Tinkering With Ideas #018: Forced to make changes

published3 months ago
2 min read

Hi Reader 👋 -

Happy Wednesday, and if you're in the U.S. I hope you had a safe and festive 4th of July. My day included hosting a croquet tournament in my backyard. Croquet tournaments were an annual 4th of July tradition in my family for more than 20 years. Now I've picked up the torch and continued with some of our friends. It's a blast because no one is good at croquet. Plus there are prizes.

1) Reflection:

I've been thinking about changes that are outside of our control. Like the annual family croquet tournament. It eventually became too big, too much work for my aging aunt and uncle to host. I was sad when it ended, but found a way to keep the spirit of the original event alive.

Sometimes being forced to make a change is good. But it can be hard. I was thrust into a life of freelancing after an acrimonious end to my job last year. Did it end up find? Sure. But being forced to make a change is different than making a change of my own accord. I also wrote about a friend who felt like he had to leave his job when his entire team was laid off.

Still, being forced into change drives quick action — even if it's a painful process. I learned SQL because I had to: my employer at the time was understaffed and a project had to get done. I've never regretted having those skills, even though I sometimes wish my training had been more formal.

2) Product:

Another reason we're forced to change: a product is no longer offered. Such a bummer. Whether it's your favorite shampoo or an app you love, sometimes products go away and then we have to find a replacement. Sigh.

I was talking to someone recently about Notion (because I'm planning an upcoming family vacation in Notion). A friend told me that he still uses Evernote. I replied that I mostly abandoned Evernote because I think the company is struggling. I don't think the company has kept current with features that competitors offer.

And that can sometimes be a sign. Even if your favorite product still exists, if it starts to feel dated you may want to look at alternatives. As painful as it is to switch, it's better than having a product suddenly yanked from under you.

3) Tip:

It's July, which means it is Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) — a challenge to set a 30-day writing goal. After years of disappointing myself when I fall short, my goal for the month is to simply write a little bit every day. And it has to be writing I wouldn't otherwise do (like Medium, Substack, or my blog). I have to work on other writing projects.

Big goals are great but small goals can give you such a fantastic sense of accomplishment. I'd like to work toward November's NaNoWriMo goal of 50,000 words in 30 days, but that's not my reality right now.

That's it for this issue of Tinkering! See you again in two weeks.


Anna Burgess Yang

LinkedIn | Medium | Substack

Want more ideas?

Use ChatGPT to Brainstorm Ideas. And Automation to Organize Results | Medium

Goodbye Grit. What if we all just gave up on work? | Emma Beddington, The Guardian

Using Time Blocking to Balance Client Deliverables and Admin Tasks | guest post on Harlow's blog

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Anna Burgess Yang

I'm a workflow geek, remote work evangelist, and #5amwritersclub frequent flyer. I educate and equip people to take control of their time and energy, their money, the tools they use, and their careers. I also like naps.

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