I've been thinking about my habits. It's safe to estimate that I spend an hour each day on maintenance and shuffling -- namely, picking up stuff and putting it back in its place, then picking up more stuff and putting it back in its place, and then noticing even more out-of-place stuff that needs to be picked up and returned to its rightful place.
It's a never-ending cycle, one that fritters away both time and energy.
I've read research suggesting that office workers are significantly less productive when they frequently check their email. Instead of completing larger tasks, these workers are slaves to their inboxes, fragmenting otherwise open blocks of time with continual interruptions until their day is sucked dry. The experts suggest a solution: devoting one block of time during the work day to read and respond to messages, and then signing off from email until the next day.
What if I applied this practice at home, too? What could I accomplish if I didn't fritter away my time on meaningless tasks that, essentially, will need to be redone the next hour?
Well, I probably could accomplish some actual work. Or, I could kick my feet up and read a magazine without feeling the compulsion to clean and arrange ALL! THE! STUFF! repeatedly.
When I think of frittering, I think of a fidgety squirrel darting to and fro between squirrel-related tasks. I've never seen a squirrel lounge. I've never seen a squirrel in a state of rest. Squirrels reside in a state of perpetual nervous tension. They're jumpy. They're agitated. They're kind of twitchy.
I don't want to be a squirrel. I don't want to fritter away my time and strength on stuff that doesn't matter. I'm advocating neither laziness nor complacency, just the art of learning to rest.
Perhaps I simply need a little less of this:
and a little more of this:
Images compliments of Doug88888 and Richie Preiss (flickr.com)
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