Time Management Tip: Spiritual Spring Clean!

An old saying goes: You don’t measure water with a sieve! In other words, in order to know how much time you will need to get something done, you have to manage where your time is disappearing.

We grow attached to clutter. It’s a simple as that. Garfield the cat says in one his cartoons: Food a funny thing, because the moment you are full it turns from temptation to garbage. The same goes for objects. The moment we attach a value to them, we practically hand them an unquestioned invite to clutter our lives (and steal our valuable time).
I once received a coat from my mother as a Christmas gift. It was a great, thick and expensive-looking coat that any pensioner would have been very proud to own and wear! I was 27 at the time. I thanked her from the bottom of my heart (for the wonderful sentiment) but you can bet that the first webpage I opened later that evening was EBay!

If I had attached any further sentimental value to that coat, it would have still been in my wardrobe or packed away in the house, probably still in the original wrapping!

Another excellent example is the £2.99 I paid for one of the best Judo books ever published: The Secrets of Judo: Text for Instructors and Students: Test for Instructors and Students. It's where I learnt all my top game pressure principles. I got it at the local used-book store. Whoever owned prior to me had not attached any further value to it and was happy to part with it.

Here is something that I recommend you do at least once a year and preferable 2ce a year. I call it the Spiritual Spring Clean:
  • Take a hard look at everything you own (and I mean everything!)
  • Within 2 seconds place it in one of the following three piles:
  1. Keep for a specific (near-future) purpose
  2. Give to someone specific
  3. Throw away in the bin
(PS. These piles are listed in increasing order of size!)

Remember the Pareto rule? 20% of what you own will provide 80% you need!

While you chew on that, click here to see what the Gracie Brothers Rener and Ryron made of Lesnar vs Carwin.

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Georgette said...

Oof. Shot to the heart! I totally need this. Couple times a year I do weed through the closet and the shoe collection-- but books? I am quite certain I have at least 100 books I've either never read (and likely never will) or read once and definitely won't read again. Sounds like a trip to HalfPrice Books is in order.

The Part Time Grappler said...

"and you're to blame!" :)

You should see how ruthless I am too. If it's any consolation, I've never ever regretted it :)

Megan said...

Love this...been thinking a lot about it lately. I've managed to make it through my 20s without getting too caught up in stuff 'n' things...ok...I have a jewelry problem, but other than that, I'm doing well.

I think BJJ is going to be great for keeping me on track too. It's a pretty minimalist activity, and staying focused on personal development cuts back on time (and interest) in acquiring external things.

I have that same book problem Georgette has so I have a policy...one book in, one book out. That's probably the only thing that's kept me from buying too many jiu jitsu books.

The Part Time Grappler said...

Thanks Megan. The spring clean is something I use with everything. Clothes, books, and even people.
One area I've been working on lately is activities and habits (morning coffee at Starbucks, desserts, checking Facebook..etc.)
I'm getting ok at doing it with BJJ techniques and strategies too, but that's another post :)

Get Beasty said...

To me books would be the hardest thing not to get attached to. They represent much more than the paper they are written on.

But screw unwanted gifts, those things are super-Ebayable.

The Part Time Grappler said...

@Get Beasty I agree that books are hard to let go of, but believe me there are solutions. At our gym, we have shelves with a list. Books are parked there and whoever borrows one home just signs the list. It's like you haven't completely released the book, but it's not cluttering your home (and more importantly your subconscious) either.

super-Ebayable eh? I like word-inventing :)

A.D. McClish said...

Way to hit me where it hurts! ;) I need to hear it though. I am as bad about clutter as I am about time management. I have been working slowly--at a glacial pace--through the house to weed things out. Great post!

The Part Time Grappler said...

Thank you Allie. I'm sorry to be this blunt but slow pace isn't gonna work :o) The good news is that the first cut is the deepest. The first time I threw away 15-20 old martial arts magazines it felt like I was abandonging an old friend :)

For 5 years (FIVE YEEEEAARS!) I kep a storage space in Gothenburg full of my old stuff. Furniture, books, clothes, stuff. I was never gonna move back to Sweden but shifting the stuff to the UK was a costly business too, so I ended up bleeding out a monthly rental of about $100 for 5 years! One day it just hit me how much me attachment was costing me and I decided enough is enough. I booked a flight to Gothenburg, took a taxi to the warehouse and started emptying things. Out of the whole contents (these are large units. They fit everyting I owned in my old studio flat minus the sofas and the tv!) all I brought back with me to the hotel was two large hold-alls. Did it hurt to throw old things away? of course it did.

But I still cry all the way to the bank when I whack that extra $100 into my savings account :)