Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to read Keeping It Straight — You, Me, and Everything Else by Patrick Rhone. It’s a digital book that is part memoir, part simple living and productivity guide, which through a collection of short essays addresses clearing clutter from your life to greater experience happiness. If you are a Mac user, you may be familiar with Patrick’s website MinimalMac.com.
It is a quick read, but an intimate look at how and why someone has embraced simple living practices. I certainly gained some wonderful insights from the text, and wanted to share a handful of excerpts with you.
I really liked his approach to smart consumerism:
… anywhere I can make a buying choice that I, with proper care and maintenance, will never have to make again for the rest of my life, I do. In those cases, I’m willing to pay far more for an item if I know it will last a lifetime and, even more importantly to me, if I will never have to spend the mental energy making a choice again. Especially because making final choices often requires far more time and research then making regular ones. In fact, I would argue that the more final the choice, the longer it should take to make it. Also, what you spend on the front end usually repays exponentially, and in many different ways, on the back end.
His thoughts on saving time by learning a piece of software and its associated short-cut keys:
if you use an application more than once a day you can save so much time and effort by learning the keyboard shortcuts for the features you use. Do you know how to reload a page in your browser without touching the mouse? How about opening a new window in the Finder? While those may seem like no-brainers to some, I can tell you from personal experience that it still takes me conscious effort to use my keyboard to jump into the Google search field in Safari because the muscle memory of clicking it is so strong. Bottom line, if you find yourself performing regular actions, see if there is a way to automate those.
A non-traditional perspective on creating to-do lists (especially in contrast to the Getting Things Done maybe/someday list):
Your to-do list should be a sacred place. It should be filled only with the things you really plan on doing, things you are constantly evaluating, and things you are taking active steps to move forward and to get them done.
And his humorous, yet poignant view of productivity tools:
The Three Most Important Productivity Tools — The trash can, the delete key, and the word “no.”
If you enjoy a memoir with helpful simple living and productivity advice, Patrick’s book of essays is available for sale at keepingitstraightbook.com and firsttodaypress.com. It is also available for download from Amazon for the Kindle.