“Reversing years of negligence will take a bit of time.”
That’s what I told myself a year ago. I was woefully unprepared for what I needed to do in order to actually clean up the mess I had made.
For the past five years, I was responsible for keeping two dozen websites up and running, including a few significantly bigger than my own. I had a blog that continued to age—poorly, I might add—with very little fresh content. Social media was a mess. I could barely keep up with the people I wanted to and knew far too much about people I didn’t even remember.
I also have a good job. One that keeps my mind engaged and my writing fingers busy. A family and a social life took up some of that time, too.
But, I still wanted to write. Shit like this post, sure. Hopefully, other things that are more entertaining and fulfilling.
At some point, I had to cut bait with some of my digital baggage.
Here’s the process I went through:
- Be self-aware. The first to go was maintaining websites, as it had became both my most stressful and least enjoyable task. I still have a few left to migrate but I have the biggest headaches off my hands for good. I didn’t realize how much I disliked maintaining websites until I tried it and then tried to get out of it for a year. I could’ve probably saved a year of stress just by being more self-aware of how truly loathsome the task had become.
- Choosing to be public or private. I made my Facebook and Instagram profiles private and deleted people I couldn’t recognize if I ran into them on the street. I became more public on Twitter and LinkedIn. I’m not a privacy freak like some people but being intentional about where I put things helped forge better connections with people I wanted to keep up with.
- Deleting old content. I spent a few weeks going through every page on my blog and chose to delete a good 60–70 percent of the content. Some of it still lives here and I might cull more in the future. Really though, the biggest challenge for me was deleting content that I worked hard on that was no longer relevant to me (or if I’m being honest, practically anyone). That’s always been tough for me.
- Simplifying processes going forward. The less I have to think about how something gets done, the more I can focus on simply getting it done. Logging into my WordPress dashboard with updates needed and comments to be moderated meant there was work before the work could even start.
So as part of this, I moved my blog from a self-hosted WordPress install to Medium. You’ll find writing that revolves around work, life, and technology. All of my favorite things and the things I generally wrote about anyway. I also included a special section that I used to archive what I considered to be the best of my old HR blog, too.
For me, it was making an intentional decision about where I spend my effort and to make some content decisions that weren’t easy, but necessary, so I could keep writing.
So, if you’re looking for an old article, you might not find it. That’s okay. I hope to share new stories that you’ll enjoy more.