I’ve been learning to be, do and have more with less…becoming a minimalist, you might say. As part of that journey, I’ve been investing 15 minutes each day in “mindful decluttering.” In other words, for just 15 minutes each day, 1/96th of a day, I give my total focus to some part of my environment and figuring out what I can release and what I absolutely “must keep.” During the week, I tend to focus on my work environment and during the weekend I tend to focus on my home environment. And soon, I’ll be starting on my mental and emotional environments as well.
Yesterday, I picked a 3-ring binder full of technical reference material I’ve been holding onto since 1996 (yes, 16 years!). I first got hold of that binder in Santa Maria, California and then added to it when I moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. In Albuquerque, I added over 100 pages in just over 18 months. And then I moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado where I put the binder on a shelf in my office and promptly never opened it up. Not once. Not even to add more pages.
So, I took the binder off the shelf yesterday, blew off the dust and opened it up…and I SWEAR it made that creaking noise like you’d hear in a haunted house movie. Page after page, I realized that almost everything I’d kept for all those years was either hopelessly out of date or simply no longer of any interest to me at all. Page after page, I fed the paper shredder that will ultimately feed the whitepaper recycling bins at the office. And after it was all said and done, I realized it had been VERY easy to release those pages. Once I got started, it came easier and easier.
If you’re wondering how I got started, it was this easy…I asked myself “Is this still current and correct? Could I find this same information online?” If I could find the same information online easily, it was an easy matter to release the page. If the information was not current or correct, it was an easy matter to release the page.
Little did I realize just how liberating it would be to release those papers I’ve been holding onto for so many years. With each page, I actually felt a little lighter, a little more free. With each page that fed into the shredder, I felt less tied down to my past and more free to pursue whatever interests me in the future.
Of course, now it’s time to apply the same idea to my beliefs.
How about you? Have you release something lately that wasn’t serving you? I’d love to hear about that.