Saturday, December 17, 2011

The reason for cleaning: removing obstructions?

So I was cleaning for the holiday season and thinking about why people clean and how cleaning tasks are prioritized.

It came to me that very few people clean for the sake of cleaning. Most people clean because they are removing an obstacle.

  • Social obstacles: friends or family look down on the dirt
  • Everyday obstacles: can't cook/eat or comfortably move around
  • Personal obstacles: you are personally bothered by it

So why do some people delay cleaning (myself included)?

I think it is for a number of reasons, including:
  • failure to recognize obstacles. (I have a plan for that.)
  • excess to the point that obstacles are reduced until they are overwhelming (I don't need to wash dishes. I have clean dishes.)
This seems to point to minimalization to both stay tidy and to help you achieve your goals. Have what you need, and no more.

Now, how does this relate to writing?

The lack of time management can be seen as clutter of your time.

Are you spending your time dealing with obstacles that you can remove once and for all? Are you spending your time away from your day job focusing on the things that bring you joy?

If you regularly spend your free time doing things that don't bring you joy, you are failing to realize an obstacle. Family brings joy, so we keep that. Of the television you watch, how much brings you joy?

Do you have scattered attention, spread thin among too many projects? That is an obstacle to completing any one of them. Recognize, refocus, and remove.

The more obstacles we recognize and remove from our lives, the more time and energy we will have to write. More than that, we should be able to manage this without offending our family.

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