Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Confessions of a Clutter Hypocrite and Kindle book giveaway

The following is a chapter from my newest book, Shock the Clock: Time Management Secrets for Writers and Other Creatives.  After you read it, please enter the drawing for a free kindle download!

     I was going to include a chapter about keeping clutter at a minimum as a means to manage time. But then I looked around my office and spied piles of papers and books on my desk, three inboxes full of files, a tape measure hanging from the doorknob, and a bulletin board showing very little cork. In the dining room, the backs of our chairs serve as shirt hangers, and cat toys litter the floor. Bibles, journals, and books jostle for position on my love seat. Same with the counter in my bathroom—at least three books are stacked there at any given time.
     So I can’t write this chapter, because I am a clutter hypocrite. But if I did write it, I’d tell you that:

*      Clutter complicates not only our environments, but 
      our lives, distracting us from getting done what God has called us to do.
*      When we own too much junque, we become slaves to our possessions. They go from tools to tyrants, demanding time to clean, organize, and put away.
*      Lasting happiness is based on loving, healthy relationships—with God and others. Taking care of, sorting, and tripping over a huge collection of things depletes our spiritual and emotional energy that we could be spending on relationships.
 I’d also suggest that if you realize your home or office is full of clutter, and you want to 
de-junque, you should start by getting rid of anything that:
*      Is broken and not worth fixing
*      Is the wrong size, color, or style
*      Is taking up more room or time than the happiness it gives
Then I’d tell you how to accomplish this:
*      Enlist help from a trusted but objective friend who isn’t as attached to your collection of hair bows from elementary school or scratched Elvis records. Spend a day together, de-junqing everything that fits into the above three categories.
*      Give, give, give to charities, homeless shelters, and thrift stores. Just don’t give it to relatives who are likely to give it back to you, or a second-hand store you frequently shop at.
*      Reward yourself after each room, drawer, or box you’ve cleaned out. But not with more stuff! Read a chapter from a novel, eat a favorite snack, or see a movie. Then revel in how much time you are freeing to write and focus on relationships.
     But, alas. For the reasons mentioned above, I can’t write this chapter. I’d feel terrible if you read it, took its advice, and then sent me an email saying how much more you’re accomplishing since de-junqing your office and home. I’d be envious of your simpler lifestyle and the extra time you had to spend writing, on other hobbies, or with people. That feeling might force me to call a friend and ask her to help me de-junque, so I could gain more time.
     Perhaps I should write it after all. . .  

If you'd like to win a free kindle download of Shock the Clock for yourself or to share with someone who might need to de-junque, please leave your email at the end of this post. I will draw one winner  after midnight on Saturday, February 13. 
     Which tip on de-junquing in the chapter above helped you the most?