What’s in your toolbox?

Feb 27, 2024 | Ryan's Blog

Feb 27th, 2024 – Do you know the name Paul Atreides?

You either know EXACTLY who that is or you have NO IDEA.

For all of my 54 years, I did not know that name yet now it’s constantly on my lips and in my imagination.

Paul Atreides is the protagonist of Dune, one of the greatest sci-fi novels of all time.

When I ask people if they’ve read Dune, they have one of two answers:

1) I tried but couldn’t get into it…

2) It’s one of the best books of all time!!!

Dune was a favorite of my older brother’s, it’s only other equal being The Lord of the Rings trilogy.

It’s hard to imagine a world without the book Dune, whether you’re a sci-fi fan or not. Frank Herbert was a genius. A deeply gifted and prolific writer.

Since I worshipped my almost-eight-years-older-than-me big brother, I have always known of the book Dune, but hadn’t read it. It seemed pretty niche. Especially when you just pick it up cold. And I tried! I really did! I actually love sci-fi, too, growing up a Trekkie and loving all things Star Wars.

So, I bet you’re thinking, she’s finally reading Dune, good for her. But it’s more than that. 

After many attempts to read it, after years of wanting to read it, yes, I’m finally reading it, it’s true!

But how did I get over the hump??

I have Netflix and YouTube to thank for it! And a deadline, too.

“Say more, Ryan!!” 

Ok, you got it.

I was visiting my family this past weekend for some nephews’ birthday celebrations, and we noticed that the movie (Part 1) was leaving Netflix on Feb 29 (in preparation for Part 2 coming out this weekend, no doubt) but that lit a fire under us to watch this 2 ½ hour movie! 



I’m rarely one to say, “Watch the movie before reading the book!” But with Dune, watching the movie Part 1 REALLY got my wheels going! I also am listening to the Audible version AND I found a YouTube video after I Googled “tips for reading Dune” that was extremely validating and helpful.

The point is, use the tools! We all learn differently, so why not apply that principle? Look what it opened up for me!

I aim to find as many tools as possible to fight that tenacious, omnipresent, slip-in-when-we-aren’t-looking beast called Overwhelma. 

So get armed! Right, Paul??

We have so much going on in our lives, in our brains, and we are constantly re-shuffling the deck of “to do” items. You will never finish a to do list because there will always be something else to do.

We know that the Eisenhower Matrix is a powerful tool to help us prioritize the tasks. But that can be a process in itself, sometimes distracting us from taking action (especially if you’re an “initiating Follow Thru” on your Kolbe MO!) 

When you find yourself swimming around in a sea of “to do” items but struggling to prioritize those actions (AKA Overwhelma showed up!), try this tool:

Ask yourself, “What is the next action?”

What has to happen next in order to move forward? Oftentimes, the next action is to schedule it on your tool called Google calendar!! Then you have taken action, so good job! 

Tools. We have many tools. Use them! 

Let’s use our tools of accountability and community! Don’t forget our weekly Digital Decluttering Live Workshop every Thursday at 12p CST. Or check out this link for our future Paper and Binder Organizing workshops.

Lots of tools out there to keep you moving!

Are you a reader, too? Connect with me on Goodreads!

Ryan 🙂


My name is Ryan…

I love teaching people how to let go of the crazy and live a less stressful life. My book The CALM Method: A Guide to Ditch Last-Minute Living is full of guidance and tips for you, but the real magic is in our community. The Find FOCUS Membership is a great place to get more done alongside your peeps!!!

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