Posted by: devonellington | February 13, 2023

Small Adjustments

image courtesy of Dim Hou via

We often feel like everything has to be a huge, radical change.

But small adjustments along the way are just as effective, sometimes more effective.

There are times we don’t need or want a big change. But we just need a small adjustment.

I find I need to make adjustments to my daily work schedule, almost every day. I have to match the energy to the task, instead of just powering through a list, and deciding it “has” to be in a particular order because “I say so.”

I know when my deadlines are, and then I ride particular energy waves at particular times of the day to get it done. With the lack of air conditioning in my home, and last summer’s heat, I found that taking a break in the afternoon, and then working both early and late in the day, when the temperatures were cooler, worked better for me. Sometimes I packed up and went to a local library, where it was air conditioned, and the cold helped my brain sharpen. But that flexibility, and those small adjustments, made a huge difference in both the quality of my work and the quality of my life.

Sometimes changing the orientation of your furniture will freshen up your room. I’m big on decorating with fabric; I change the fabric every season, to different colors and textures. It gives the room a fresh feel and lifts my mood. When I travel, or do a residency, I roll up a few batiks to take along to spread on tables or throw across chairs to make the space feel like mine. It makes a difference.

A small adjustment that made a huge positive difference in my life was a programmable coffee maker. I set it up at night; the coffee is ready when I get up. Waking to the smell of coffee starts my day on a bright note. It never occurred to me this would make a difference, but it does.

Walking to the library on nice days rather than driving (when there aren’t too many books involved) is another small adjustment that makes a big difference.

What are some small adjustments you’ve made that have created big, positive differences?



  1. Must consider rearranging the future. Although at my age, I’d need help doing it.

    Sometimes I work on my laptop for a living room chair rather than the desktop in my office. Living room has a huge window. Occasionally, I’ll take my AlphaSmart to the kitchen to avoid Internet distractions.

  2. […] this week’s Process Muse and got it uploaded (it goes live tomorrow). Posted a short piece on Small Adjustments over on the Goals, Dreams, and Resolutions […]

  3. I’ve lived in so many places where the furniture only works one way, that I love it when I have some flexibility! And I love looking out of a window while I work. I find it invigorating, rather than distracing.

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