Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The Year of Living Simply

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions. I usually make a couple generic ones, like exercise more or read more books. I never really give much though to how I might achieve my goals and often don't even write them down or tell anyone else about them, so it should come as no surprise that I don't really make good on my resolutions. Things were looking the same this year until I stumbled upon what I think is a good resolution. My resolution is to simplify. I tend to make a lot of things more difficult than they need to be and I'm also reluctant to invest any time in learning how to use things more efficiently. For example, most people would balk at having to use 10 keystrokes to save a file in a word processing program and search out some kind of shortcut. I would probably use the 10 keystroke method (while cursing it) for months before investing a couple of minutes to try and find a new way. My goal is to identify situations where I am wasting effort and see if I can find an easy way to make things easier. My first success came yesterday, when I finally decided to unsubscribe from all of the stupid e-mail lists that I've landed on by virtue of purchasing goods and services online. Instead of just deleting these unwanted e-mails, I spend the extra 30 seconds to click on the unsubscribe link. My biggest regrets at the end of each year are always the things that I never managed to get around to. By simplifying mundane, everyday tasks where possible, I should have more time and energy to devote to the things I really want to do.

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