0233 – improving my environment


Several times in my writing I have told myself that I want to improve my environment. I wrote in an earlier vomit– before I got married, before I seriously even considered the possibility that I would be a homeowner– that I would curate my living spaces and work spaces in ways that inspired me, that motivated me.

What have I done since? Not much. Why not? I think it’s largely because… I’m a little afraid of what other people would think. What my colleagues would think at work, what my wife and tenant would think at home. I know, it’s kinda silly. But I was self-conscious at home when I was a kid (again this is odd… it’s not like my parents ever stopped me). I guess I used to curate things online, have websites and folders and pages and all those things– but I never got around to literally modifying my physical environments.

So I thought I’d take a while to think about the improvements I could make to my spaces.

At home?

I keep forgetting that my home is MINE, and that I can do whatever I want with it. As long as my wife is okay with it, which I can check quickly by just asking her. If it’s something simple and reversible, I can just do it first and take it down if she doesn’t like it. But this uncertainty has been making me Not-Act.

In my bedroom?

I want to make sure that I know what I’m reading before I go to bed. This is pleasurable bedtime reading rather than calculated, hard-thinking/heavy reading. I should also include something maybe that’s some sort of incentive for me to get up early and go for a run. Maybe I could just have a running task– if I get up early and run in the morning, that gets to be a task in itself. Actually there’s no reason why it isn’t already– it IS! So why doesn’t it inspire me? I guess because it’s not immediate. Maybe I should bring my spindle to my room, and then skewer “jump out of bed” once I’m awake. I’ll give that a shot.

In my living room?

I like the post its and the calendar i’m currently using. I suppose I’d like something next to my calendar that has a picture of my entire life– I have that life-summary thing in my workflowy, but it’s too buried to make a difference. Even seeing it on my desktop I feel wouldn’t make that much of a difference… I think it’s more important to see it in between things. (Number of weeks left, number of hours, etc etc).

I guess I’d also like some inspiring visual, some inspiring quotes. Some stuff from MateusZ’s quotes of Les Brown, etc.

I should break down my existing post-its into things with more constituent-y tasks– right now some of them are overly broad, like “learn to make salad”. What do I need to do to learn to make salad? I need to break things into those littler details, because otherwise they’re never going to get done.

In my kitchen?

I suppose I could have some sort of plan or plans for the things that I’d like to cook. Maybe a list of recipes so I feel less intimidated. Maybe just a couple so I look at them whenever I walk past. Recipes/instructions on the fridge? I just need to see the process over and over again so it sticks, that’s all.

In my study?

I’m loving my spindle, which is the thing that I skewer my post-its and tasks on when I’m done with them. I think I also need to heavily curate the books on my shelves- I have far too many books that I’m not all that excited about reading. I should talk to my wife about this and see what she thinks. I should create a task to go through this vomit again and see all of the things that need doing– I’m going to create it right after I’m done with this.

At work?

I definitely feel like my entire team under-utilizes the actual physical space that we’re in– although this is probably me overreacting and exaggerating, because I have a taste for drama that way. But the most important thing is that I start with myself. That I externalize my own process. That I do really MVP versions of the things I think ought to be done– the reviews were a great idea. Should also do complaints! Will just do them first and see what people say.

At my desk?

Currently I have a few too many things, I’m sure. I have a couple of books. Maybe I should leave the Godin book open. The phone books are slightly annoying, I wonder if there’s a better solution? Maybe boxes.

Behind me?

I could totally use that space to do a lot of post-it stuff, but I’m not even sure about what I want to do there yet. It’s not really a calendar thing.

My monitor?

I should use this to remind myself about correspondence. I can use postits and I just should. They work. I should maybe use postits on my monitor at home too.

In front of me?

What do I need in order to work better? I most need to be reminded to follow a process, to plan, to commit, to be specific, and to follow through. I’m still overly vague about everything. The single most important thing that needs to happen right now is: that I write down my processes. What are “my processes”? I need to define that statement more clearly. I could probably do my next vomit about the process of making things more precise, turning vague goals into smart measurable bla bla goals.

Elsewhere in the office?

I’ll just make little suggestions when they occur to me.

On my phone?

I reformatted it recently. I should still kill more apps. And… I should use my calendar more. Why am I not currently using it? I suppose I don’t have a clear-cut phone routine. The empty page isn’t helping, it’s just… yeah. It’s a clusterfuck. I need to figure out what is optimum, and I think the optimum thing is that 1- I use it for calendaring my day,

On my Mac?

I sorted out my photos, which was a good first start. I still need to sort out my workflowy better.

In my notebooks?

On my browser?

Happy to have AdBlock, RescueTime which I don’t really use but can look at if I need to.

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