but I also want to focus on some fiction and non-fiction. I’ve got a folder of long-neglected ideas and false starts that are screaming for my return and attention.
When I was younger, I wanted the fame and money that would come with publishing The New Great American Southern Gothic Novel™. Now, I want to write because it’s what I love. It helps me focus my thoughts and, sometimes, it may even help someone else find their way.