20 Minutes a Day

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Ann Pachett has some great advice on writing that applies to an awful lot of our endeavours in life:

“If you want to write and can’t figure out how to do it, trying picking an amount of time to sit at your desk every day. Start with twenty minutes, say, and work up as quickly as possible to as much time as you can spare. Do you really want to write? Sit for two hours a day. During that time, you don’t have to write, but you must stay at your desk without distraction: no phone, no Internet, no books. Sit still quietly. Do this for a week, for two weeks. Do not nap or check your e-mail. Keep on sitting for as long as you remain interested in writing. Sooner or later you will write because you will no longer be able to stand not writing, or you’ll get up and turn the television on because you will no longer be able to stand all the sitting. Either way, you’ll have an answer.”

—From “The Getaway Car” in This is the Story of a Happy Marriage

 

What do you need to try for 20 minutes a day?

Organisation principle #3: Don’t Decide if You Can’t Decide

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We’ve talked about how the difficult part of getting organised are the decisions, and how establishing your bottom line and making the decision once can really help the process along. The goal, of course, is to avoid decision fatigue and decision paralysis, the killers of progress.

But chances are, if you embark upon the great closet/ pantry/ wardrobe clean-out, at some point, you are going to find yourself with a pile of things you just can’t decide on. They somehow defy your bottom line, and you have run out of energy to establish a place for them.

Here’s where an important strategy comes into play: if you just can’t decide, don’t. Continue Reading

Organisation Principle #2: Make the Decision Once

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After you have resolved to minimize decision fatigue, and you’ve established your bottom line, it’s time to implement the second key principle in getting organised: Make the Decision Once.

Did anyone else grow up with the old proverb, “a place for everything, and everything in its place”?

I wish I had accepted its wisdom when I was younger. You see, I thought it was just one of those annoying sayings that adults used to make children want to tidy (how that would ever work, I don’t know), or something highly organized people would say …

I didn’t realize that it would actually save me endless amounts of decision fatigue. Continue Reading

Organisation Principle #1: Establish Your Bottom Line

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Recently, I wrote about the most difficult part of getting organised. Today, I’ll look at the first step to take when actually beginning the process.

What do you care most about? This is your bottom line, and what you are willing to trade other things for. You have to decide this ahead of time, because it will enable you to make decisions when you just want to quit. Continue Reading