Winning the Fight Against “The Little Things”

Theme screenshot

First, click Refresh on your browser to view the new theme correctly.

Working on a new theme for Zoomstart is just one of the “little things” that has consumed a lot of my time lately. Other things include Summer and studying the art of blogging.

Currently I’m also reading a brilliant book suggested by a friend called Made To Stick. If you’re writing or marketing anything, this book is a must read. It’s all about how to create ideas that stick. There are a few books that I have on my bookshelf that are THE book on their subject. This is one of them.

Beating up the Little Things

Little things have a way of conspiring against us, ganging up on us, and just being a general threat and nuisance. The last few weeks they’ve thrown my schedule into a tailspin. But I’m starting to round them up … they’re gonna pay for what they’ve done.

Another few weeks and I’ll be able to declare this a “Little Things Free Zone” and get back to posting more regularly. And ironically, many of the things that are consuming so much time are behind-the-scenes things to do with Zoomstart and blogging in general.

The Key Steps to Winning the Fight

There are a number of things I’ve been doing. I’m gaining ground, and maybe these things can help you out if you’re in a similar fight to the death with the details:

  1. Stand back and survey the landscape. That’s right look at all the little things. Now start taking names and list them all.
  2. Outsource them. One of the things that takes too much time is creating pics for each blog post. So I’ve started to go out and find great stuff at sites like Morguefile, stock.xchng, and iStockphoto. The first 2 are free, the third is a great investment at $1-2 a pic. My time is worth a lot more than that.
  3. Utilize what you’ve got. Even though I still have a bit of a love-hate relationship with the racing stripe sidebar for this new theme … it’s what I’ve got. It’s all we need and there are much bigger fish to fry. Like writing and networking. Utilize what you’ve got andΒ the chances are excellent that you’ll utilize the next thing you get when it’s time to get it.
  4. Just do them. Ahh … currently in progress.

The little things are tough. But they’re not that tough.

15 thoughts on “Winning the Fight Against “The Little Things””

  1. Hey Shane, yeah well I have to say I’m jealous now! hehe

    That design is awesome! I’m usually not a big fan of black sidebars, but man it looks perfect, and instead of taking the focus away from the content it actually makes it stand out a little more, but still everything in the sidebar is right where it should be. Well you know what I mean, balance. πŸ™‚

    Great job buddy!
    Oh by the way, maybe it’s always been like that, but I just noticed the arrow on the “T” in your logo, looks good. πŸ˜‰

    Take care

  2. Hey, I like the new look a lot, I like the black sidebar, it makes the content in the blog stand out more, the only thing that’s a bit hard to read is the blue you’re using for links on the dark background, maybe a lighter blue?

    Besides that it’s nice πŸ˜€

  3. Hey Jon,

    Thanks! Really appreciate the feedback. The logo is new … completely different font … er, fonts. I think I’m going to nix the arrow though. It’s just a little too “cutesy”. Glad you like the sidebar.


    Someone had to say to say it … thanks! I’m gonna tone down the links in the sidebar some. They’re a bit much πŸ™‚

  4. Hey Jon,

    Yeah, the black was cool, but too overbearing to the content and the links in the sidebar. Enter … platinum! πŸ™‚

  5. When I first visited your site I was expecting a picture of a Drag Race Start as the header. Whichever way your site looks I am a permanent visitor, you have great content, although sometimes the content flies a little over my head…lol but it doesn’t stop me from keep coming back. Gotta thank Jon for introducing me to your site.

    I need to change my header, but still begging for help, this stuff is too techy for me mate.

    Take care and cheers, always a pleasure visiting your blog.

  6. Hey Robin,

    Dragsters are an interesting idea. Personally I prefer opening up on a winding seaside highway to the quarter mile thing, (but I practice a lot more sanity on the road these days).

    If there’s something that doesn’t make sense, just let me know! I’m continually working to make my writing more accessible – one of the reasons I’m reading “Made To Stick” as I mentioned. It’s an absolutely brilliant book for writers, marketers, and communicators of any type.

    If you’ve got a new header pic picked out, email it to me. I can crop it to the right size and help you get it uploaded to your site.

  7. Congratulations on the redesign – looks good! I know all too well what you mean about the little things creeping up on you. Oh, and why is it that it’s always the ‘little things’ that often take the longest to complete?!?

    – Martin Reed

  8. Shane,

    I haven’t been online much in the past few days. Just saw this post in my feedreader, and clicked right on through. The design looks great! I missed the black sidebar(though I can see it in the photo). Anyway, looks really good… I plan to check out “Made to Stick”.

  9. Martin,

    Thanks! I think little things are tough because:

    1) There’s so many of them (they gang up on you suddenly)
    2) There are no real “goals” or incentives/passion to doing them

    But … they gotta be done.

    Hey Anthony,

    You’re lucky you missed it. The black sidebar just made everybody go cross-eyed I think (including me). haha

    Definitely check out Made To Stick. I had 3 books that are THE book to have on different business subjects. And now I have 4.

  10. I definitely like the new theme. It still has the same basic look, but the new features/design aspects still stand out. I like it! Great work πŸ˜€

    It always takes a long time to find the right picture for your post…I’m in the same boat as you! I usually end up getting pictures from deviant art, stock.xchng, and flickr.


  11. Hey Gregg,

    Yeah, I’ve found a few at stock.xchge and morguefile, but there’s a better variety and quality at iStockphoto. And the cost is well worth the time I save … but more about that in an upcoming post!

  12. Thanks Mani.

    Sxc does have some great pics, and all the sites I mentioned have helped give me a huge chunk of my time back.

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