/*from pinterest*/

I know I would work much better without the Clutter in my office, but I keep putting one more thing in here “just for now” and I feel like the fish in The Cat in the Hat.

And this mess is so big
And so deep and so tall,
We can not pick it up.
There is no way at all!

(thank you Dr. Seuss)

And now . . . my latest attempt to attack the clutter.

This week’s trick is The Timer.

As a concrete step for this new habit, I have placed my timer under my monitor where I can see it.
On the timer, there is a yellow stick-it note that says “15 min” in orange fluorescent ink.

After I have finished writing for the day, I will close down my files, reach for the timer, set it for 15 minutes and use that time to put things away.

Yesterday was my first day with establishing this habit and here is what happened:

  • I set the timer for 15 minutes.
  • I picked up the American Express bill off the floor.
  • I decided to file it, so then I needed to make a label for the file.
  • I found the Label Maker, which was flashing the Low Battery Signal.
  • I opened the back of the Label Maker and discovered that the batteries were last changed in April 2010. I know this because that’s what the stick-it note on the batteries said. (My hubby, the Ever Organized, wrote it.)
  • So, I found new batteries, and then I had to find a stick-it note to say when they were last changed. Because, you never know, the Low Battery signal might flash and it might be for some other reason.
  • But I was out of stick-it notes. (They’re all over the edges of my monitor.)
  • I found the box of stick-it notes. It was under my Kindle, which I noticed needed charging, so I plugged it in.

OK. New batteries. Labeled with a stick-it note. I made the label. Stuck it on the file and filed the American Express bill. Now when the next one comes, I will quickly stick it in the file until it’s time to worry about itemizing these things.

I still had time left, so I cleared off one shelf of the bookshelf and wiped down the dust. Then the timer went. I left the books on the floor and had lunch.

I think it’s important to not overdo a new habit. Do the 15 minutes and then quit for the day.

Have you ever tried the Timer Approach? Does 15 minutes seem like a reasonable amount of time? How would you like to commit to 15 minutes/day for at least 4 days this week, and then report back next Tuesday?

The Cat in the Hat from Dr. Seuss
Timer from istockphoto.com #000009443672