Sunday, October 20, 2013

Media Diet

I listened to portions of the book "The Four Hour Work Week" by Timothy Ferriss recently on a car trip.  Don't really know why I picked it out--just in self-help gotta-get-more-organized mode, I guess.

Several of the author's suggestions were familiar: along the lines of "Eat That Frog", get your most important tasks out of the way first.  But he also advocates eliminating ALL time-wasting activity, and severely limiting contacts.  The "severely limiting contacts" is what got me started on my recent unsubscribe mission.  He weans his colleagues and business associates off of the expectation of rapid email responses, in order to only have to check and respond to email once or twice a week.

Guess what he has to say about social media, blogs, and the internet?  Exactly: they are time-wasters.  (After all, his premise is that, without all these constant distractions and non-essential non-work-related activities, you could get your job done in only four hours a week.)

Well, the advice gets more strident: go on a media diet for a week.  This means don't spend time keeping up with the news on television or radio or internet.  In fact, avoid any and all media, unless it is critical to getting your work done.

This intrigues me.  As an adult with ADD, I often get sucked into the internet vortex, horribly distracted and off-task, even when I start with something as innocuous and simple as checking the weather before getting dressed for the day.

Maybe there is a lesson hidden here: severely limiting the inputs to my brain can be a helpful thing.  I know I love being exposed to a daily dose of new and interesting (and often nerdy) ideas by listening to NPR, but is this really causing me too much distraction?  Would I be more productive--or at least have an easier time focusing and feeling less stressed--if I severely cut back my media exposure?

My Social Experiment: we'll see how this plays out over the next week.  (Disclaimer: in looking for images to accompany this posting, I spent about 30 minutes actually reading and digesting other ideas on media diets, including a blog post that resonated with me.  But it also took 30 minutes away from what I wanted to do with my time this evening.  Damn.)

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Sometimes I feel like I just discovered fire.  Or invented the wheel. 

Today I am proud of myself--even though what I have done is so simple that a *facepalm* might be the appropriate gesture (why, oh why hadn't I thought of that before?)


Yep, I just discovered that most of the annoying email newsletters and endless sales pitches from retailers and "educational partners" have a link on the bottom marked unsubscribe.  And that this magical button has the power to transform my email inbox.

Who knew? 

I was too busy slogging through the daily pack of emails, hitting delete before even opening over two-thirds of what came my way.  And it seemed that the influx was getting heavier over time.  Since when does Store M have a daily deal so awesome that it needs a daily email?  And how about C Online University, where I can finish my Master's degree program?  Do I really need to hear about every opportunity?  In a word: NO.

Do I feel sorry for the site that greeted my efforts to unsubscribe from their annoying emails with a sad graphic?  Not at all.

My gain: freedom from hundreds of artery-clogging, bank-balance-depleting, time-wasting emails a week.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Setting Goals for October

I normally spend a moment at the beginning of a new month reviewing my progress in the previous month.  This time, however, after several months of floundering around, I want to set some goals.

What would I like to accomplish in October?  What is actually realistic for me to accomplish in October--given all the multitude of other demands on my time?  (And, remembering that I am slower than I think when it comes to getting things done.)


1.  Complete SIX of the aprons that will be Christmas gifts to the nieces and nephews this year.  Six may sound like a lot, but I have thirteen of them to make; and I don't want to still be sewing these in December (goal: stress-free Christmas).  I intend to personalize each one to the recipient, so I know that adds a level of complexity, too.

2.  Finish this month's Buck-a-Block in time for the final monthly meeting of this 12-month BOTM adventure.
Planned circle quilting location

3.  Quilt some circles into the baby quilt (from last year's Buck-a-Block BOTM extravaganza) that I am machine quilting on my own. I learned a circle quilting technique on a recent episode of Sewing With Nancy, and I think I can do it.

There.  A plan for October.  Might even get it all done--unlike most of my ToDo lists, which are knowlingly too long for human accomplishment.

I'm linking up with A Year of Lovely Finishes, so that I can track both my goal-setting, and my actual progress at the end of the month.  Wish me luck!

Mini-goal for this weekend: cut out all the linings for the six aprons, and prep three of them for dyeing.

Friday, October 4, 2013


In honor of my friend Donna whose hobby is scuba diving.  I took this picture while she was away enjoying a luxurious week of diving in Hawaii...

Notice how dreary the skies are overhead.  Maybe I was feeling a little jealous, stuck enjoying delightful fall weather in Oregon.  Oh, but this picture wasn't supposed to be about the weather...

It's about the SHARK.  So clever, the way the shark's shape is formed from the letters.  Of course, the black shading doesn't hurt any, either.  *Sigh*  Last season's Project Runway All Stars flashback: the designers got to use spray paint on fabric to create wearable art.  Where are those amazing spray-paint-artist vibes when you need them? 

I just keep wondering if there's a way I can do something fishy (ok, something fabulously fishy) with Donna's name.  With fabric, of course.

Sorting through this summer's vacation photos.  Sighted on our Florida trip: a sticker on a truck that reminded me of the shark.  But this seemed more do-able as a Donna idea, as the entire shape didn't need to be created from the word.
Ahh, as always, more ideas than time.  Just a trip to fabric fantasy-land...