what s/he wrote

recently, seth godin wrote this blog post titled pest control.

in it, he says, "a big part of doing your work is defending your time and your attention so you can do your work."  i like that, and i think i might even say: a big part of doing your life is defending your time and attention so you can do your life.

right now, i'm in the beginning phases of some major streamlining: at home, at work, in my creative hours.  and it is, indeed, hard to control the noise.  with something demanding my attention all the time, i find i have to set some pretty firm boundaries for myself.  i've limited my facebook time to 10 minutes a day.  i don't watch or read the news unless something specific is important to me.  i say no to invitations sometimes.

it feels strange to admit that i've chosen not to follow the news.  and i have a really hard time saying no to invitations because i always think i'll be missing out.  and just jumping on facebook for 10 minutes a day means i  missed the announcement when a good friend's baby was born.  but it means i have time to write for this blog.  and it means i'm paying attention when i'm with my daughter instead of fooling around with my smartphone.  and it means i have time to exercise--sort of.  (i'm still working on that.)

i've got a lot more streamlining to do.  and i'm curious:  what boundaries do you set for "pest control"?


  1. Wondering if you've read this article: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/?ref=opinion (also it contains what might be the ultimate sentence, "...if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary.")

    And yes, I'm facing the same challenge, to use my time wisely and efficiently, but sometimes I just want to watch HGTV, dammit. Mostly what this means is I'm up later reading the internets and thinking about biznaz and lamenting I didn't have more time to play with the bunnies. Right now exercise gets cut out (bad choice) as does sleep (worse choice)and visiting with people during the day (terrible for socialization). Maybe I just need to re-order priorities?

    1. just read that article via facebook-land and YES. love that sentence and love that article. i just don't know how to do it without setting myself some super-strict boundaries, which seems kind of opposed to the great, loose feeling the busy trap describes.

      and yes, sometimes i just want to zone out to the mentalist. that's part of where my tv post came from. maybe that's just a habit? the priorities discussion can be so confusing. what do you feel like you are prioritizing?

  2. [many, many swear words...just lost my whole huge post, so forgive if this is not coherent...]

    So, priorities, somewhat in order: baby; keeping the house chaos to a tolerable level; basic tasks for the biznaz; prepping for the next luewwd (ooOooo I bet you'd be a great contestant - interested??); reading. Usually I feel like I'm getting the abs minimum done and doing nothing well, and I end up ignoring other important things (me, date night). Have decided that the only way to improve is to adhere to a rigorous schedule but I really don't function well like that. Do you function well with the boundaries?

    1. oh so sorry you lost a huge post. that always makes me feel like puking.

      i usually function really really well with the boundaries for a while--like a month or so. and then i get distracted by either wanting to add some other priority in the mix or by deciding i deserve a break from boundaries, and it all goes to hell. the most successful stretch i had was about a year of completely scheduling every day (even scheduling in free time) down to 30 minute increments. i thought i would hate it, but i actually felt both more accomplished and more free. but i got distracted, and i haven't gotten back to it.

      check out the post from today. it relates, and i'd love to know what you think.

      also: i hadn't ever heard of luewwd. that is AWESOME! i can't make the date for the next one, but i'd love to be part of it another time. love it.