Lifehacker turned me onto the topic and I was skeptical, until I read the source article, which was much clearer. Lifehacker’s examples (taking out the trash/recycling, washing a couple of dishes) seem like much more than one minute’s work. But Gretchen Rubin’s examples (throw away the junk mail, put the peanut-butter jar back in the cabinet, close the cabinet door) are much more realistic.
In my experience and my opinion, there’s certainly something to Ms. Rubin’s idea that “outer order contributes to inner calm.” As long as I have stuff on my list that’s not done, I find myself thinking about it, and thinking about when I’ll find time to do it. I definitely like her ideas to make your bed (I’m pretty good about it), get rid of the newspaper (don’t have one, but I have similar items), get rid of things when they break (I have a few things sitting around), and take five minutes to do an evening tidy-up (something I think I’ll start).
Currently, my personal philosophy is to make small habits and then add to them. I started by making my bed every morning. Once I was doing that regularly, I started opening my curtain every morning and closing it every evening. Then I began flossing and brushing every night, which I’m still trying to form into a habit. I’ve also set myself small daily tasks that should take less than 30 minutes each (a load of laundry, dusting and sweeping on one level, cleaning a bathroom). These have been a little more challenging to form into habits, and even to motivate myself to do, but they’re coming along, and will certainly promote some outer order contributing to some inner calm.
Do you have any ideas to share?