Digital De-Clutter Update: Week 1


The good news: Instead of trolling Facebook, I’m reading Homer.

The bad news: I’m still sneaking into news feeds.

But here’s the thing: Instead of wallowing and rolling in that dirt for hours, I’m now getting in and out as fast as possible so I don’t get “caught” hanging out in there.

And as nuts as that sounds, and as nuts as it is, it’s working.

I’m getting back at least 2 or 3 hours a day to do stuff I can really control. And that feels incredible. Two to three hours a day. Think about it.

Plus, my mind doesn’t feel all polluted with garbage I can’t control. It feels clearer to work on things I can control.

(See above reference to Homer.)

My Findings So Far

1. Facebook and Instagram are not addicting for me. I can check in once a day for 10 minutes or so, and get off. No problem. I could go a few weeks without missing either.

2. My addiction is news. First, online news in the form of the Times and the Post. Then, Twitter. I am really jonesin’ for both.

At the end of this experiment I am going to fall back into the arms of both of these bad-boys, for sure. I know it.

But I think what I’m learning now, is that my problem isn’t news, it’s when I consume the news.

My peak hours of cognitive productivity are from 10 to 2, so if I give any of those hours to news reading, I’m giving my best hours away.

If that’s prime time, I definitely shouldn’t let news in there anymore. So now I know: News and coffee first thing are a no-no.

Somebody in yoga told me she reads all her news feeds at night before bed. That would be okay, except for the small matter of sleep. I would never get any if I did that.

I remember my father read the newspaper, in his chair, before dinner. But I don’t have that kind of a life. It can’t be during primetime, and it can’t be too late at night.

Something I have to work out.

In the 2 to 3 hours a day I was able to save by not reading news, I read The History of Love by Nicole Krauss. A-mazing.

I also read another novel, not as good, but decent, called The Yoga of Max’s Discontent by Karan Bajaj.

Now I’m sailing into The Odyssey, a new translation, and the first translation by a woman.

This feels good and right. The struggle is still real, though, I cannot lie. Proof? I bought the Wolff book. It’s a book, right??

Because Blogging is Less Painful than Cleaning.

I am going to start cleaning my room today. Which is why I am writing here. After thousands of days of not writing here.

There is nothing like the prospect of encountering the complicated clutter of my room to get my blogging fingers moving again.

Yeah, Resistance Monster. I am taking off one of your many hydra-heads today. Here ya go, buddy. Bam.

What I am trying to decide is what my strategy should be.

I have a lot of books about de-cluttering. “Start small,” they all advise.

But here’s what I am afraid of with that approach. If I start small, I will get involved in minutia. I know myself. I will take out the labeler. And as soon as I take out the labeler, I am doomed. I will get involved with devising systems and making maps and reading through things, and I will never get out.

Instead, I think I need to blow up the whole goddam room. Really. Take everything out in hurricane of Tasmanian Devil energy fueled by the Pomodoro Technique, and then slowly put back only the things that I want in there.

But first, I should take pictures.  Yeah. Pictures are always good. Like those BEFORE, and AFTER shots dieters love.

Come to think of it, I could probably get a whole series of blog posts out of this project.  It could even be a  THEME!   Themes are good for blogs, right?

Wait. This was supposed to be about cleaning my room, not blogging.

I really do want to to de-clutter my room. Well, not really. What I really want is to have a clean and de-cluttered room.


Without having to actually do it.

I don’t know…

I think I should go to the liquor store.

For boxes.

And gin.