Hoarders and Procrastination

Posted on October 12, 2009
Filed Under life | 3 Comments

I watched the TV show “Hoarders” at the recommendation of people who thought I, ahem, shared some characteristics with these people and their pathological accumulation of useless crap. Ahem. I guess it all comes down to degrees.

Some time back I have identified the root cause of practically every problem I have as procrastination. This is why I found GTD such a compelling philosophy because it addressed the real problem I have. I have a huge buildup of emails in my inbox. This is mostly because of the ones that will take some time to address – not a huge amount of time , but some. I don’t do them now, and procrastinate. I have clutter because I am failing to make a choice in what to do with this thing. There is some future point at which value will be realized, but I’m not making the choices that will realized the value and instead just hold onto the crap by default.

There was a point in “Hoarders” where a clutter addict was confronted about a broken vacuum cleaner. “It only needs this one thing to be fixed up and sold at a yard sale.” The organizer pushed back with “What is your history in actually doing that?” The response, a reluctant “… well, I’ve never actually held a yard sale.” Check and mate. I have the same problem. I really want to address it and make the choice now. This might be a fall of purging. I hope so. I don’t want the city condemning my office.

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3 Responses to “Hoarders and Procrastination”

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  1. Ken Nelson on October 12th, 2009 6:25 pm

    Dave:

    I suspect that we suffer from the same affliction, which I’ll loosely label as the “If I don’t do it perfectly, I’ve failed.”`syndrome.

    IOW, you (and I) will defenestrate stuff that we’ll regret not keeping later. OTOH, there will then be crap that we’ll never miss. That’s a risk/reward calculation that is purely individual.

    I spent my day off in a spontaneous combustion abatement project around my chair. Mostly dross, but also stuff that I’ve wanted to keep/reply-to, that I haven’t done. They are now the next foundation for the accumulation of the next wave of crap.

    Except, this time, I’m not gonna let the accumulation happen. I’m gonna do something with those items that *always* get put back, to be seen again months later.

    I wish you the same success; this is my plan, and I’m sticking to it.

    -k-

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  3. dave on October 14th, 2009 11:33 am

    Ken, that’s not quite it for me. If anything I have a higher than reasonable willingness to do things imperfectly. In my case, it’s that I ascribe too high a value to the future use of things and too low of a cost to the upkeep required to hang on to them all that time.

    I also need to separate out the things I actively collect from the others. I do collect comic books and that’s a different thing from all the eras of partially or broken computer peripherals that I have somewhere. I need to stop valuing future use so highly and admit that isn’t actually going to happen so I can just pitch the stuff.

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  5. Ken Nelson on October 17th, 2009 12:38 pm

    I’ll trade you a unit of future value estimation for one of willingness to accept less than perfect. There’s a balance that should be struck.

    For me, the perfection has resulted in a life of “I have spent my days stringing and unstringing my instrument while the song I came to sing remains unsung.”

    I gotta’ move off that..

    -k-