When you are working do you have lots of tabs open on your internet browser? Do you bounce from place to place, forever cycling between them, or do you work through them in a logical order?
Don’t get me wrong there are times when you need those tabs all open, if you are comparing information, etc. When I go into my feedly I open up all the articles I want to read in the next 25 minutes and then go through them, commenting, clipping them if they are important or potentially useful, and closing them as I go. I only open up what I can deal with in the amount of time I have. This means that when I next open my browser I can get on with what I want to do, rather than see what I had there.
Every time I look at a browser and see those tabs they distract me from what I want to do – especially Twitter, Faceboook, Instagram, email etc etc etc. It is really easy to bounce between those in a never ending cycle. But of course this doesn’t really add value to my life in any great way, it certainly doesn’t help me to achieve my big project.
And of course this metaphor can be continued…..
- what online courses are you signed up to that you don’t really have the time or inclination to complete, but you are still getting notifications for?
- any creative projects that you keep meaning to do?
- old blogs that really you don’t want to write any more?
- obligations and commitments – family, community, work, etc – that you don’t want to do?
These all take up space – physically in terms of creative projects, but mentally for all of them. They all have an associated guilt with them, because you know you should be working on them, but you are not. Or do you them with resentment…. it ties back into to idea debt.
I recently decided I was going to focus on my writing and music. On Christmas Eve I finished the giant, man sized Star Wars quilt for my husband that I had started, ahem, two years ago. It was physically taking up space on the shelf in its project box, but also a lot of guilt. I have decided I am never doing any sewing again, aside from buttons and small tears in clothes that can be done by hand. I have given nearly all of my fabric away and am trying to figure out what to do with the rest and my nan’s ancient Singer sewing machine that I am fairly sure is made out of cast iron, or at least that is how it feels!
Knitting and crochet – I’m not going to do it again, so I am in the process of sorting out all the yarn, needles etc and I am going to give them to the local community knit ’n’ natter group.
I have an ebook that I have been working on for a while and to be honest it was all getting rather half hearted. I don’t want to throw it away as it is good work and I might come back to it at a later point, so I have decided to archieve it. It no longer appears when I open up Scrivener (the writing tool I use for projects longer than a blog post) and it is no longer taking up brain space as I have decided not to work on it. I will review it in six months.
That NaNoWriMo novel? Well I am in the process of going through the first draft and hope to have it polished and ready to do something with by the end of the year.
My flute? Well I’m still in the band and I’m working towards my grade 5. Then I will do my music theory and piano for a while, mainly as I want to be able to play and sing and have no idea how to play the piano.
But everything else? I have closed the tab and archived the project so it is there when I want to come back to it at a later date.
What open tabs do you have? Can you close any of them? In both a literal, on your computer sense, but also in things in your life?