Simplify

Well, here I am back at the junction again to share another word of the month. I kind of like the idea, actually – it’s like each month I have something new to work on and develop and learn.  Last month I talked about productivity and how the fall gets me all juiced up for new projects.

Well, sometimes all that energy and enthusiasm has me committing to more than I should. And before I know it I’m stressed. So this year I’m making a pre-emptive strike against over commitment. In my productivity efforts the one thing I’m most proud of is how I’m trying to simplify things.

Let’s face it, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and see all there is to do. New projects, promotion, this that and the other social media, book signings, copy edits…and that’s just work. I haven’t even hit on the home thing yet.

One of the first things I did was look at my yahoo loops. Anything I hadn’t read/contributed to since the summer began I deleted. Now my groups are totally streamlined.

I also streamlined my social media. A lot of it feeds into each other, and the inefficiencies got the delete key. My hootsuite panel looks gloriously efficient now. Anything I didn’t enjoy maintaining, I’m not. There are still lots of places for readers to find me which is most important.

I looked at my commitments for 2012 and made some tough decisions. But you know, once the decisions were made I felt really good about them. It was the right thing to do and I think will cut down my workload substantially while still giving me the exposure I want. Because things need to be fun. I always have said when it stops being fun, that’s when I stop doing it (or in the case of writing, when it stops being fun and I fulfill my contractual obligations, lol!).

I simplified by putting myself and my family first. I’m far happier when I do that and miraculously I can spend fewer hours in the desk chair and be just as productive.

And while it takes a bit more time, I’m making a lot of this year’s Christmas presents. I’m enjoying it a lot. There’s something so satisfying about it – working with my hands and crafting things in the old traditional ways.

What about you? Do you ever get the urge to simplify your life? It’s not easy to do. How do you simplify?

 

I’ve got a few brand new stories out this month – HOW A COWBOY STOLE HER HEART and OFF THE CLOCK. Today I’ve got an e-copy of OFF THE CLOCK to one lucky commenter!  Here’s a bit about the story:

The last thing she needs is a hero…

Paramedic Gabe Brennan’s job is saving lives. When he witnesses an accident and rushes in to help, the victim brings back memories of the night that marked him forever. The night he almost couldn’t save his best friend, Brandon. Brandon’s sister is in the car. She’s pregnant. And his longing for her is just as sharp as ever.

Carly’s never been so glad to see a friendly face. Gabe’s gallant rescue-and the gentle kiss he bestows upon her at the hospital-resurrect feelings she buried long ago. Having just closed the book on a crumbling marriage, she’s not too keen on opening herself up to hurt again. Not even for the one man who’s always seemed to be there when she needed him most.

Gabe knows he shouldn’t be falling for Carly, especially since she insists she’s off the market. But the chemistry still simmering between them after all these years is no accident. Now all he has to do is convince her she belongs in the empty space he’s always held open for her. The one next to his heart…

Product Warnings

Caution: Contents-and paramedic hero-may be too hot to handle!

Donna
Award-winning author Donna Alward has the best job in the world: a combination of stay-at-home mom and romance novelist. In 2001 she penned her first novel and found herself hooked on writing romance. In 2006 she sold her first manuscript, and now writes heartwarming Romances from her home in Nova Scotia, Canada. Donna loves to hear from readers; you can contact her through her website at www.donnaalward.com or through her publisher.

Twitter: @DonnaAlward

11 Comments

  1. After spending way too long cleaning out email yesterday, I’m in full agreement about cutting down on loops. I’m gonna put that high on my to do. And in thinking about it, cleaning out my google reader wouldn’t be such a bad idea either. There’s too many blogs I simply don’t read anymore.

    It takes a lot of odd courage to simplify. Congrats to you and thanks for the encouragement. I’ve been thinking about decluttering/simplifying for a long time. Now it’s time to stop thinking and do.

