On culling, prioritization, and taking it moment by moment

Culling things to make sure there is enough space and time for you to do anything can be considered as important, not only as a minimalist, but also to ensure that your sanity remains solid.

If there’s too many things in front of you, finding the most important stuff can really be a challenge. This is what I experienced when I dove head-first into GTD. I got a long list and just the number of all the things that needed to be done stood in front of me–all begging me as if to say–“Do me first! your job/family/self depends on this. Do me now!” Instead of inspiring me, it exhausted me. Too many choices make anyone dumb. And yes, it’s been scientifically proven.

Culling it down to the top 3 things that need to be done is ideal but the other stuff will move without you. And all the while while you’re working on your MITs (Most Important Things), the other stuff you’ve decided to ignore is waiting to bite you in the ass in a few minutes.

How do you do it then? Which do you need to do first? Prioritization can be such a fluke that those you’re basically prioritizing now were the stuff you ignored a couple of days ago. It’ll be more of fire-fighting rather than fire-prevention. You prioritize work to make sure the kids get fed well. But in the meantime, the kids are feeling full but ignored. Is it either-or? Is there no Win-win resolution in this case?

Sometimes it’s best to let things happen when they do happen.

It may seem like a daredevil/irresponsible move, but I believe that things will fall where they will even if you have a thousand versions of yourself to do all the work that needs to be done. Que sera, sera. Take it day by day, moment by moment. Why bother through all the long planning if it’s all going to be ruined anyway? I plan when I want to plan, not because I NEED to.

Writing like a Pollock painting

I’ve decided to post some stuff that is unedited and raw. It goes against most blogging “standard rules” but I feel it would be beneficial if others see the raw emotion and thoughts underneath. Like a Jackson Pollock painting but in written form.

Most will think it’s all just laziness–that it will be in disarray and thoughts would be tangent. Yes, it might or it might not. Who’s to say (or blame)? I’ve decided to embark on this experiment/madness and want to see how it goes.

The only things I will edit are the typos. Besides that, all the words and thoughts in it are in its original form.

Conversion to Free Software

Being free is hard. I once read that people would rather be held within the confines of proprietary software and SaaS‘s comforting embrace rather than trudge along in the rocky path of freedom.

“I can’t get Skrype to work on this.”
“My friends are all in Facebork.”
“WTH, I can’t watch Frash on this!”
“No way! I can’t play my MMOs on this?”

One of the first things some Free Software users would say is: “That’s non-free software and you should stop using it.” The usual reaction by the non-free user would be to shun them, thinking that they are religious zealots, and having impractical ideas in today’s technology. But if they grew in a background full of Windrows and non-free software, then it shouldn’t be a surprise that those are the ONLY things that they are looking for.

Instead of berating them, it would be best to inform them of other alternatives.

“You can use Ekiga.”
“There’s Identica for that.”
“Well, most video sites are in HTML5 nowadays.”
“Have you tried Ryzom?”

If they like them, than you’ve won half of the battle already. Once they get a hang of it, tell them why it’s important. At first they will resist, as most users aren’t developers and they won’t see the reason why the four freedoms are important. Inform them of the possible security and privacy problems that proprietary software has, and how it’s so inflexible that waiting for a patch depends so much on the original devs only.

It takes time to unlearn these things: “old habits die hard” as they say. It’s like expecting a drug addict to be cured over night by going cold turkey–it won’t happen. My suggestion is to slowly wean them away from non-free software until it’s totally out of their system. That’s why most of them first drift to Open Source rather than straight to Free Software. Consider it as a halfway house before going to freedom. There will be some challenges along the way, but don’t give up.