Earlier I wrote about my need to re-think the New Year’s Resolution thing.

Today I want to explain a little more about what I meant by Reduce and Reboot.

The other day I was calculating the effort it would require to move to a new house, and instantly I felt sick just thinking about all the “stuff” I have up in the attic… and in the spare bedroom… and in the shed behind the house… and the closet under the carport.

Almost all of it is “stuff” I’ve accumulated over the years, most of which has been quietly collecting dust.

In order to move to a new house, I have to pack up all that “stuff” and physically move it across town. The thought of doing that discourages me from even starting.

This “stuff” has become an obstacle to me moving forward; it’s dead weight anchoring me where I’m at.

What I need to do is purge.

Did you know our brains have limited resources to work with? It’s true! They’ve done studies. There are only so many things your brain can cope with before it becomes overwhelmed.

I’ve been working to develop my filmmaking career over the last 10 years, and just like my house, I’ve acquired a psyche-load of useless and unhelpful clutter in the form of ideas, obligations, and projects that I feel compelled to work on.

Note I said “work on” not “finish.” The sort of busyness I described in my previous post demands work, not results.

Step Two of Moving Forward is to Reduce the clutter that’s anchoring us in our rut.

Reducing may look different to you than it does to me, but here’s my process:

I took stock of my long-term goal (to support my family by directing feature films), and anything that didn’t take me closer to that goal got the axe.

So far I’ve:

  • Sold lighting equipment I no longer use, freeing up storage space and capital for things I need.
  • Bowed out of projects where my time and effort weren’t valued.
  • Stopped hosting websites for friends. I’m generally happy to do this, but looking forward I realized that once my film is funded I won’t have time to maintain a dozen websites.
  • Gave away or deleted websites and social media accounts that I wasn’t using anymore.
  • Backburnered a whole bunch of projects that are ‘cool,’ but didn’t really serve any immediate purpose.

Over the next couple of week I’m going to continue purging, the goal being to strip myself down to a point where I’m agile and free to move again. If you’re following along, shoot me a message and let me know what you’re letting go of.

And stay tuned for…the Reboot.

Dan Baker

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Dan works out his social anxieties by producing and directing films. He's a proud New Mexican, and prefers green over red.

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