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Carry less. 2005

As part of the preparations for my month long trip, I went through my wallet and laptop bag and pulled out everything I knew I wouldn't need while I was gone.

Then I realized I wouldn't need enough walletstuff to bring the wallet, so I set that aside too.

When I got back I wisely didn't put everything back as it was, but have instead been adding things as I need them and I've learned something: I don't need to carry much at all. And I'm not the only one:

In the spirit of GTD, in which you try to empty your head of all the cruft and worry so you can concentrate creatively on the task at hand, let us look to our burdens to see if we can't undo a little of our daily Sisyphean-wear.

Mind like water? Meet pockets like air.

[read more in Robert Daeley's "Zen Pockets" post]

This article definitely made a lot of sense to me. I knew already but am having a renewed appreciation for just how much time, space, and weight I save by not being a makeup wearer. I never have really gotten used to wearing a watch and now, in the era of the iPod and the mobile phone and the laptop, I have a more reliable timepiece handy 99% of the time anyhow. One of the smarter decisions I made was to get a laptop bag which doesn't have room for a lot more than my laptop.

Maybe you're different, but I have to acknowledge that if there's room to put things, I'll fill it up with stuff. My Discardia-at-work move this time around was to have one of the work surfaces in my cube removed. This had the incidental effect of reducing my file cabinet space by half, but since it was half full of crap, this is a good thing. Now my remaining counter and shelf space has 3 stacks of unsightly papers which offend mine eyes and which I am thus reminded to chip away at "processing" - deciding if the things in them should be filed, trashed or require some action.

I know that Hipster PDA's are all the rage - and my beloved Grandpa Bob was a hipster ahead of his time with a dozen index cards and a ballpoint pen always handy in his pocket, so it ought to run in the family - but I find index cards are too big and heavy for my ephemeral notes. I either act on things or transfer them to my big list of projects, actions & someday/maybe in KGTD right away, so lighter, smaller slips are better for me. I went over to Kinko's, had a lot of bright yellow paper cut into twelfths and now have a good supply.

My slim wallet has three slots and the bill area, but even so it had started to seem too big and it didn't have any way to keep a pen handy with it, therefore I began watching for a better alternative. The other day in Borders I saw a little pouch thing - not sure what it's actually intended for, to be honest, since it doesn't close tight enough for a coin purse - but it's just a little bigger than a credit card, has a flap that secures with an elastic band and my space pen fits neatly in it. Perfect! and $5.99, so cheap too! It now holds my ID, ATM card, transit passes, a little cash and my noteslips. In a pinch, my house key could clip to it too.

Ahhh, minimalism.

Posted on December 26, 2005 at 03:43 PM in Discardia | Permalink

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