Spring Cleaning

We finally printed a 60° Fahrenheit day in New York.  That cherry blossom tree in my front yard now hangs heavy with tight little red buds, the ones that will momentarily explode into a wildfire of pink and white.  The kids are tramping around town in their soccer jerseys while the car wash is once again as busy as an Apple Store.

And this is my cue for a bit of Spring Cleaning…

Technology

This weekend, my iPhone and Macbook Pro double-teamed my new iPad.  They were taking turns syncing each other, I wasn’t really involved but they let me watch.

As a daily content creator (TRB) with a full-time career on The Street and a book in the works, every second counts.  Having a schedule is great, but having all my information and devices working together has taken on a new urgency.  All this syncing has allowed me to clean out old files that have been slowing down the works and holding my productivity back.  Begone, errant folders and unused images!

Feeds

There was a massacre last night and it took place inside my Google Reader.  A bloodbath.  I was way overdue for a feedreader cleansing.  I’ve picked up a number of new blog and news source subscriptions recently, but I’m still carrying too may of the old ones.  There were a dozen in my list that are now broken, no one’s been updating them for months.  There were some that have a new feed, usually because they switched hosts or domain names, I’ve tracked down the ones I care for.

And then there were 20 or so subscriptions that I’ve been avoiding each time I see one of their links.  I just cannot click one of them.  There were three fairly notable blogs that had to be killed in the Reader.  They are written by blowhards who are still fighting the battles of 2008 and have huffed and puffed their way to irrelevance.  You know of whom I speak.  Long-winded, ranting, raving and repetitious – worst of all, completely unactionable and unenjoyable.  Life’s too short, so goodbye.

Books

I’m also saying “no” to a lot of books being offered to me by publicists.  I have a book infestation problem and it’s my fault.  I’ve responded to way too many emails from publishers and authors and now I’m looking at two unconquerable piles – one at my office and one in my home.  The biggest problem is that because I’m so inundated with new books, I’ve stopped reading all of them.  Rather than read the first chapter until a new one comes along and then read the first chapter of that and on and on, I’ve just stopped completely.  This is tragic because I’m sitting on some truly special books I’m sure.  From now on I’m making a conscious effort to say no, so that I can truly devote the attention to the important books that they deserve.  You’ll start seeing some book posts here for sure.

Follows

Please yell out some nasty comment to me on Twitter so I can unfollow you.  Please help me to realize what a tool you are so I can not only unfollow but block you as well.  Don’t like me?  No probs, I’m going to do whatever I can to make it so it’s like I never existed at all – for your benefit and for mine.  There’s not enough time in the day for me to get bogged down in whatever problems you have that force you to come on Twitter and pick fights with people you don’t even know.  See ya!

Diet

There I went again.  After dropping 25 pounds this fall and running 10 miles a week in the snow and ice, I began falling back into bad dietary habits.  Too many late nights at work was the excuse I made for myself.  Well I don’t have time to run so who cares about what I’m eating was the thought process.  Also, the sodas and beers are killing me.  Its not just the calories – all that sodium just slows me down.  It’s gotten way out of control and I think a lot of water will pre-empt the soda part while the extra work will leave me with way less time for all the beers during the week.  I’m nipping this in the bud before June rolls around and I look like Phillip Seymour Hoffman again.  Back on my grind.

Exercise

And speaking of running, its been six weeks since I let my jogging routine lapse.  I feel it and it shows.  I’m totally grossed out by how quickly my energy has deserted me.  Fuck that.  With the pizza and ice cream jettisoned, the punishing 5:30 am running must begin again.  I’m joking, when I’m running it feels more like a reward than a punishment, my favorite part of the day is trotting back up the driveway after a 3 or a 5 mile run with the sun rising behind me and the internal endorphin ballet reaching its crescendo.

Music

So when I run, I’ve added a bunch of new interesting things to the iPod – Japanese Kodo Drum music, Marine Corp cadences etc.  I’m also loving the free mixtape downloads at Hip Hop Is Read, each week there’s another downloadable “tape” with the 30 best hip hop tracks of the moment.  As far as non-working out music, I’m listening to the Decemberists, the new R.E.M., that Adele chick is blowing me away, more Nicki Minaj than I ever thought possible, the Avett Brothers (I’m late, I know) and then singles too numerous to list here.  I plan to make a conscious effort to move on to some new albums now that the winter’s selections have run their course.  Hit me below with any suggestions.

DVR

I never watch any of these shows I’m DVRing.  Time to keep it real, I’m getting rid of all these “appointments” I’ve made for myself.  How many seasons of Top Chef are there a year?  Did we really need Top Chef Masters and Top Chef Pastries and Top Chef Kidz and Top Chef Ex-Convicts?  Also, with the iPad I’ll now be able to subscribe to whole seasons and watch them anywhere, not just when I have a laptop handy.  I’ll have my iTunes be like the b-squad DVR and hold all these Adult Swim shows (Eagleheart, Children’s Hospital) I never seem to have time for.

Clothing

I love, love, love throwing away clothing.  This is because I almost never do.  I have stupid stuff like “lucky shirts” or “this is the hat I wear when it’s raining on a Tuesday” going on.  I’m sentimental in that way.  Fortunately my wife is a steamroller and by the time she forces me to get a bag together for goodwill, I begin to enjoy the process – it’s highly cathartic.  Go into your closet and get rid of five things right now for no reason, you’ll see what I mean.  Plus, now I can grab some new gear for the summer.  I’ll be hitting up Charles Tyrwhitt for my shirts (non-iron slim fit), the Adidas Store and Cole Haan for my feet and I’ll also be needing some fresh ‘gators from Lacoste.

Acquaintances

Every so-called business guru who has ever written a book has extolled the virtues of networking.  I agree that networking is extremely important, it has done wonders for my own career and I’ve made a few real friends who’ve started as business contacts.  But there is a downside to networking you almost never hear about.  Too many contacts of the wrong kind can be huge time-killers.  I’m not sure how to prevent these accidental relationships from forming in the first place but I’ve resolved to let more than a few existing ones simply expire.  At a certain point, neither of us is doing the other any favors, so I think I’m doing the right thing in most of these cases.

Anyway, this is my Spring Cleaning plan, I’m getting really excited for the season and I want to be as prepared to embrace it as possible.  What are some of the items you’re cleaning out this time of year?

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