Friday, May 19, 2017

Reducing the Piles

Today's "Master of the Obvious" moment:

While cleaning up, I realized why it's important to put things away as I come to them instead of making piles of things that go to the same place, then putting them away together, which feels more efficient.

It turns out that I often bite off more than I can chew. Which is another way of saying that I sometimes have poor time management. Perhaps it's less time management, and more like, having an unrealistic expectation for how long tasks take.

For example, when cleaning up my kitchen / dining / shoe storage room today, I took one or two pairs of boots to the basement for storage until next year, or until it snows next week. (Welcome to Chicago.) Then I took a couple more. Then a couple more. I took some papers and, instead of making piles of "to recycle" and "to file," I recycled and filed on the fly.

While blocking off time for tasks, I often find myself requiring more time than I thought I would need. If I did not need to block off time for tasks - they could end whenever I finished, rather than when I needed to move on to another task - then making piles is much more efficient.

By completing small items right away, no piles get left over. Those piles had no future time on the docket. That means that those piles (and there are still plenty) do not come to completion.

Now, I have boots in the closet, not in a pile waiting to go the the basement because I lost track of time and have to go get the kids, take them to activities, start dinner, get to practice, spend time with Wife, and go to my own hockey game. Are there still things to do? Plenty! The number has been reduced, rather than repositioned. Just like cleaning-as-you-go in the kitchen; perhaps you'll have time after dinner to clean up the whirlwind, but if honey gives you the wink and nudge, or the Blackhawks are on, or the energy goes away, that pile stays there until the next day.

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