Saturday, March 10, 2007

It's All Too Much

Stop the Insanity!* What's with the consumerism? Buy, buy, buy. It will make you happy. More is better. Buy one, get one free! Right. John Dvorak describes his woes with the computer industry's continually churning out new gadgets that make the ones from last month obsolete. Peter Walsh does the same for the run-of-the-mill pack rat in his book It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff. Mr. Walsh came to my attention by way of the Feb. 7, 2007 Oprah program, "Conquering Clutter." Other professional organizers were watching, too, and Carolyn offers her feedback.

In my life, there's more to clutter than the physical objects that get in the way. Sure, there are plenty of physical objects, and I found Mr. Walsh's assessment of materialism inspirational in my efforts to de-clutter, but my clutter is also temporal - I have too many things to do. So I made a list. I put it in a Google spreadsheet to share online with my wife, prioritized the items and sorted them according to priority and ballpark guess of how long they'd take. Then I added another sheet to record what we plan to do for each week in the forseeable future among several categories of activity. It gives us a process for handling the things we must do, the things we'd like to do, and the things that would be nice to do if time permits. Now we see how it works!

* My apology to Susan Powter for co-opting her dieting catch-phrase here... but the situation is no less nutty!

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