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Category - Life

Keeping Clean In Order to Get Things Done

As I’ve been realizing my changing priorities and outlook for the future, I’ve been coming back to one word that defines my nature: clean.

I like things clean. Not just free from dirt clean, but simple clean, too.

For this blog, as I looked over themes galore to find one that I really liked — and would continue to like in the future — I needed it to be clean. The design had to be simple. Not overwhelming. Nice use of colors, but not too much.

(FYI, I’m using a self-enhanced version of the GimpStyle theme.)

At home, I tend to clean up a lot. Not because the place is overly messy, but because I like it to be clean. In fact — and you can ask Debbie this — whenever I’m in a bad mood or mad about something, I tend to clean. Don’t ask me why. I just do it.

My desk is normally pretty clean. I have a great glass tabletop desk, with my iMac, all-in-one printer, cordless phone and pen tray. But then there’s my big-ass laptop sitting there, which doesn’t really belong on the desk. But I always end up using it for something.

Penelope says that having a messy desk can hurt your career — and points to FBI data that says “people with messy offices are less efficient, less organized and less imaginative then people with clean desks.”

I think I need to be clean in order to get things done. That seems like common sense, though, right? The less you’re distracted by all the stuff out of place, the more you can do.

Maybe that’s why I’m sitting in the dark right now. So I can’t see the mess in my office while I write this.

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Even Heroes Need Time To Find Themselves

I love Heroes. Or, should I say, I loved Heroes.

The show’s first year was one of the best seasons of television, ever, up there with the first seasons of Veronica Mars and, yes, even 24.

The writing was great. The story came together in ways you’d never expect. And it always left you wanting more. (I was even going to a buy an extinct technology just so I could watch it in high-def.)

When the second season came around, it hit the usual sophomore slump. It was okay; not as good as the previous year, but worth watching. The third season was completely all over the place.

But the writers are doing something interesting with the current season. They’re not coming back with a “bigger is better” plotline, or even doing a ton of marketing for the show. Instead, they’re doing the opposite.

They’re letting it rest in neutral, until they can really figure out what they should be doing.

Sure, stuff is happening, but nothing big. And even though it doesn’t make for must-see-TV, it’s probably the right thing to do.

When I got laid off this summer, it was almost a blessing in disguise. It wasn’t a shocker; times were tough, nobody seemed happy and priorities changed everyday.

At the same time, I was pretty much directionless. I knew a change was needed. Hell, I had three interviews the week they let me go. And turning down the subsequent job offer was probably the best thing I could do.

When you’re lost, you can’t expect to find your way by continuing to do the same things. You need a chance to catch your breath and discover what works for you.

Even if you’re in neutral for awhile, doing nothing is better than going in reverse. That just makes it harder to find where you should be going.

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Laid Off

Three weeks ago, I was laid off.

It wasn’t exactly a surprise — the writing was on the wall — but nevertheless, it’s one of those things you hope doesn’t happen to you.

But it did. And so all of a sudden, the company I’d worked for since the day I graduated from college, no longer needed my services.

There was an unemotional conversation with my manager, the guy who’d hired me out of college and been my manager 4 out of the 7 different times I was shuffled around (yes, in 4 years). Then the chat with HR, arguing over the difference between ‘fired’ and ‘laid off.’ It was difficult, especially because I consider us friends.

And that was it.

It was sad. But not a shock. The company had been through a few rounds of layoffs already (and a 10% paycut, which affected everyone), and things weren’t turning around. And even though I can understand the business rational for the decision, it doesn’t make it any easier.

It’s one thing to move on from a position where you’ve essentially built a product and its reputation out of nothing. It’s another to see it taken away from you.

My friend Ben Drawbaugh, upon hearing of my situation, posted a ridiculously kind recommendation on LinkedIn, which at least made me feel a little bit better.

I simply can’t imagine without Jason. As far as I’m concerned he built that site and everything I liked about it.

This is how I felt about the site. Really, this is how you feel about anything you build from nothingness.

There’s a lot more to this story, including how I got a job offer the day after I was laid off. I’m not sure it’s appropriate to post now, but I will share it. Stay tuned.


24 Review: 9 PM – 10 PM

I’m back with another 24 Season 7 Review. The hits just keep on coming!

What’d you think? Leave a comment below.

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24 Review: 5 PM – 6 PM

What’d you think? Leave a comment.

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