Monday, October 25, 2010

Waste Reduction: Garbage and time

Waste reduction: Minimize what you throw in the trash,
and don't waste your time or attention.

Last week was waste reduction week, although you might have missed that with all the hype around the various Alberta municipal elections.

With some modifications to the kinds of things you buy we can really cut down on the amount of waste going to the landfill. You already have enough stuff. Visit cleanbinproject.com for some great ideas on how to reduce solid waste going to the landfill.

Although Waste Reduction Week is about reducing garbage, there are other sources of waste in our society that get in the way of living the life we want.

In the world, natural resources are limited, and if we put them in the landfill eventually we won't have access to those resources anymore, without mining the landfills.

In our lives however, time is the scarcest resource, unlike the landfill, once time passes we can't get it back.

Toss out any notions of time management. Unless your DeLorean can do 88 MPH, or (for the physicists) unless you're moving at nearly the speed of light, your time will pass steadily and relentlessly into the past.

Instead, think in terms of managing your attention and activity.

Facebook games, for example, may be free of financial charge, but you're still paying the price with your non-renewable attention. Same story with TV, websurfing, or anything you could choose to spend time on.

The time is going to march on regardless of what you do. Best to make the most of it. Here's how.

Be clear about your goals, both in the short term and the long term. Clarity of purpose is a powerful way to cut down on wasted time.

Once you know what you're trying to accomplish, then work to use your scarce resources, your time and your attention, to get it done.

David Allen's book Getting Things Done and Merlin Mann's website 43folders.com have great resources on being effective.

Don't waste your time or your attention. You could stand to cut back on your garbage too.

You might also like:

A future with a future

How Mozzarella can start a movement

Never mow again: here's how

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