I am taking two weeks off from blogging. Enjoy this article from the archive! This article was originally published on 20 July 2007.
This comes as a response to an article I read in Lifehacker about defragging your home. This concept appeals to me, as I am a computer geek. But let me put it into other terms for those of you not familiar with it.
As a computer disk gets full, the computer will start to write things into areas that may not be the best suited for it. When you defrag your computer, you put things back where they should be, opening up all sorts of empty space on your hard disk. If your drive is fragmented, the computer has to spend more time and energy to get the pieces back together when it needs them.
So defragging your home would be when you take all of the stuff that is where it doesn’t belong and put it away.
I’m pretty good at keeping up with the clutter, thanks to my past experience with Flylady and GTD. I put things where they belong, and everything has a place it belongs; I also police the spots where things seem to accumulate daily and put the things away.
So here I’m going to look at this from another perspective: defragging my life. How many things in my life are where they don’t belong?
I would classify some of these things as the thoughts that happen at random. The “bring toilet paper upstairs” thought in the middle of a meeting. The “you should really have the tires looked at” thought in the middle of a coding session. The “wow, the vegetable garden really needs weeding” thought on the way to put the trash out. If I let those thoughts continue, I find that they keep running around in my head. However, if I write it down in a place I know I will come back to, I find that the thought ends up in its proper place – captured in my system.
I have a tendency to start a whole lot of things, particularly books and craft projects, when there really isn’t room for them. So I end up with bits and pieces scattered. I can’t remember where I was in the new book or the old book, and the craft project never gets finished, because I have moved on to something more exciting. So to defrag this is to keep everything together, and to prevent fragmentation in the first place by doing one thing at a time. It takes a conscious effort to do this, as my craft projects are pretty large, and take a long time to do. But I can complete them, and feel really good when I do so.
Preventative action, that keeps me from getting fragmented in the first place, is being very deliberate about what I am doing at any time – and giving my full attention to that.
Photo by everdred