zen habits : breathe

Life Coding: 9 Ways to Fight Feature Creep in Our Lives

Editor’s note: This post written by Glen Stansberry of LifeDev (feed ).

As a web developer, I’m constantly struggling with the concept of feature creep. Feature creep is when the developer keeps adding features to the software to the point that the core product starts to lose it’s focus. The software slowly becomes less elegant and very un-simple, which is a developer’s worst nightmare.

The worst part about feature creep is that it’s almost always the result of the best intentions. The developer takes a mindset that by adding more features, more people will want to use it. Pretty soon the documentation for the product resembles a dishwasher and requires the smarts of a doctor to decipher it. Eventually it takes so long to learn how to use the program that it’s no longer useful.

Feature creep can also be present in our lives. If we pretend for a second that our lives are a piece of software, we can see the types of “features” that we’ve added to it. Cell phones, email, IM, iPhones, Crackberry’s, Twitter, Facebook, Myspace… suddenly we’ve got a bunch of digital accounts that are stealing our focus. All of these accounts demand attention, and carve bits of attention from our day. We’ve become more and more connected to our computers and other communication devices. Life, it seems, has become much less simple.

So how do we break away from all the “feature creep” that we’ve added to our lives? It’s simple, but painful. We have to start dropping features. But take heart, it can be done. Here are a few techniques to help make sure that you don’t add feature creep to our lives.

Adding extra “features” can quickly add a lot more expectations on our lives, to the point of becoming unmanageable. Remember, where we spend our time dictates what is truly important in our lives, whether we’d admit it or not.

Glen Stansberry writes about productivity for creative people at LifeDev. He’s also the creator of Blogfuse’s Facebook App Creator for Bloggers and one of the founders of the LifeRemix blog network.

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