First, I found an encouraging article in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal. I’m not sure what attracted me to its mundane title (“Jeans, Healthy Snacks Draw Investors”) but I’m glad I read it. Venture capitalists are investing in certain consumer companies that “are well-suited to the recession because consumers will cut back less on clothes, eco-friendly products and food than other purchases. Such companies typically require capital in smaller bites than the information-technology and life-sciences concerns that have dominated venture investing in recent years.” Now if I can just put my business plan together.

Second, I discovered a little book in the library the other day called The Power of Less, by Leo Babauta of ZenHabits. In keeping with its title, here are just a few points from the book:

1. Only try to acquire one new habit at a time. Mr. Campbell and I did this when we first began cooking last September, and it really made a difference for us just to concentrate on one change in our lives. The only negative about this suggestion is that there are so many self-improvement ideas that I like in this book, it’s hard to decide on just one new habit.

2. The one new habit I’m most attracted to is managing my email in-box. Leo’s plan sounds very do-able: respond, make a note of an action required on a to-do list, and then delete or file. Whatever you do, don’t just leave the email there. I’m going to try this.

3. He makes a very good point about narrowing your commitments to give you time to do the things you most love to do. However, once you’ve cut back on obligations, be sure you’re using that time to do something you love–not just watching TV or surfing the internet. This is exactly where I break down in time management.