Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Reorganize One Bookshelf

by Randy Murray on November 16, 2011

When I am at a loss for what to do next it’s typically not because I have nothing to do. It’s more likely that I have too many things to do. My mind is a jumble. I’m uncertain. It seems like it’s better to do nothing than that impossible list.

When things need sorting out literally doing some sorting might help.

I have many bookshelves in my home. Not nearly enough, though. When my wife points to a spot and asks, “What should we put here?” I always say, “bookshelves.”

I find sorting a bookshelf calming and therapeutic. It might work for you, too.

Take just one shelf and pause to look at it. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is this shelf for?
  • What should be here?
  • What belongs somewhere else?
  • What order makes sense to me?

And then, with your answers, sort and organize your shelf. If you’re like me, you may find that this starts a chain of events, tips over the first domino that leads to sorting ALL of your shelves. That’s the danger of this exercise. For today, let’s work on only one shelf, taking only a few moments. The process of sorting, organizing, and ordering things may transfer to the other problems you’re carrying in your head. That few minutes of focused organizing might help you calm yourself, sharpen your focus, and allow you to organize those other tasks and to take action.

And when you’re stuck again, move to the next shelf.

The Simple Productivity Task Of The Day: Reorganize One Bookshelf by Randy Murray, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

subhorup dasgupta November 20, 2011 at 4:36 am

This is an excellent approach to productivity/decluttering, and is very motivating at a time when you are struggling to stay focused/productive/positive. I have been battling fairly challenging situations for the last several months, and often feel demotivated to do a lot. Taking a small thing at a time and bringing it to a high level of productivity/utility can be very encouraging in addition to being achievable in spite of anhedonia.


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