Well, I’ve decided to try and take the plunge and implement some GTD philosophies in my life. While it encompasses a lot of different things, the first thing I aim to try is to reclaim my email, which has been getting way out of hand lately. I remember about 2 years ago I did the same thing and it lasted for a bit, but things never last unless you make them habit. Of course, to make it habit now, I need to fix a few things first.
The first thing was to unsubscribe from non-essential mailing lists. I used to sit on the openssh and exim mailing lists, amongst a few others, just to glean tips and insights and whatnot, with the full intention of implementing some of these ideas. In fact, my exim mbox has over 150 saved messages that go back about 3 years… messages I’ve thought “this would be good to try”, etc. But know what? In three years, I’ve barely looked at those messages again, and I’ve implemented about 2% of the “content” of those saved messages into active implementations on my exim server. And now that I’ve out-sourced most of the hosting I do for other people, those things don’t apply since my exim server handles mail exclusively for me and some mailing lists I still run. So do I need to know how to integrate spamassassin with clamav under exim? Not really. Do I need to learn more spam tricks? Again, not really, since I use TMDA as my “guard” for my email accounts on that machine. In other words, will I ever use those 150 exim messages? Probably not. Will I ever look at those mails again? Even more unlikely.
So I’ve been taking the axe to some old/saved messages and removing myself from mailing lists that I’ve had a cursory interest in but haven’t really been active on. It’s slow going because you need to make a concious decision as to what is important and what isn’t. But the basic idea is to have these folders as empty as possible… even the mailing list ones. It’s not just enough to keep my inbox uncluttered, I want all of my mailboxes uncluttered. And the less mail I have coming in that isn’t important, the less time I spend deleting crap.
Once I have my email under control again, I’m going to start looking at other areas to increase my productivity and reduce the amount of wasted time. Time is a finite resource, and I have too little of it as it is… so I need to start making some changes to more effectively utilize my time. Especially now that my daughter will be in school 5 days a week full-days (grade one, wOOp!) and my wife will be working full-time (as the secretary of the school my daughter goes to), if I discipline myself to get up when they do (and, of course, not go to bed at 1am), then I have a good 8hr window in which to work. My main goal is to stuff the 10+hrs of work I do every day for Mandriva into those 8 hours. There should be no external distractions (at least not of the same magnitude anyways), which already gives me a bit of an edge, but if I can squeeze it even more by getting rid of the inconsequential crap that seems to suck up so much time, then I think I can probably take those 10+hrs and compress them maybe into 6-7hrs and actually give myself some breathing room and get more done.
The main idea here is the concept that if my wife and kid are gone all day, when they come home I’d like to spend time with them… time with them instead of finishing up this update or that, writing articles for TechRepublic, or doing other work-related things. A worthy goal, I think.