I was recently patting myself on the back because I thought I was procrastinating less. I’d like to think that I take care of things in a much timelier fashion than I once did. That includes handling deadlines, paying bills and getting where I need to be when I am supposed to get there.
Perhaps this is because I am 57, and somehow I’m acutely aware that the clock is ticking and that I had better get cracking on the things that matter – and I’m much better on that score.
But on closer examination, there is still a great deal of kicking-the-can-down-the-road going on.
For decades, efficiency experts have extolled the virtues of handling a piece of paper once. If that paper is important and needs to be retrieved later, then file it away with a “tickle” on your calendar – but by no means let it get lost in a jumble of mounting paperwork…
I get it.
But my digital life is another story. I have an email folder called “reading list – emails,” into which I have stuck everything that I’d like to revisit that isn’t urgent. Sounds like a good idea, but is it really? I also have an app called Pocket, a really useful reader. Every article I find interesting at a given time goes in there.
Here’s the thing. My list in Pocket is bulging at the seams – and only because I have been making a concerted effort to whittle down my email reading list, I’m proud to report that I have only 150 items in that queue at the moment. But if I hope to get that to zero – I need to handle my incoming emails only once – unless they need to be addressed later, much like the paper that the efficiency experts talked about.
Don’t even get me started about my photos and assorted cloud storage. I am about as fragmented as I can be.
Thank God my Word files are properly tagged for easy sorting and retrieval. That’s a win.
But I have been storing photos for more than a decade – and a great deal of them have not been properly renamed.
Much like I do with other keepsakes, I have these photos squirreled away for enjoyment later, but there is no rhyme or reason at play when it comes to finding something from a certain time period.
I have gotten wiser over the years and have tagged most of my newer photos for easy indexing.
I am guilty of not only procrastination but of digital hoarding as well.
But here’s the thing. These things are not half-eaten boxes of cereal or expired Spam. I’d like to get these things organized.
I suppose my flawed thinking centered around the “one day” when I would have the leisure to go through it all. I am beginning to sense that that “one day” may not come in the way I imagine it would come. Compound this with the march of time and all of the “live in in the now” rhetoric (I really should try that sometime), and you have the makings of a perfect storm.
As soon as I am done with my email reading list, I’ll be reviewing my notebooks – mining for potential gold, getting my digital hoard into a manageable state and working on my Pocket reading list.
The key to all of this? Consistent action.
I know I am not alone.