For my whole adult life there has been a pile of stuff on my desk. Its synonymous with how I think about myself.
In the pile could be anything: unopened mail, unpaid bills, paid bills that need to be filed, notes to myself, business cards, old to do lists that I don’t want to throw away just in case there’s something on one of them I may need later, photographs I don’t know what to do with, etc.
Sometimes the pile was tall. Sometimes it was short, but it was always there. I moved with the pile. Every time I moved I would say, ‘Go thru everything in the pile before its time to pack up my desk.’ And every time I would inevitably stuff the pile into a box, move it to my new place and put it back on my desk. This includes five moves in Chicago and my move from Chicago to LA. The pile was my Sisyphean task – or at least one of them. =)
Some days I would get ambitious and devote an hour or more (yes it got so big that I would need to devote more than an hour sometimes) to sorting the pile into stacks to help me plan out how to go thru some of it. This would only happen when the pile got so big it felt like a monster with a life of its own. And sorting it did help, but it never helped enough for me to eliminate it.
I can’t tell you exactly why I never completely eliminated the pile. It was a mix of many reasons: poor time mgmt, busy life, a fear of working on tasks, depression, etc.
The reason I am telling you all this is because today 2/17/16 I eliminated the pile. A few weeks ago I got the pile down pretty small and thought I would eliminate it then, but then I got super busy. I was discouraged. It had been the closest I’d ever come before then and I was bummed when it didn’t happen.
But today I did it. The pile is gone. My life is still super busy and tightly packed. And there are other burdens I still need to deal with, but this one is done. Eliminating the pile wasn’t a miracle cure all, but it’s a huge step for me. And I wanted to take a moment to celebrate it by telling you.
I know the pile isnt gone for good. There will inevitably be times where I have to put stuff in the pile to deal with later. But the pile no longer scares me. I know I can eliminate it whenever I want. It just takes time, organization, a plan and the power to execute it. By conquering it once, I removed the fear.
Do you have a ‘pile’ in your life (either actually or metaphorically)? One thing I’m learning bit by bit as that there’s little to nothing in your life that you can’t master. The control is yours to take. All you need to do is understand that and then you can begin the process of discovering exactly how.