It is OK to change your mind.
For several years I have had a calendar entry on the 1st of each month reminding me to send photos from my phone to Lightroom. But as life has changed, this calendar entry inevitably was closed instead of snoozed, or popped up when I thought I would have time so I dismissed it too early.
Edit or Eliminate?
The result was not productive – I still had photos on my phone that needed to be transferred.
This is not to say that if you leave photos on your phone in perpetuity you are not leading a Sustainably Productive (SusPro) life. Only you can decide that. I had decided what was SusPro for me was moving the photos on a monthly basis. The challenge was that my methods of reminder were no longer working.
It was time for an edit.
Not time for elimination. See – I still needed the photos off of my phone. If I have thousands of images on my phone, I get overwhelmed (unsustainable), and I can’t find what I need (unproductive). I might take a screen shot of a book I want to add to my TBR or a recipe posted on a Facebook group. If I cannot retrieve it when needed, it is not useful for me.
Eliminating photos from my phone is not the SusPro way forward for me. Enter – the edit.
This one was simple for me. I made it a reminder on my phone instead of a calendar entry. Most phones have a native app for reminders. My iPhone allows me to make it recurring each month with no end time. Plus I can set the time for it to fire (i.e., not while I am working and have no time to move photos). Bonus points for being able to snooze it for certain windows of time (1 hour, until this evening or tomorrow).
Sometimes it is hard to figure out what edit to make. You know you cannot eliminate something, but the current practice is not working. Here are some real life examples from clients, divided into each Sustainable Productivity pillar.
Health & Fitness
Challenge: Changes in weather disrupts your exercise routine.
Potential Edits: Have a plan B in your pocket. If it is too hot to run outside, head to the treadmill. Take advantage of summer pool season by lap swimming and letting pilates slide for a few months.
Challenge: Summer camp drop off for the kids conflicts with a work meeting.
Potential Edits: Carpool and offer to do the afternoon pick up. Poll your colleagues to see if they could meet at another time. Take the call from a nearby coffee shop or park after dropping off kids at camp.
Challenge: Your college student is home for the summer and clutter is taking over your house.
Potential Edits: Let her keep her room in the disastrous state, but close the door. Have a talk with her about how the clutter makes you feel and agree on boundaries (i.e., dishes go from her room into the dishwasher, not on the counter “for later”).
Sometimes when you are too close to the situation, it is hard to see the edits. Or you have lived with the challenge so long you get too frustrated to edit and you just eliminate. Let’s crowd source this on social media to see what edits you could make. Come over to Facebook and share challenges so we can all create the life we don’t need to escape.