I recently read that if you’re not producing, you’re consuming. The statement was pretty thought-provoking. I love reason and had always used it as a way to unwind before bed or on the rare rainy weekend when I was stuck inside.
The past few years have brought about a lot more “free” time than ever before. I found myself slipping into the habit of reading for hours on end. Don’t get me wrong- I love reading, but it no longer felt like a treat at the end of the day or after a long weekend of household projects. It had stopped being engaging. I read several genres and would go to the library and pick up several books, but not be able to immerse myself in any particular one.
So, the producing/consuming comment really struck a nerve. I was doing a ton of consuming. Sure, I had my regular day job and the daily tasks of life (grocery shopping, laundry, watering plants), but those all just kind of felt like maintenance. Like putting gas in the car, as opposed to detailing it.
I’ve decided to start being more productive. I’ve learned to pressure can and have added some delicious jams and pie filling to my pantry to enjoy in winter. I’ve worked on my garden. Cleared out the weeds, and added fabric and gravel under my deck to lower future maintenance time. Painted my house. Started this blog. Etc., etc., etc.
Today, I tackled the boring task of sorting out our paperwork. Everything is kept in a small file box and is organized, but it’s heavy and overflowing. We’ve also been talking about going back to Asia and splitting our time between there and the States and I know from experience that having important documents in electronic form can be a great help. Also, we’re dealing with some foundation issues (beach house = sand = unlevel house) and the thought of having all extra weight out of here adds to my piece of mind.
I spent today sorting, scanning and shredding. It took almost all day. But, it’s done. I am removing the equivalent of three trash bags of paper (one downside of self-employment is having to keep receipts for everything). It’s mind-boggling how much paper that I accumulated, especially considering it was only things I deemed important (such as taxes and wills) and that the majority of things I get as “paperless statements”. I suppose that electronic paperwork isn’t much different than hard copy paperwork: it’s still taking up space in some form. Still, a cluttered Dropbox is much more appealing than an overflowing file box.
There are still some documents I both scanned and retained in hard copy (such as mortgage paperwork), solely because I like to have a paper backup just in case the electronic copy isn’t accessible.
The plan is to keep the habit going so that I only spend a small amount of time as things arrive so I don’t have to dedicate a huge chunk of time in the future.
What about you? What tasks have you done that your future self will thank you for?