by Leo Babauta
When our houses or offices get piled with clutter, much of the reason is procrastination.
We all procrastinate — let’s just get that out in the open. There’s not a one of us who doesn’t, to some degree.
But while our tasks and projects can pile up, giving us some anxiety, the clutter is a visual sign of that procrastination, and carries with it just as much anxiety.
When we put down an object, a piece of paper, an article of clothing, a stack of mail … and we leave it there, undealt with, saying that we’ll put it away or deal with it later … that’s procrastination.
Unfortunately, this piles up, accumulates over time, and then we’re stuck with a mountain of clutter that’s too overwhelming to deal with.
You’ll need to deal with that mountain. I’ve shown you some methods. Get it down to minimal, and enjoy that.
But once you’ve dealt with the mountain, you need to stop it from happening again. That’s where beating your procrastination habits becomes so important. When you’re going to put something down, deal with it right now. It only takes a few seconds.
How long does it take to put dirty clothes in the hamper, or hang up a shirt that’s still clean? Like 15 seconds. How long does it take to sort through some mail, opening the envelopes right there, setting aside a few bills to be paid, filing a couple things, tossing the rest? Three minutes. How long does it take to put a book or magazine away? To put a piece of paper in the right file, or toss it? Seconds.
When you deal with things in tiny little bits like this, before they build up, it’s easy. Deal with them while they’re easy so you don’t have to deal with them when they’re hard.