I'm back from Montreal and points SW, and am in process of clearing my office for the next (as yet unhired) occupant. The challenge is to determine which of my books to toss, which to leave here for the library, and which to take home with me.
The 'tossers' are ones that are so outdated (finance and tax-wise, that is) that they no longer make sense.
The 'leavers' are ones clearly focused on investing and tax, things I won't be even thinking about for the next six months (or till March 2005, whichever comes first!).
The 'keepers' have turned out to be ones with a more general theme, ones I might re-read, and/or ones about which I might write in the future. They tend to centre on simplicity, frugality, cash management and such.
In the midst of the texts I found a copy of the Aprill 2002 issue of Homemaker's magazine. On p. 16 their readers shared these Time-saving tips from the Trenches. These are my favourites:
Set up your refrigerator like a mini sub restaurant -- lettuce, tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, olives, cheese, cold cuts in clear containers -- so your family can make their own snacks. -- K. A. Heidinger, Steinbach, MB
Yard sales are more trouble than they're worth; instead, donate your family's castaways to a good cause. -- J. Carriere, Winnipeg, MB
Do one household chore every evening after work -- dust, sweep, mop, clean the bathroom. Keep one evening a week to do nothing but put your feet up! -- P. Pereira, Mississauga, ON
Don't be afraid to throw things out. The garbage can is your friend! -- V. Stewart, Thornhill, ON
In the article, Simplify Your Life, Sarah Scott writes about people who opted to do just that -- in a dramatic way. Vicky Stikeman quit a high-powered advertising job to do nothing, astonishing friends and family alike. She took time to reflect, to travel, and to think about how she really wanted to live. In the end, she chose to work as a consultant in her field, so that she can arrange plenty of time off for non-paid activities she enjoys.
Karim Rashid treats simplicity of lifestyle as a design principal. As a Canadian designer working in New York, he incorporates the essence of simplicity in his work, opting for the minimalist approach, with every item chosen for its purpose as well as its overall design features.
I like what Harold Taylor, a Toronto-based time-management consultant, says:
Time management is doing fewer things of greater importance, rather than doing more in less time.
If you put his philosophy together with the thoughts of Mother Teresa, you would find yourself doing a few small things of great importance -- with great love. What a way to change the world!