Sunday, July 10, 2016

Reading Thoughts


It's All Too Much (Peter Walsh)--from the library
He does a nice job focusing on what a room's purpose is and then culling the things that aren't not wanted/needed for those purposes.  Before that, Walsh starts with personal questions about the ideal lives we want to live.  You also go from room to room evaluating how you feel there--what stresses you?  What do you like most about the room?  What do we need from this particular space?  Once in each room, he actually zones them off into the different areas for different purposes, and I wasn't feeling the need to go there.  If I had a much larger space or many more family possessions maybe I'd find zoning helpful?  Walsh challenged me suitably on seasonal decor.  I weeded out a bunch, but I still have things that make our home feel that transition and celebration of each season and holiday.

Walsh has a very direct tone with just enough humor and reality thrown in.  I did enjoy reading this one.  Especially helpful were the Spring Cleaning Tasks and what we do each month of the year.  I might adopt several of his suggestions.
The best thing I've read in a while is Greg McKeown's Essentialism!  I took so many notes on this one--I'll try not to get too crazy here.

It's a great book for the personal life, but a lot of what is central is our work lives.  We must say no to even really good opportunities in order to opt for the great ones.  Trade-offs are serious business--we ask ourselves "which problem do we want to solve?"

He supports a three-part cyclical process: explore, eliminate, execute.  Exploring means taking your time to really think, investigate etc. before coming to decisions.  It reminds me of my dad with his little notebook going to all the stores, jotting down measurements, notes, prices etc. before deciding which one to buy.  Make larger, discerned decisions that will in turn take care of all those small ones.  It's a disciplined pursuit of less (but better).  There's a point at which doing more does not actually produce more.

Protecting the Asset is making sure we sleep.  Did you know that pulling one all-nighter or sleeping only 4-5 hours throughout the week will produce impairment at the level of 0.1 blood alcohol level?  (The po-po will get you for 0.08%.)  Here's a parenting koan: a token system for screen time, money and kids.  Give out 10 per kid per week--each one is worth 30 minutes of screen time or 50 cents.  Reading for 30 minutes will get you an additional token which you can also trade for money or screen time.  (In their home, screen time when down 90%, and reading went up the by the same amount!)

He gives so many great details, ideas and stories for every aspect of the book that I can't imagine ruining it to spell too much out right here.  Most of us would benefit greatly from his perspective!
Leo Babauta's Zen Habits, Essential Zen Habits and Simple Guide to Minimalist Life

Stop judging events as good or bad, and stop expecting well, anything.  He doesn't advise this haphazardly--it's more in the aid of understanding.  If we judge, we have made up our minds and have not curiosity or an openness to understanding.  A lot of his other advice in the book is great too, but this first point was the newest for me to really consider.

He gave some great tech tips for programs that do an easier launch of whatever program you want (without all those icons on your screen)--autohotkey.com or launchy.net for PCs.

Courtney Carver's Mini-Missions for Simplicity

The best things from this little book were the habit-stacking and refusing sections.  She offers pleasing ways to say "no" when you should.  Things like "this isn't the right time" or "I'm not the best person for the project."

Pia Edberg's The Cozy Life

Hygge is the main concept explored, and she didn't share anything I hadn't already read.  It was a sweet portrayal of connection, simplicity and warmth in any case.
Downsizing Your Life by Claire Middleton

The most helpful information was around moving and how to decide.  When people downsize and want to consider the benefits of a new home/location, they should look to reduce monthly costs by 25% or more.  If we want see possibilities, we can check out some websites she suggests.  One was city-data.com.

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