Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Housekeeping Is Time Management


Photo courtesy Flickr user Ella's Dad
It’s hard to stay on top of the filing while trying to meet the ordinary rush of day to day demands. By filing I mean returning each artifact to its home position after it is no longer needed. The home position is that closest to where a thing is used first. A tea kettle, for example, has a parking place close to the water source.

If I maintain my concentration and move deliberately through a sequence of daily tasks, getting the most important thing completed before eleven, the day has a decent flow that flow carries over into evening. There are no nutso peaks and hassles in the work load.

It takes constant attention to the small details of arranging things in space to sustain the flow. The payoff is huge: a calm stomach and no more than twenty minutes spent looking for things-over the course of a year. The Shakers argued that "if you can put it down you can put it away”. The practice works as well for a family of two as it apparently did for hundreds of people living communally.

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