I’m in Japan with a suitcase full of notebooks and professional literature.   I am on a dump and slash mission.   I’m here for thirty days and I hope to return without any of the notebooks and professional literature that I crammed into my suit case.   Sometimes you need to raze a village to save a child.

First a little back story.  I basically stopped updating Samurai Mind Online when I received a scholarship to study to become a librarian two years ago.  My courses were online at Syracuse University but that doesn’t mean that it was a piece of cake.  In addition to my full-time job, I was also elected the union representative for my school and continued to be a dad of two young children.

As the various projects and demands piled up, I found that I had a growing mound of professional literature and my notebooks piling up.   This pile is a potential treasure pile but it’s sheer size was a major de-motivator.   It created falling hazards on my desk that threatened to bury my children alive.   As an organizational samurai I’ve now realized that you have to raze a village to save a child.In addition to my library journals, I’ve brought a bunch of my notebooks that are due for review.   However, I’ve decided that instead of dating the entries and reviewing methodically that I will review at random and not date any of the pages.   The only effort I will expend is copying very interesting entries by hand into my new notebook or in the case of longer entries I use CamScanner to turn the pages into PDFs which I then upload to my Evernote account.

I have a built in incentive.  The luggage will have room for more goodies to bring back from Japan.  Plus, my wife won’t kill me.   My luggage is not all my own.  I moonlight as a mule of Japanese stationary, house hold goods, and snacks  for my wife.

This is just a reminder that even if you have a system sometimes what really needs to happen is to have a purge.   I could have carefully dated and reviewed all of my notebooks but they had built up to such a big pile that it would have just led to resentment, resistance and possibly an even bigger pile leading to more resentment and resistance.

So this is just a friendly reminder that if you are feeling overwhelmed by the “pile” maybe what you need is a celebration around the pyre of letting things go.  You need to raze a village to save the child.