It has been another week spent removing numerous distractions in my life. I have to say that there were some major changes to way I deal with information and media online. I’ve had to rid myself of a hording nature, in an attempt to pave the way for a more productive existence. These actions have had a knock-on effect with my non-digital life, allowing me to make decisions and set goals without being bogged down by so much crap.
One of the big decisions this week, was deleting my stumbleupon and myspace accounts. I found that much of my morning was spent dealing with status reports and spam mail on myspace; and I haven’t used stumbleupon in over 9 months. It really was a no-brainer to turf them, and I won’t miss my membership at either website. If a social network isn’t offering any benefits, get rid of it. If a social bookmarking service isn’t being used, kick it out.
The next big change was deleting all of my google reader subscriptions and starting afresh with higher quality feeds that I know I will actually read. I only have so much time each day, and I much prefer to read blogs that are relevant to my situation. So, after transferring the list over to RSSOwl first, I deleted the lot from google reader and started handpicking those I wanted to keep. There was lucky to be 0.5% of the original feeds left. After getting some recommendations from some online buddies, I added a few that seemed to meet my quality and topical requirements. However, I will be thinking long and hard before I subscribe to more, I assure you.
I finished a book last Sunday night and posted the review on Tuesday. Fool’s Paradise by Jennifer Stevenson was well worth the read, and I am inclined to read more romance in future. I have a few fiction and non-fiction titles in the reading list, but I am looking forward to experiencing new genres, concepts, knowledge, techniques and styles that these have to offer.
No matter your art form, you have to be willing to expand your tool kit, and this can only be gained by opening yourself up to new styles and genres. I have found that even the small amount of reading I’ve been doing of late has allowed me to gain a further understanding of sentence structure, plotting, drafting and world-building.
A few days ago, I decided to give the Chrome browser another run to make better use of the Springpad service for creating a visual scrapbook of my resources. What started as a simple installation has resulted in me discovering a wealth of writing and productivity resources in the form of Chrome applications and extensions. All I have to do now is decide which ones stay and which are kicked to the curb. By the way, I will be posting a review of the Springpad service on my writing (not fiction) blog in the next few days. I will probably post an article on Chrome addons for writers as well, but that is going to take longer given that it is good policy to give a service at least a week before reviewing.
Before I conclude this entry, I’d like to mention that I got below 53 kg last Tuesday. I was so excited at my success, but am a little concerned as to how much I may or may not have gained over the last few days due to Christmas. On the good note, hubbs and I managed to get some exercise benches for under half price on Christmas ever from Sports F1rst, which will expand our exercise choices. The inverted bench allowed to do inverted situps on Saturday night. (10 sets of 10 reps) I intend to add the exercise to my daily routine when my abdomenals recover a bit, and I will post my progress via dailymile. Feel free to add me as a friend on the service if you’d like a training buddy and/or if you’d like to keep track of my progress as I head towards my 50 kg goal.