If only I’d learned this earlier! At a glance, the diagram below seems easy and something that should already have been codified in all organizing techniques, but unfortunately, it’s not immediately apparent. We want to sort out too much and we want to go too fast. Then, we fill surface area after surface area until we’re trapped. Instead, let’s vow to keep a certain space clear for sorting through our “errant projects” or “clutter boxes.”
I’ve spent weeks recycling old projects. These were time-sensitive, context-specific, or otherwise projects I procrastinated on and now they’re in the recycle bin. It’s unfortunate. Some of these ideas were cool, but now that I’m moving and focusing my life’s interests, there’s no point in experimentally building any of these now. I am becoming more careful about auditing my excitement over starting new projects. I won’t loaf over completing boring, old projects. Complete or scrap!
What’s my perfect collection look like? Diversity, uniqueness, and quality would make me feel the proudest about owning such a materialistically ephemeral collection. Those three factors must, then, guide my future collecting intentions because I know I’ll get more CDs. Is it merely enough to say that I want to focus on quality over quantity?
How do you balance your professional work with your personal work? Do you shelve your personal work when things get professionally hectic? Do you take a “personal day” off from your professional work to catch up on your personal work? For me, writing is my one true goal, so I must do it daily. There are no compromises. Writing for other people used to count toward my goals. Not anymore! I work for myself daily.
Compared to when I initially kicked it into high gear, I haven’t been packing as much these past few days. The analysis fatigue of processing so much data might be exhausting me. I’ve been looking at this same half-full box for weeks. Though I’m toward the end of listening to most everything in my collection, and there are some good choices, still it feels like the bottom of the barrel. I shouldn’t slow down now.
I haven’t written about “The Story” lately, so, is the project dropped? Far from it! Just because most of my time is spent sorting through the remainder of my possessions that haven’t been boxed up yet doesn’t mean scenes won’t pop up. When I’m taking a break, I might imagine Trishna and Pollyanna posing for a cute holiday photo, or when I’m eating lunch, I might wonder how John would eat or shave his face…
In order to do this, I must first do that. In order to do that, I must first do… everything. These sorts of distracting dependencies, especially when we don’t have a structure for executing certain plans, have probably been my biggest source of clutter. Even last night, I bought a coffee grinder, but in order to use it, I must first read how to use it. But, wait! The weather is good, so let me…
The day I wrote this essay saw a historic event for Seattle, Washington with the closure of one of its major traffic routes. Did I go? No. I spent the better part of the day shuffling my antiquated media husks. I alphabetized DVDs, prepping them to pack while listening to CDs, and decided what to keep and what to donate/sell. It was even a nice day out! Would I trade all these for digital equivalents?
As excited as I am to be making bold strides toward living a life closer to the one I want to live, where I can go fully experience new things without being weighed down with past experiences via the clutter that hoards my memories and mindset, concerns over my property, or even just having to deal with packing or moving, there’s still so much left to do, even after I arrive at my next residence.
“Next week, I’ll be packing. Today was a “talk ta’ people” day.” “That makes sense.[1,2]” Other than being in a writing slump because I was hungry and arriving home tired, the day I wrote this essay was a good day. If there’s anything I’ve learned throughout these past 2+ years of writing and working toward something bigger, it’s the value of social interaction. Especially for writers – we seem especially reclusive – there’s value in talkin’ ta’ people.