So you cleared off your dining room table! Or possibly your bedroom floor, or that kitchen counter that seems to breed random crap. It’s nice, right? Gives you a sense of accomplishment to look at? And then, even though you try to stop it, that obnoxious little voice tells you to enjoy this moment, because it’s just going to be covered in crap again in a day or two. I know you know that voice.
Here’s the thing: the accumulating crap doesn’t happen on its own. It’s a passive phenomenon, in a way, but only in that you’re the one being passive. An unfucked area is not going to remain that way by itself. And that’s where the reset comes in.
Here’s how it works:
Those messes don’t generally happen overnight. And they usually only get worse the longer you leave them. So by taking just a few minutes every day to reset the surface back to clear, you never give it the chance to accumulate the multiplying crap. And by sacrificing a handful of minutes (do it while the coffee’s brewing, or during a commercial break) each day, you can pretty much guarantee you won’t have to face a mountain of crap on that surface again.
And admit it, there’s something so satisfying about seeing your worst surface completely clear. You should be able to feel that satisfaction every damn day.
Well, yeah, putting your shit away is the #1 way to prevent refucking an unfucked area. But also dedicating 20 minutes a day, every day, just to tidying things up a bit is generally enough to undo any damage you’ve done during the day. You can do a lot in 20 minutes.
20 minutes a day of focused unfucking, and making an effort to change your habits so that you have less to unfuck: dishes get washed or go in the dishwasher immediately instead of languishing in the sink. Clothes go in the hamper, not on the floor, and you do a load once the hamper is full. Shoes go back to their boxes or wherever they live instead of being kicked off and landing wherever. Bathroom gets a wipedown at least every other day. Trash goes in the trash, not left on a counter/table/floor. Basic habit changes mean you’ll have less to do all at once, and you can use your 20 minutes a day for things like vacuuming and sweeping, or clearing off your flat surfaces, or cleaning out the fridge.