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.