Reviewing your old (and perhaps embarrassing) Facebook posts by using the “Activity log” is a lot of work. Active users have thousands, if not tens of thousands of likes, comments, posts and so on to go through. An easier way is to check the “On this day” feature once a day. It lists all the posts you made on that particular day of the year. If you do this every day for 365 days, in theory you have just gone through all of your Facebook posts!
Think of a massive pile of stuff lying on a shelf or even on a floor. Shoes, clothing, magazines, everything. If you were to de-clutter and organize it all, I can guarantee it will take more space than when you started. Shoes need to go inside boxes, clothes on a rack and magazines inside binders. Twenty pairs of shoes need twenty shoeboxes or a medium sized trash bag. Which one takes up more space?
You can either have clutter & space or you can have order & no space, but you can’t have both.
If your goal is to have as much stuff as possible, the most effective way to store it is in a big messy pile. Having a messy pile is not very helpful if you want to find things, have them accessible or keep them in working order, but it doesn’t take much space. If you’ve ever seen one of those hoarder TV-shows, you know what I’m talking about.
The alternative is to store things properly, keep them organized and be mindful of what you really need. Don’t store your valuable stuff in supermarket plastic bags, stacked on top of each other or lying on the floor. Invest a little and buy plastic storage boxes from IKEA.
Storing stuff in piles is sometimes unavoidable, but always ask yourself if it really is.
Create a habit of writing semantic, well structured file names with timestamps. Example: instead of “api testing.xlsx” write “Service XYZ API EndPoint Testing (2017-05-03).xlsx”.
Muster out a bit of thought for your email titles as well. Spend a few seconds thinking about how to best describe the problem in a short sentence. Instead of “Server maintenance” try “Server out of disk space, scheduled maintenance on Sunday afternoon”.
Spending a bit of time and effort in naming things accurately makes life easier for everyone involved. And as a bonus, it looks just lovely.
Whenever I’m jotting down notes or I create a new spreadsheet in Google Docs, I make sure to add a visible timestamp to my work. If it’s on something physical like a sheet of paper or notepad, I add it to the top left corner of the document. With files I often add a “YYYY-MM” to the end of the filename like so: “Very Important Document (2017-04)”.
Adding a timestamp helps me:
- Instantly know whether or not the document contains information that’s relevant to my timeframe (If I’ve been working on a new project for 2 weeks, something dated 3 months ago probably isn’t relevant).
- Declutter. The older a piece of paper or a file is, the easier it is for me to let go of it.
- Add significance. When you date your work, it becomes more than just a piece of paper with text on it, it becomes a document*.
- Gives me perspective. Whenever I find old notes with goals and plans, I instantly get a sense of how far I’ve gone with that project.
*That sounded really profound in my head, I don’t know if actually makes sense ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ.
I shot a video last Sunday about selling stuff I don’t need, stuff that’s just lying around. I finished editing it today, turned out much better than I had anticipated. Now I just have to find the time to put everything up for sale online.