  2. Hi Donna,

    This Autumn I decided I needed to simplify or go insane. I’m trying to get more involved in writing groups, so that meant letting go of my involvement with other groups. I didn’t want to get myself so wrapped around the axle I didn’t have time to write or spend time with friends and family.

    Thanks for the encouragement and best of luck with your new releases!

    –Kirsten

    P.S. OFF THE CLOCK is already waiting its turn in my Kindle, so don’t put me in the drawing. Thanks!

  3. Beautiful photo, Donna. And simplify is one of my bywords, too. Having found true love very late in life I’ve cut out many extraneous things just to have more time for us. The key is prioritizing, asking myself what’s worth keeping and what can be put aside. What’s left is my writing, my health and my loved ones. Time is too precious to waste on much else.
    Thanks for a thoughtful blog.

  4. At my work, I learned early to handle a piece of paper only once. Don’t look at it, lay it down and then have to deal with it later. Deal with it only one time. Saved me a lot of time and my desk stasyed less cluttered. I think doing small steps helps to simplifiy your life.

  5. In today’s world of over-stimulation, simplicity is becoming as rare and precious as gold. Why do you think Amish fiction is so popular? People have forgotten the art of simplfying but secretly long for a less hectic and stressful existence.

    Bravo, Donna, for reminding us how imporant this is. I think I’ll head over the FB and see about doing some streamlining of my own. 🙂

  6. I watched Pollyanna last night.
    Wonderful movie, just really wonderful. I think it’s better now than it would have been when it was first releases.
    There is a bizaar near the end of the movie and the townfolks are playing their own instruments and dancing and doing carnival prize stuff like throwing a ball that knocks someone off into a tub of water and fishing for prizes. All to raise money for an orphanage. And of course it’s a movie but it looked so fun. Everyone outside, gathered in the city park or town square or where ever it was.
    No video games. No cell phones or text messages to respond to. People talking to each other and laughing, just having fun together.
    I don’t even go to the county fair anymore, which is probably as close to this as you could find.
    The world is so fast paced now. I think we’ve really lost something.
    Great post, Donna.

  7. I get in high gear in the fall myself. This past week I painted my utility room and am trying to get it put back together. This is the time or year I want to clean my window and get the house all clean before winter. I think its where you can open your window and let the fresh fall breeze in.

    Your book sound fabulous and I can’t wait to read it.

  8. Oh my gosh y’all, I am SO full of turkey. We had Cdn Thanksgiving this weekend and went to my mother-in-law’s for the weekend. We had our Thanksgiving dinner on Saturday so we could have hot turkey sandwiches yesterday (we drove home this morning). Not to mention all the other good things that there are to eat when you go home to Mom’s. I’m going to have to double my walk times and hit the workouts HARD this week! But oh LORDY it was good!

    Still – even though I came home to a lot of work, the whole weekend was about simplifying and it was good. We did odd jobs around her apartment, hung out with family, and made pickles. Lots of laughs which is great for recharging. 🙂

  9. I went to our small town parade yesterday. We have an annual Film Festival of Old Western Movies that are made in our town. In a town of 2000 we had a parade that lasted an hour! Sitting by people who were visitors for the first time, they couldn’t believe that we had so much community life. And at the end of the parade we had 10 fire trucks and Emergency vehicles lined up. (All volunteer firemen). It made me proud that we, as a small town can actually host an event that brings prople from all over the country to see what we have—along with our scenery.
    As to simplify, I recently had cataract surgery and I can’t read—up close–so I have hauled out my knitting. I was surprised that I remembered how to knit, since I haven’t touched it in several years. And crochet! Talk about simplify. It is good for the Christmas time, too.
    Thanks for the reminder. And your book sound great, too.

  10. I try to plan things out… to take things one step at a time to simplify things… always set aside time to read and relax… give myself that moment of enjoyment. I am really liking the sound of your book OFF THE CLOCK! 😀

  11. I, too, am trying to simplify. So much just clutters my life so I liked hearing how some of you are doing this…you have given me much to think about.

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