It's About Time
Watch out for doodads
Can you remember a book that changed your thinking and your actions?
For me, it was reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad, by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter, back in 2001.
Being a professional organizer who looks at things from that standpoint, here are two practical applications I'd like to share:
1) Beware of Doodads: According to the authors, "Doodads" are those unnecessary, inconsequential material possessions that have no real value once we get them home.
Besides being a waste of money, these doodads often end up cluttering our homes and offices. The book made me aware of my doodad buying habit. Shortly after reading it, I was shopping and saw that a well-known store was having a closeout sale. I went in "just to look."
In the spirit of bargain hunting, I found a set of pretty Japanese bowls, 30 percent off, for just $13. I didn't need them, but they were such a good buy!
Driving home with the package on my front seat, my brain suddenly began to flash "DOODAD! DOODAD!"
I didn't need those bowls, and once I got them home, they had no real value to me and stayed in the box.
I told my brain that from then on, please flash "DOODAD" to me before I purchased an unneeded item.
This isn't to say that all our purchases are doodads nor that we should never buy them, but we should be aware and buy wisely.
Question: If you stopped buying doodads for the rest of this year, how much less cluttered would your home be? And what could you apply that money to?!
2) Beware of time doodads: Just as we thoughtlessly invest precious money in doodads, we often spend precious time in activities which are not meaningful, not necessary, and basically a waste of time.
When we fritter away our time on this and that, we lack time for the things we've always wanted to do or really care about (time for friends and family, exercise, reading, a hobby, traveling, or learning a new skill).
With regret, I think about the hours I've spent watching the decorating shows on TV. Though inspiring and relaxing to watch, many were not applicable to my life, and after a certain point were time wasters.
If I hadn't spent so much time on those TV doodads, I could have finished painting my hall bathroom by now!
I'm not saying that we shouldn't have any time doodads, but let's try to spend our time on things that enrich our lives and not just occupy our time.
I'll share more lessons gleaned in my next column.
See you in three weeks!
"It's About Time," by Ruth Wong
, owner of Organization Plus, runs the fourth Friday of each month. Contact her at "It's About Time," care of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, Honolulu 96813; or e-mail email@example.com