“Improved productivity means less human sweat, not more.” ~Henry Ford
So many productivity “secrets” seem to create MORE work, not less. We spend countless hours looking for ways to keep our outward focus, always searching for a magical way to get satisfaction AND simplicity from an external source.
We hope and pray that something will appear that won’t require us to change anything we’re currently doing—that somehow the faulty equation of outward seeking and increase will add up to internal serenity and enough. This is another example of bad math.
You can’t keep dragging things home or onto your hard drive while expecting there to be less clutter in your life.
No amount of enthusiasm for “getting things done” is going to break the cycle of clutter building up, you breaking it down, feeling exhausted and also accomplished—until the next time you have to do it all over again. It seems to be an endless cycle. You may tell yourself, “This is just a part of my daily life. I live in a developed country, there’s stuff everywhere. This is both the blessing and the curse of a consumer’s economy.”
I’m going to tell you that it does not have to be this way. There are steps you can take, if you are willing, to make your cleaning/organizing sessions less—less demanding, less involved and finished sooner. How much time do you want to spend interacting with stuff? The average person will WASTE one year of their life looking for lost and misplaced items. You may not think you’re average, but when it comes to stuff, you are probably also NOT the exception.
I never feel bad when straightening up my apartment or office doesn’t take me all day but rather an hour and leaves me time to meet my friend for dinner before a movie.
This has very little to do with the size of your family or your home. It has EVERYTHING to do with where your focus is.
Right now, look around your home or office and take stock. Don’t glance around nervously, not really seeing what is around you. Actually sit and breathe for a moment and see. Of all the stuff you see around you, WHAT IS MISSING? If you have too much stuff, it is possible that you have all the wrong stuff, but it’s more likely that you have plenty of both the wrong stuff AND the right stuff.
If this is true, then stuff, more stuff is not the answer to what ails you.
What simple steps can you take right now to remove everything that you see that doesn’t work, is broken or damaged, that you haven’t used in more than a year or two, or that you don’t like or don’t even remember where it came from? Set a timer or use an app and spend 15 minutes removing stuff. Don’t talk yourself out of it, just do it.
Then, every time you go to pick up something you can’t eat or drink or rub onto your body or someone else’s and bring it home, ask yourself: “Am I making my life simpler or more complicated by bringing this home?” Wake up to the fact that time is short and every delayed decision will eventually have to be made—either by you or someone who survives you.
Wouldn’t it be better to spend your precious time with the people you say are most important to you or doing the thing that brings you the greatest satisfaction and sense of accomplishment instead of accumulating inanimate things for someday or later … particularly when you have no idea if someday or later will even get here and I know that they don’t exist.