For a couple of weeks I've been obsessing on the impact clutter has on our time. Our need to keep the materials we need for any project close by, whether we're still working on the project or not, is one reason clutter happens. But another is problems making decisions about what we're going to do with stuff. Where should this document go? What about this portfolio of materials from a conference? These books? These notes? My copy of the workshop proposal I submitted? Decision-making can take time, we feel we don't have time to think about the decision, so we put the item we've been thinking about on a shelf, a table, or, often in my case, on the floor, believing we'll take care of it in the future. When we will have more time.
Decision-making, like self-discipline/self-control, will be another long-term study topic. Right off the bat, though, I can think of two things that can help the deciding-what-to-do-about-this-thing-in-my-hand problem.
1. Check out the filing system. While working on cleaning my office during my morning transitional time, I've realized that I need to do an extensive overhaul on my files. Not knowing where to file things or double filing because my system isn't doing a good job for me is definitely sucking up some time and struggling with filing is leading me to let it pile up.
2. Precycle. Don't bring unnecessary materials into the work area in the first place. This is something I've been doing, to some extent, in the rest of my house for years. How much advertising bling do I need to pick up when I'm at a bookfair or writers' event? Do I really need to save these magazines or can I just cut out a couple of articles? For that matter, will I ever read these articles?
Ah, but precycling involves making decisions, doesn't it?