Sunday, February 8, 2009

Balancing Content

Over the last few weeks, I have been consumed with work and our move to Cherryhurst. But between my consulting j-o-b at Accenture and getting settled into the new digs, I have found time on every Sunday of this year to post my thoughts. I am enjoying the drill.

By design, it usually takes me 60 minutes, from start to finish. By the time I sit down to write, I may have thought about my post, content-wise, but never have anything organized.

I simply write whatever happens to roll off of my fingertips, and an hour later, Emily will give it a quick edit. She then clicks "Publish Post," and voila, we're live.

That, my vast readership, is the extent of our editorial operation here on Haver Street.

I bring up the routine without reason. Really, I do so to point out that there is not much of any routine.

I have been short on content as well. Coming up with meaningful content can be a difficult balance.

Sometimes there is a lot to write. Sometimes there is not much. Either way, it is a useful exercise for me. Of course, it is no help that I have not read much news lately.

I put myself on a low-news diet to be more productive during this particularly busy stretch at work and to get through our move. I do not recommend a low-news diet for everyone, but it works out well for me. Some people enjoy passing their time watching news, and that's cool.

Although I will state that, if your intent is to immediately increase your focus, eliminate news, particularly from the TV, from your day, and you will get results. I picked up this idea from Tim Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek.

I was never a fan of the local news to begin with, as my experience with it is typically negative. But whether or not I like the news is not the point. Rather, the point is that if you clip the daily news from your routine, you will have more time to focus on other people, projects and priorities that matter in your life. Increased happiness is a worthwhile byproduct of news elimination.

That stated, I thought about buying the Sunday Times this morning, which, in my view, is an educational way to catch up on the week's events over caffeine and carbohydrates. I resisted, to instead face down an iTunes overhaul, which was successful after two hours of "duplicate song" deletion. What a royal waste of time. (If anyone knows how to control songs from duplicating whenever you update your iTunes library with digital files in storage, suggest your resolution.)

Nevertheless, we are up and going with a pleasant selection of songs currently shuffling on the iPod in the living room. The view is worth the climb. Quality sounds are a must-have.

We currently have a single speaker that is made for the iPod's flush fit and compact enough for our 1,2oo feet of house. Next on my list is to figure out how to activate the speaker system coarsing through it. Once comnected, we will totally be in business on the music front.

On another note, my friend, Brady, asked me to meet him at Memorial Park yesterday. Brady is always brewing up something adventurous, so I didn't hesitate to join him. I went for jog and then met him, his wife and his little boy of five weeks.

With him, he had an apparatus made up of a strip of nylon and two hand cranks on either end of it. I think he called it a slickline, but when I briefly Googled "slickline," I found only several web pages that featured slicklining equipment of the oil field services variety. No thanks. (If I can find a link for the slickline, I will tweat it on Twitter.)

The idea is to strap the slickline between two hefty trees about twenty or so feet apart. Then you pull the line taut between them, using the two cranks to tighten it. Ideally, it lays across, horizontally, about three-to-four feet above ground.

Once set up, you step on the strip with one foot, eventually placing the other one on as well, at which point, you try your best to balance for as long as you can. It reminds me of unicycling, an activity I never mastered. A difficult balance takes focus and occupies the mind, which I enjoy. It is fun.

That is it for now, until the next balancing act.

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