We’ve become very comfortable with filtering our lives through the various platforms available today. With Instagram, we filter photos. Facebook helps us to literally pick and choose which events we want to share with the world. Most of us typically filter our actions and words when we speak with others, tailoring our personality to fit the intended audience. This blog is a filter of sorts for me as I get to dictate what I share with you the reader.
Filtering is a natural evolution. It’s natural for us to want to pick and choose the information we share. In doing so, we can literally shape opinions and build reputations.
It’s natural to care about your personal branding and image. We generally want others to have a positive attitude towards us, and to make sure that happens, we monitor our conversations and select certain parts of our lives to share. While this definitely has some benefits, it doesn’t come without downsides.
I’ve written quite a bit recently about making the choice to live simpler and eradicating unnecessary distractions. Just to reinforce, the choice isn’t meant to be restrictive – quite the contrary. The choice to deal with less is meant to be empowering. Proving you can do without all of the unnecessary items and unneeded “noise”.
While I’ve been dumping off my fair share of items in the past few months, one fear that I’ve consistently run into is the fear of “needing”.
What if I need that particular item?
Will I miss having it around?
What about that one time…?
The questions will run through your mind as you try to eradicate items from your life. We’ve grown accustom to having extra “things” around so the thought of ditching them can be quite scary. Is this normal? I think so.
Over the past few months, I’ve been doing quite a bit of cleaning. I’ve sold a few things, given more away, and donated the rest. It was all in an attempt to remove the clutter of items I no longer need. The apartment was especially packed with electronics. Over the past few months, I’ve managed to sell off:
- a MacBook
- an iPod
- an iPad
- a Kindle
- two heart rate monitors
My electricity bill dropped overnight plus I was able to make some cash in no time.
The crazy part is that even with dumping all of these items, I haven’t missed them one bit, which makes me wonder if I needed them in the first place.
I recently ran across a blog post by Paul Jarvis the other day highlighting how he felt about measuring up to his “online self”. It’s an important consideration to understand when you’re scanning your News Feed on a daily basis and basking in the glow of all of the pics, status updates, and videos of your friends on vacations in Mexico or buying their new house.
No one shares their failures online. That’s not the image they want to project.
Social media presents an interesting perspective of the world around us. Our friends only share parts of their lives that they want others to see. They share the pic of their trip to the mountains rather than the one of their living room when they laid around all Saturday night. Social media has given users an ability to shape their reputation. With a few posted pictures across several weeks, Joe goes from being the boring high school classmate I remember to Mr. Outdoors, scaling mountains and navigating rivers in his spare time.
I’ve never had a single souvenir with my name on it – at least not spelled correctly. No coffee mugs. No keychains. No shirts.
For one reason or another (I’ve never really asked), an extra “e” was thrown in my name right before the “y” making it one of the most misspelled names on the planet. I’m far from the only one with a unique spelling. Alongside the Jeremey’s with an extra “e” are hundreds of thousands of Jon’s missing the “h” and Kristin’s preferring the “i” to the “e”.
Despite how trivial it may seem, the small nuance in my name has been a part of more than a few decisions. I initially launched a site titled JDStrength to avoid using my first name. The rationale for avoiding a traditional FirstNameLastName.com was that it would be hard for visitors to find the site when they couldn’t spell my first name properly. I debated on using my first name in my Twitter handle for the exact same reason.
It’s not a particular process. It’s not using a particular tool to jot down your ideas. It’s not an app you can download or a timer you can set.
Productivity is amazingly unique to the individual.
Over the past few years, I, like pretty much everyone else, have been reading productivity tips to get things done in a quicker, more efficient manner. I’ve especially enjoyed the “How I Work” series over on LifeHacker. I check the new posts out every Wednesday when they go up and read through for the the latest tips, tricks, and apps to download.
Throughout the latest posts and digging through the archives, I’ve read a variety of approaches to saving time and knocking out tasks. I’ve heard from the individuals that swear by Evernote and the ones that can’t go a day without writing down their thoughts and ideas in a notebook by hand. I’ve checked out nearly every to-do list app on the market.
Despite all the great info, I’d argue that researching productivity tips has made me less productive.