Monday, January 8, 2018

LESS in 2018--By Kimberly Sabatini


I've heard of more and more people moving away from resolutions and instead, starting their new year focusing on a single word that would sum up their intentions for the coming year. 

I love the idea and for 2018 my word is LESS.

I was tempted to participate in a study for Cal Newport for the month of January where I would attempt to "take a break from optional digital technologies"  and then report back my findings. I really wanted to do this, but it didn't feel right. Coming off the holidays I didn't trust I had adequate time to prepare for HOW I would do this--considering how I use technology as a writer and in my writing community. But the concept of LESS online distractions resonated with me. So, for the year I'm going to actively be looking for ways that I can scale back the online static and only participate in what serves my writing the best. To some degree I've done this already, but I think I have a clear view of where I need to go and I'm excited to give it a try. 

I was again reminded that I was finding the word LESS intriguing when a friend of mine posted about how she added up the hours of her life, that she lost to politics this past year, and was horrified. It was significant. That felt all too familiar. Part of my problem is that I have a tendency to equate my silence with apathy. I want to have a voice and I desperately want to be brave enough to speak up. But--I think I would rather talk to someone face-to-face than post about them. I'm not sure how effective my social media is in unraveling the damage in our country and I fear we are losing the skill of personal interaction. Additionally, I'm not sure I want to continue to give up all those hours of my life to the follow-up discussions that come with speaking up on social media. But it's a puzzle, because I still believe that sharing information is important. So, for now, my goal is to talk less on social media in general. And to keep my more political posts restricted to things that feel very important to share rather than important to debate. It's not a perfect goal--but I will consider it a work in progress.

I could probably write a list of ten more things that I intend to do LESS of in order to get more, but I think these two are the trunk of the tree and the other issues are smaller branches off the main idea. And besides--now might be a good time to begin doing LESS.

If you could do LESS of any one thing in 2018, what would it be? 

18 comments:

  1. Amen to all of this! I struggle too wondering how most effectively to use my voice. I don't think it's getting into spats with people on social media, but making calls to my congresspeople and marching in the streets is feeling more and more futile. I don't know. But I hear you, Kim.

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    1. It's confusing as hell--but I feel like I have to shake it up a bit. Or at least try.

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  2. I should talk less and listen more...Hardly anyone seems to be listening these days. Good luck with your effort at LESS.

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    1. I feel you. I'm torn between listening more and fighting harder. Trying to find that balance.

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  3. Aw, yes. LESS. Such a great word. I definitely want to spend less time on social media, because I agree I'd rather have a face-to-face. Mostly, I want to tear myself down less. I want to be stronger, more confident. And my own advocate. What is it they say about the oxygen mask? ;-)

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    1. I think that's a great way to look at it--I'm there with you on the mask. <3

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  4. I'm planning to step back digitally too. So I'll see you around... less, I guess? I hope it helps us both.

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  5. I love this post. My word is MORE: more writing, more reading, and sharing more of my work.

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    1. I think our words are so balanced with each other--you complete me. <3

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  6. For years, my resolution was to do less. I finally achieved that to the point that now I can start asking what new things I might want to bring into my life. "Less" is a wonderful resolution.

    I would contend, however, that time spent on political action is not time wasted. A country like ours doesn't run [well] on autopilot; it depends on the involvement of its citizens. (I can almost feel a soapbox growing under my feet, so I'll stop there.)

    Getting back to "less"--I want less busywork, less paperwork, fewer commitments that I'm not excited about, less clutter.

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    1. I agree completely--but I'm questioning FB as the medium of voice for me. I think I want to use my voice in ways that I feel are more effective. I still jump into threads and post things that feel important to me. But I'm exhausted by moderating the same conversations over and over again. I'm not sure that's the best use of my time and energy. And yes, you're last less list is intriguing. I've been doing a lot of UNSUBSCRIBE this week.

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  7. I need to spend less time on Facebook, definitely!

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  8. "Less" sounds like a perfect word to guide your year. Mine is going to be "present" but in order to accomplish it, I'm going to have to do less, especially in the social media department. Good luck, Kim! :)

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  9. I love this and need to unplug, as well. For my sanity!

    Good luck :)

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  10. Thank you Kimberly! This really resonates with me today since it was SUPPOSED to be a full writing day and I ended up about 50/50 on the internet. ;P

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  11. I'm seeing this a lot, too! There's definitely something to be said for focusing on quality.

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