Why time is like food, not money

I just discovered Practically Efficient, the blog of actuary J. Eddie Smith, IV. I know: really? An actuary? Trust me: it’s OK to look.

I love what he says here about keeping control of your time and using your calendar to help.

To fail to schedule work that you, yourself, deem important is to put your wants last in line. You should regularly schedule non-meeting time on your calendar.

Check out Eddie’s blog. He has a lot of good thoughts on not letting yourself be overwhelmed by all the things you have to do.

This guy’s walking down the street when he falls in a hole

An old Lifehack post called “10 simple ways to save yourself from messing up your life” has excellent common-sense advice on how keep yourself from falling into an emotional hole. Since lawyers are 3.6 times more likely to suffer from depression than other workers, I know a lot of people who could benefit from the advice. Here’s the first of the ten:

1. Stop taking so much notice of how you feel. How you feel is how you feel. It’ll pass soon. What you’re thinking is what you’re thinking. It’ll go too. Tell yourself that whatever you feel, you feel; whatever you think, you think. Since you can’t stop yourself thinking, or prevent emotions from arising in your mind, it makes no sense to be proud or ashamed of either. You didn’t cause them. Only your actions are directly under your control. They’re the only proper cause of pleasure or shame.

The other nine are just as good. Click the title above and read them.

By the way, this post’s title refers to the story Leo McGarry tells Josh Lyman.

Die, Word, Die!

Tom Scocca on why it’s time for Microsoft Word to go the way of the fax machine:

What makes Word unbearable is the output. Like the fax machine, Word was designed to put things on paper. It was a tool of the desktop-publishing revolution, allowing ordinary computer users to make professional (or at least approximately professional) document layouts and to print them out. That’s great if you’re making a lot of church bulletins or lost-dog fliers. Keep on using Word. (Maybe keep better track of your dog, though.)

Word is a horrible example of bloatware at its worst. I now do all of my writing using iA Writer or Pages. I wrote Firing at Will: A Manager’s Guide in Writer. Then I had to import the files into my publisher’s template. In Microsoft Word. Which made me die a little bit, a chapter at a time.

(Hat tip to Patrick Rhone’s Minimal Mac site.)

Welcome to Souther Carolina?

Think you know where South Carolina is? Think again.

Turns out it’s about 150 feet more south (why isn’t souther a word?) than was previously thought.

But for the owners of 93 properties who suddenly find themselves in another state, it’s a bureaucratic nightmare. The state line determines so much in their lives — what schools they go to, what area code their phone number starts with even who provides them gas and electricity. Small utility cooperatives in South Carolina are banned from extending services across the state line. Most of the properties in question are near Charlotte, N.C.

What is more, northerners will apparently have to drive a little bit further to legally buy fireworks. And since gas is 30 cents a gallon more expensive in North Carolina, it’s kind of like insult and injury.

Not clear who benefits from changing the border 240 years after it was drawn. The simpler solution would be to ignore the lawyers and surveyors and let life go on as it has.

Quirk + Simplicity = Gift

This blog is about simplifying business ideas, but simplicity can help in most aspects of life outside of business. I came across this article in Huffington Post. In it, author Kim John Payne (almost certainly no relation to Kim Jong Il), talks about how simplicity can help parents deal with their children’s sometimes-troubling quirks:

In my decades of working with families around the world, I have seen thousands of children’s brilliant personalities — their funny, odd, remarkable, special talents, railroaded by stress, so much so that I came up with this simple equation: Quirk + Stress = Disorder, or what I call a soul or emotion-fever. And every parent already knows how to heal their child from regular, physical fever just as every parent knows how to heal their children’s soul fever. We don’t need to learn anything, or see a specialist or download an app. We apply our parental wisdom to our children’s hearts and minds; we do what we do naturally, when fever arises. Just as cumulative stress can lead to problems, even disorders, cumulative simplicity and balance can move the quirk in the direction of a child’s gift. Quirk + Simplicity = Gift.

Payne is the author of Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids (affiliate link).

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