Archive for January 21st, 2008
It has been close to 6 months now since I quit smoking and I can’t tell you how good it feels. I sleep much better, the energy levels are consistently higher and better; and best of all, I have more money now to allocate to books, music and movies, which used to be wasted on giving my lungs a very hard time.
That said, there are side-effects that still linger on. Phlegm being the major culprit here. While things are considerably better on this front, it is far from being over and done with and after all, what has taken years to accumulate won’t disappear overnight.
There is no real huge struggle or heroic story associated with my giving up the smokes. Thankfully, I’ve not been addicted to it in all the years that I’ve smoked and given up (twice before this), it has been more of a habit to keep my mind off other things. Or, even worse, it has been a weird sort of act of rebellion that I’d do just to make a point, because nobody could control that part of my life.
What eventually did it for me was one of my usual trysts with a bad bout of bronchitis. I keep getting it every couple of months and over time it was costing me a good couple of days that I could have otherwise spent getting more work done. As far as wake up calls go, I did not really need one beyond that.
The difference it has made still leaves me reeling a bit. My lifestyle right now is not by any means the best I’ve ever had. In fact, it is lousy like hell. I don’t sleep right, eat right or exercise right, but the fact that I don’t smoke now keeps me more active and productive than ever.
Really, if you are a smoker, quit now and get richer!
- Do this only when you a bit of good time to spare, don’t rush through it.
- Mark all individual feeds that have more than 100 unread times as “all read.” You are likely to spend a lot of time working through this and getting very little real value out of it.
- Reduce top level clutter: Keep as few folders on your top level as you can. My total boils down to nine, ordered in terms of reading frequency (daily, india-blogs, links, misc, music, news, private, technology, testing).
- If you need to organize your feeds in a more granular manner, use sub-folders. Do this only if you are an organisation freak. What has worked best for me is the following method.
|-Top Level Category (By frequency first and by usage type later)
|-Sub Category (By theme/topic: Technology, Business, Blogs)
- Always read using the “River of News” view (Folder Level view) on Top Level folders
- Find your comfort level in terms of number of items you can read in a fixed period of time and switch to List View if the items are above a fixed number (I keep it at 100).
- Star lengthy items that need more reading time, catch up on them later.
- Frequently prune your subscription lists: Check your reading trends regularly. Unsubscribe from feeds that are below a certain read percentage in subscription trends. Follow that up with with the same treatment done on the reading trends.
- My average reading percentage is 30% for my Top 40. If you have the same numbers, it is a good idea then to let go of the feeds that have less 30% reading percentage. Chances are you won’t miss them because you don’t read them much anyway.