Remember the old 80/20 principle? It’s the idea that we spend most of our time on stuff that doesn’t matter or move us forward, and the remaining 20% actually getting things done.
Life by the numbers
We have 10,080 minutes each and every week.
- 8 hours a night either sleeping or staring at the ceiling worrying about the clutter: 3,360 minutes.
- Working 9-5: 3,360 minutes.
- Showering, feeding the dog, eating, doing laundry, and getting groceries all gobble up minutes too. If you spend three hours a day keeping the ship afloat, that’s another 1,260 minutes.
What’s left? 2,100 minutes, which turns out to be 20% of the available minutes you have in a week.
Take it to the next level
So, you have a measly 20% of your time to do with as you will. Noodle away 80% of that free time staring at clouds, painting watercolors and working out. The remaining 20% adds up to 420 minutes. That’s seven hours a week or one hour a day.
Come to 80/20 decluttering camp for a week this summer
Normally, I ask you to aim for 20 minutes decluttering a day. But since school’s out, I invite you to spend a week at camp. Camp 80/20 lasts an hour a day and there’s no commute.
An hour seems long, doesn’t it? Think about what else you spend an hour on without a second thought. For one week, can you throw a few more of your minutes at this problem?
Plan to come to camp for five days in a row. That way, you’ll get some momentum.
Using your timer, divide each day’s hour up like this. Because it’s fun to keep going with the 80/20 idea, these numbers are going to seem awfully precise.
- 80%: Spend 48 minutes sorting, making decisions, putting things where they go, finding out where things go.
- 20%: Spend 12 minutes taking out the trash, hauling the recycling to the can, putting the donate pile in the front seat of your car.
When the timer rings, camp is done for the day. Go roast some marshmallows and come back tomorrow.
Can’t find the marshmallows, the charcoal or the matches? I can help.