Since starting my 30-day Going Paperless experiment, I’ve received lots of great tips and have learned several good lessons.
Jennifer Kumar tagged me last week to write about three lessons I’ve learned from de-cluttering my life. I find this tag serendipitous since one of the first lessons I’ve learned about going paperless is that you’ve first got to sort all of the paper you’re currently using and storing, and get rid of what no longer serves you.
I’ll provide temporary updates on my paperless meme intermittently over the next month, with one final post compiling all tips at the end, once it’s had time to circulate. For today, I’d like to fulfill Jennifer’s request and list the three top advantages I’ve experienced in clearing my clutter. Ready? Here we go!
Increased energy level. I can breathe easier. Literally. And when you’re breathing, you feel better and more energetic. I don’t know if it’s my allergy to dust that contributes to this – getting rid of piles = getting rid of dust bunnies = breathing easier – and I don’t really care. I just know that I can take a deep breath, feel good, and hit the ground running. There’s also something mentally energizing about clean, clutter-free surfaces.
Clearer thinking. Clutter around you creates clutter in your brain. Again, mental energy seems to stagnate around clutter. You see that pile, you can’t remember what’s in there, “Are there things I need to do? Have I forgotten to pay a bill?” Whatever you piles represent, it’s probably something negative and you need to get rid of all negative energy in order to live the positive, productive life you came here and are intended to live.
Quicker, easier decision making. This is my favorite, and I have a story about this one. When I was in college I had this roommate named Monica. She was a very happy and energetic soul. I never made this connection back then, but one of the things that used to tickle me and my other roommates about her was the fact that she would always return on Sunday night with her week’s wardrobe planned out – and she brought only those clothes, shoes, accessories, etc. She didn’t go home every weekend, so she would sometimes have to plan her outfits 2-3 weeks in advance! She always stuck to her schedule, and she never wore jeans unless they were a planned part of the outfit – no jeans and sweatshirts on Monica – she was a Fashion Merchandising major! We would often laugh at her and then talk behind her back about how much we envied her ability to get dressed so quickly in the morning. Now I understand. Can you make the connection? Because she had only one outfit to choose from on that particular day, there was no decision-making to do. “What will I wear” crossed her mind only once per week, not every day.
Continuing to reflect on Monica for a moment, I’ve already said she was happy and energetic. She got up every morning at 5:30 AM to teach an aerobics class at the Baptist Student Union. She came back to the room at 7:15 to shower and dress and always had her first class scheduled at 8 AM. She was very punctual also, so washing and drying her beautiful blond bob haircut, applying makeup, and walking to class could have taken no more than 45 minutes. She was and is still probably the most un-cluttered person I’ve ever known. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, don’t you think?
Eliminating things you don’t want and being organized simply requires a little strategic planning. I know for a fact, from personal experience, that the time invested in any planning activity is more than regained in time saved during execution.
Just remembering Monica and recounting her story has been enough to motivate me for today, so I’m off to clear more clutter and research more ways to become paperless.
Until next time,
Live in Joyous Belief that All Things are Possible!
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This post was written by Debra Moorhead, Motivation, Education, Inspiration on January 16, 2008