Essentials Project : Project Clutter

When I introduced my Essentials Project, I mentioned that I want to start cutting down my possessions to get to what is really important to me. Well, there’s another any of my life that I’ve realized is totally out of control — my projects.

Take a look at that picture. Those pieces of paper list the current projects that are on my plate. I started making a list of what I’m working on last night, typing each one in big letters so I can read them easily on my wall (and using different fonts for each one for clarity and because I love fonts.) Each line is a project that is supposed to be bringing in money.

And yet — I’m not bringing in very much money at all right now.

Once I typed out all the projects, my problem because totally obvious to me; I have way, way too much on my plate. Very very few of my projects are automated. My assistant Crystal is only working on a couple of them and the work she’s doing doesn’t directly relate to brining in income. Almost all of those 21 projects require my work and attention to nearly every details.

I’d saying I’m drowning in projects but let me put it another way — my projects are drowning because of ME and it’s not fair to either the projects or the people who could benefit from them.

So this becomes one area that I really need to cut down to eseentials. I need eliminate, delegate, automate and otherwise do things to let these projects to live and breathe.

Anyone else have the same problem? Do you have too many projects or too few?

The Essentials Project

About a year and a half ago, I left my job in California and moved my family to Albuquerque, New Mexico. We spent six months in a hotel and then for the last year, we’ve been in a great four bedroom house.

Since we moved here, our son Van was born seven months ago and my son Shane just recently turned 18. Our kids Jack and Olivia are now 9 and 11. We’ve liked living in New Mexico and we’ve met some great people but it seems like it’s time for the wheel to turn.

I think I need to spend a few months devoting myself seriously to writing projects that has been lingering as ideas for too long. I have some screenplay and book projects I’d like to get done.

In order to get them done, I feel I need to hunker down and cut out expenses and distractions. I think I need a writer’s retreat.

Lauren and I have been talking and we’re not 100% sure of where we’re going but we have some ideas. But while we’re figuring out our next bold move, we have built up the residue of ‘stuff’ that comes from living with kids in a big house.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be chronicling my effort to simplify my life and possessions. My goal is build a stronger foundation for my family and our lives.

Right now, it’s about thinking about what is essential and what isn’t. We’re lucky to live in a rich country — these aren’t life and death decisions. But trying to figure out whether we NEED both an XBox and a Wii may seem trivial…unless you’re a 9 year old. Then it can make you cry.

And it’s the same with deciding do we keep this bike or that TV set. I’m not taking a vow of poverty. I do consider things like a smartphone ‘essential’ at this point. I consider NetFlix and a Kindle essential, too. So, I’m lucky especially compared to most of the earth’s population. I know that.

So that’s the challenge and I’ll be talking about it here on the blog. Please jump in comment any time — it’d be nice to have your thoughts and conversation.

Human Avatar

The game APB — sort of a massively multiplayer Grand Theft Auto — is doing a promo where they turned some Brit into a ‘human avatar’ over the course of a few webisodes. Here’s the most squicky one, where he gets a ‘snout piercing’.