Summer is fast approaching and a new season is often a good time to reevaluate our daily schedules and routines. I’ve decided I’ll be scaling back for summer, at least in some areas of my life.
Last week while on vacation in North Myrtle Beach, I read the book, Essentialism, by Greg McKeown. It’s been on my reading list since October when I included it as a one of the LWD Book Club selections. I took it with me and began reading on the plane. It was a timely choice for me.
I had worked like a maniac in the couple of weeks prior to vacation in order to be able to pretty much unplug for the week. I wrote blog posts and scheduled all my social media for my blog as well as our non-profit and an events group I administer on Facebook. That sentence makes it all sound easy but I spent hours and hours getting all of it done. It was worth it, though. I really needed the mental break from it all.
Getting off the hamster wheel and reading Essentialism gave me some much-needed clarity. I need to scale back a bit in some areas. Not forever, but for a season.
So here’s my plan:
- For the next 3-4 months you’ll likely see fewer blog posts. I usually try to post Monday through Friday but I’m giving myself permission to cut back.
- I’m going to be actively seeking guest posts. If you’d like to write for Life With Dee, now is your chance. Email me a proposal and I’ll seriously consider it as long as it is well-written and a good fit for my readers.
- Instead of sending the LWD newsletter every Saturday, I’ll be cutting back to every other week. I spend anywhere from 3-6 hours on each newsletter so this alone will save me a significant amount of time.
- Fewer posts on the Life With Dee Facebook page. I generally post every other hour from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. I spend a lot of time searching for interesting content to share, scheduling it and then reading and responding to all comments. I happen to love Facebook (usually) and enjoy this form of social media for my blog. However, it is pretty time-consuming.
- Fewer “tweets”. Instead of trying to post at least 5 times per day on Twitter, I’m reducing that to somewhere between 1 and 3.
- I try really hard to respond to every comment here on the blog, as well as Facebook. I also respond to all emails. None of that will change but I may be a little slower in my responses. I’m going to be setting aside specific times to respond rather than as soon as I happen to see a comment or receive an email.
What will I be doing with all this extra time? Here’s a partial list:
- Working on a couple of writing projects
- Reading and researching
- Hosting our 10th annual Happyland Music Festival in our backyard Memorial Day weekend (and recovering from it!)
- Going on a few short getaways with David. We have tickets to see Chicago and The Doobie Brothers in Kansas City on our anniversary. David and I both have summer birthdays so we’ll likely take a short trip for each of those, as well.
- Lots of events hosted by our non-profit including East End Eats (music, food trucks, kids activities) the first Thursday of each month, Music in the Park every Sunday evening, Momentum, and Ada Fest. And those are just the events we already know of.
So if you were concerned that I might be bored, put your worries aside.
What about you? Do you ever feel the need to scale back a bit? Do you change up your routines in the summer? Do you have any special plans? Leave me a comment or feel free to email me if you prefer.
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From the Hardcover edition of “Essentialism“:
Have you ever felt the urge to declutter your work life?
Do you often find yourself stretched too thin?
Do you simultaneously feel overworked and underutilized?
Are you frequently busy but not productive?
Do you feel like your time is constantly being hijacked by other people’s agendas?
If you answered yes to any of these, the way out is the Way of the Essentialist.
The Way of the Essentialist isn’t about getting more done in less time. It’s about getting only the right things done. It is not a time management strategy, or a productivity technique. It is a systematic discipline for discerning what is absolutely essential, then eliminating everything that is not, so we can make the highest possible contribution towards the things that really matter.
By forcing us to apply a more selective criteria for what is Essential, the disciplined pursuit of less empowers us to reclaim control of our own choices about where to spend our precious time and energy – instead of giving others the implicit permission to choose for us.
Essentialism is not one more thing – it’s a whole new way of doing everything. A must-read for any leader, manager, or individual who wants to do less, but better, and declutter and organize their own their lives, Essentialism is a movement whose time has come.