Archive for the 'Minimalism' Category

June 28th, 2017

2017 Mid-Year Review

It’s the end of June, which means we’re about the pass the first half of the year. Crazy, huh? I thought this would be a good time to do a mid-year review to sum up how things are going so far!

In the beginning of the year, I made a big deal of how I want to simplify things in my life. I have made some strides towards that! For example, I did clean up my work and personal desks (though my personal one is getting cluttered again and needs another clean), and I’ve tidied up other parts of the house.

Simplifying the amount of things I own will always be a continual process, but I’ve already made a big donation of clothing and kitchen supplies. My husband and I are working on another pile of clothing to donate, and I also found out about a clothing recycling service. That will be great for clothing that are too worn down to donate. I’ve been making progress on clearing out one of our storage rooms as well and have thrown away or recycled many things in there.

Simplifying my workload and delegating more responsibilities to others was a big deal to me and is probably the biggest change. I went from managing two teams of 7 developers each (14 direct reports), down to one larger team of 10 developers. I rebalanced the teams (one didn’t need as many resources), and I promoted one of my developers to manage the smaller of the two teams. I also promoted another to a senior position, so he can help with code reviews and mentoring, and another developer started leading a couple of my projects. I’m still really busy, but going down to a single team and having a couple developers help out with responsibilities has helped immensely.

I’ve also made a bit of progress towards simplifying my hobbies but not much. I finally expired one of my old Anime domains, and I’ve been talking to my dad about my photography equipment. After he retires, he wants better photography equipment, so a few of my unused lenses may go to him. There’s still more to be done!

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January 3rd, 2017

Theme for 2017: Simplify

Over the years, I’ve learned that New Years resolutions aren’t really for me. I get motivated in the beginning of the year, and then it tapers off (which I guess is pretty common). I am actually the type that likes goals and deadlines, but they need to be regular and in shorter intervals. At work, we do week-long sprints, which keep us on track and lets us be flexible if priorities change.

In 2017, I’d like to have that sort of outlook instead! I’ve seen people set monthly goals, and I think that would work a lot better for me. In addition to that, I like the idea of setting a theme for the year – a general idea of what I’d like to strive for. I’ve chosen “simplify” because I feel I really need to do that in my life. These aren’t necessarily goals, but ideas for me to consider for the upcoming year.

1. Simplify my surroundings. My work spaces, both at home and work, are a mess. I don’t need to keep so many things at my desk. Also, I shouldn’t feel the urge to bring my laptop to every meeting or always have my phone at my side. I don’t need more things to distract myself.

2. Simplify the things we own. Long gone are the days when I was a sentimental pack rat. Over the years, I’ve accumulated too much stuff, and I’m tired of the mess in our house. I should figure out what I can donate, sell, or throw away to reduce clutter.

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March 2nd, 2016

Reducing the clutter

Well, I finally did it. I asked for the hosting account for to be cancelled. A few years ago, I made the decision to stop using the domain, yet I had several sites hosted on it. Over time, I moved everything off, but… I couldn’t get myself to cancel the hosting and left it sitting there. It’s like moving out of a house and running around thinking, “did I leave anything behind? Did I forget anything??”

I got my bill for March, and there was a feeling of relief to see it cut in half. Now I only pay for one hosting account instead of two. Even though the account wasn’t something physical, it still felt nice to declutter a little in the digital world. Now I need to take another look at my websites and see if any should be shut down.

I’ve also been trying to declutter at home. Last year, I added a new rule in the house: stop buying new hangers when we run out. This doesn’t mean stop buying new clothes. It means that anything new requires something old to be donated or thrown away. If there are no hangers left, then something must go. That led to this pile of clothing!


It has grown since then too. I keep seeing things in my closet that I haven’t worn in a while and then I promptly toss it in the pile. Next on my to-do list is scheduling a pick-up with a donation place since I am also donating old kitchen supplies.

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