Email Isn’t Really Getting Things Done

Photo by Jurgen Appelo

I love the satisfaction of having an empty email inbox. And I used to spend hours making sure I got there multiple times a day.

What I have figured out, though, is that processing email isn’t really getting things done.

Email is just a way for other people to add things to my task list. And yet I will happily go in and do all those things – ignoring the important stuff on my plate.

The satisfaction comes from dropping all those email in to the trash. It feels productive because I am making things disappear – I no longer have to worry about them.

But ultimately, it’s not about how many emails I process. There is not a single one of my goals that involves email in any sort – and still I spend an inordinate amount of time in email.

So if I want to truly make progress on my goals, I need to put the email aside. And get stuff done that really does matter.

Photo by Jurgen Appelo

Why I Don’t Read The News

Photo by Sole Treadmill

The news has long made me angry. I would listen to the news on my way to work and find myself shouting at the radio. Television news made me want to throw things. So I opted out.

It wasn’t my idea. A book I was reading at the time presented the idea of a media fast…and I did it. I never went back to the news.

Some people would say that it is a disadvantage. After all, I couldn’t tell you want is going on in Hollywood, and I wouldn’t recognize a picture of Kim Kardashian. I’m not aware of the details of the latest presidential temper tantrum. And in spite of this, I am still relatively well informed about the stuff that is going on.

How? It’s simple.

People tell me.

And then if I deem it important enough, I will go out and research it myself.

I may not know the minute something is happening, but if it is important enough, someone will mention it within 2-3 days. That’s still faster than my grandparents got their news, so I am counting myself ahead of the game. I still am informed, and my irritation level and blood pressure are down.

Photo by Sole Treadmill

Private Conversations On Social Media

Photo by Akuppa

I got rather annoyed with someone recently because I had made a comment on a post on Facebook asking a question…and I asked the person by name to answer.

This was followed by a people giving me advice and some even berating me for not doing things how they thought it should be done.

My initial reaction was to turn to these people and ask them to mind their own business. I was annoyed, because as far as I was concerned, all of these people were interlopers on the conversation.

I view social media like having a conversation in a crowd.

In a crowd, I am generally talking to one person. My comments may be overheard, but for the most part people have better manners than to eavesdrop and then insert themselves in a conversation that is happening next to them.

So why is it in social media that people feel they don’t need to mind their manners and stay out of things that are not addressed to them?

I would expect that in social media, if a comment is addressed to someone by name, that other people shouldn’t feel the need to jump in.

I believe that social media, while broadening our reach, is causing a deterioration of the behaviors that make it possible to exist in a society. I believe that one should never behave in a way online that one would not behave in person.

Another nail in the coffin for my use of social media….

Photo by Akuppa

What Does Independence Mean?

Photo by Karsun Designs PhotographyToday is Independence Day. We mostly don’t call it that – it’s the “Fourth of July”. I think most of us have lost sight of the fact that this is the day that a group of rebels, risking their lives, signed the document that broke us free from Great Britain.

Independence means different things to different people.

In my case, independence means that I am not compelled to answer to anyone I don’t choose to answer to. Yes, I answer to my family, my employer, my clients. It does not mean that I answer to anyone else without that power of choice.

Independence means that I voluntarily comply with rules that make our society work and make it possible to live and work together in peace and harmony. It does not mean that I blindly follow the rules.

Independence means that I have the right to disagree. I may not choose to act on that disagreement, or give it voice, but I still have the right to do either should I choose. It does not mean that I hold my tongue because I am not allowed to say what I wish.

I am very grateful for those men who decided to put their lives on the line for independence. And I remind myself that the independence is a gift, and can be taken away by those who kid themselves that they are acting in the greatest good.

Photo by Karsun Designs Photography