Jeff Davidson's book, Simpler Living, was Amazon Kindle #1 in its category, first quarter, 2012. Jeff is featured in the NY Times, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, Businessweek, Fortune, Organized Executive, and Success.

October 2012


In This Edition:
1. Ah, October!
2. Information Overload: Tiny Distractions Add Up
3. Life is Finite, Information is Infinite
4. Paring Down
5. Now It’s Official: What Makes for True Happiness

Ah, October!

Does anyone not like this month? The leaves turning, college sports in full bloom, the World Series looming, and congressional elections to boot! This month, I’m spending as much time as I can outside. How about you?

Information Overload: Tiny Distractions Add Up

With each passing day, impediments to our stepping outside mount, largely in the form of more information coming our way. Early man examined his food to ensure it 1) was dead and 2) had no insects. The 21st century man barely looks at his food; he’s fixated on the package. Corporate giants figured out that consumers could become thoroughly hooked on “package literature.”

Recognizing our craving for information, advertisers offer alluring product packaging. The average cereal box contains about 2,000 words, equal to eight pages of a book. Generic products, at the same basic quality as mid-level brands, were once sold by vendors who knew that people might not buy “wordless” cardboard and risk incurring “package deprivation.”

Package deprivation? It’s no surprise today that most of our population — not just kids — wears clothes or accessories with slogans and messages on them. Attraction to labeling and package copy robs you of breathing space. Minute bits of extraneous data have a cumulative impact.

Other symptoms of information overload abound. Do you attempt to think, converse, study, or even make love with distractions? Do you try to concentrate with office noise? Do you attempt to converse while on the Web or watching TV? Do you “need” to wind down before bed in front of a screen?

You deserve a break today. Eat healthy food, with people in message-free clothing, and no reading material or screens in sight.

Life is Finite, Information is Infinite

Recognize, with the clarity of death, that life is finite; you cannot wistfully ingest the daily deluge of information/communication and expect to achieve balance.

Don’t passively yield to the din and settle for living your life in what’s left over after each day’s onslaught. Hereafter, make sensible choices about what is best ignored and what merits your time and attention!

Paring Down

In my book Breathing Space, which has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Malay, and Spanish, I introduce “paring down.” It’s a means of discarding what does not serve you, what does not support your work, what does not make your home life more pleasant, what gets in the way, or what you’ve been hanging on to for too long.

Where in your personal or professional life can you pare down? Check the items below that you suspect require attention. Use this list as a starting point, since many areas may not be of concern to you or you may need to add some of your own areas.

 Front hall closet
Bedroom closet
Den closet
Other closet

Linen closet
Laundry room
Back porch

File drawers
File folders
Hard drive
CD collection

Clothing drawers
Shirts, blouses
Pants, skirts

Other publications
Kitchen cupboards
Under kitchen sink
Under bathroom sink
Medicine cabinet

Other shelves

DVD collection
Book collection
CD collection
Other collection

Ties, scarves
Handbags, pocketbooks
Briefcases, valises

Duplicates, triplicates
Other piles
Other assemblages
Other accumulations

 Items I haven’t used in years
Items I’ve never used
Items I can donate
Anything else I can think of!!

Now It’s Official: What Makes for True Happiness

“Ten Keys to True Happiness,” based on a study published in New Scientist, include:

 1. Wealth
2. Desire
3. Intelligence
4. Genetics
5. Beauty
6. Friendship
7. Marriage
8. Faith
9. Charity
10. Age