Fewer Dials

Me, from earlier today…

Fewer Dials

Me, from earlier today…

I’m exhausted. Everything I do seems to involve making dozens of tiny unnecessary decisions. It’s my fault. I love “workflows” and “processes” and tweaking and exploring software and sitting at the computer figuring out (presumably) better ways of doing things. I’ve asked for this, but I no longer want it. I want fewer options, fewer decisions, fewer opportunities to become lost in whatever system I’m currently running.

An example…

I wanted to write something about how I’m feeling today, so I threw out a quick tweet (see above). Then, I thought about it more and wanted to add some detail. For that sort of thing, I blog. Seems simple enough, but here’s my thought process…

Where should I post it? Medium? Tumblr? Baty.net? Dave Winers new 1999.io? I think my blog (baty.net) would be good. Ok, now, where should I write it? I could use the WordPress New Post form but everyone says that’s just overkill and cumbersome and whatever so I need something better. Something cooler. Maybe something “distraction-free” even. How about Vim? I love writing in Vim. Or maybe Ulysses. Ulysses is awesome. I could write it there using Markdown and convert it to Rich Text and then paste it into WordPress. Or MarsEdit? I love MarsEdit and miss using it. That should work. Heck, maybe I should go back to a static site, since that was just Plain Text™ right? Right!?

You see? It’s like that with every single thing I do.

When I need to write something down, just a quick note, I have to decide if I want it in Vimwiki or Notes or Evernote or DEVONthink or TheBrain or Tinderbox or some new thing I just heard about this morning. Maybe TaskPaper. The new version is awesome. The new version of everything is always awesome.

It’s ridiculous. I go through this phase regularly, but this time it feels particularly bad. I want fewer things that can be adjusted. I love adjusting things. I love dials and options and depth in software, but it’s making me crazy and not helping me actually get anything done. I don’t think I’ve finished a decent-sized project in months. I’ve certainly spent enough time doing “work about work” though.

I feel like gutting everything and starting over. Ditch 90% of my options.

I don’t have any solutions yet, but I’m working on it. First thing I did was just use the boring old WordPress editor to write and post this. That worked great.

Originally published at baty.net on April 11, 2016.