zen done: tasks 68-72

Whoa! We’re done? That’s it? How the heck did 72 days fly by already?

Here are my musings on days 68-72.

Assignment 68: Learn to pack light.

Back in August I saw this task and new I had to give it a try for our September travels. I didn’t accomplish it all in just one carry-on, but I was very impressed with my efforts! Instead of schlepping a giant rollercase bag, plus two carry-ons, with scads of clothes and stuff for an 11 day trip we ended up with a backpack apiece and a small rollerbag/backpack. The SO wasn’t entirely onboard with my methods or I think we might have whittled it down to one bag each.

What worked: packing 50% of a wardrobe (enough for 4-5 days instead of 11), was OK, I made good use of the drying line in the hotel shower stall. Because we weren’t dragging the BIG bag we opted to leave half of the snorkeling gear at home – namely the fins/flippers. We didn’t miss those at all! I picked up one of those water-filter-inside water bottles specifically for the trip so we wouldn’t have to buy bottled water – it was great for the airports (cleaned out the chlorine taste of the drinking fountains), and the hotel room but we couldn’t use it at the beaches (no potable water) so we had to buy bottled water after all. I estimate it probably saved us from purchasing 12 or more bottles of water so I think we got our moneys worth, plus I’ve tossed it in the reusable bottle rotation at home (we try not to leave the house without a bottle of water).

What didn’t work: snacks. I had packed a variety of snacks that we ended up not eating nearly as much of. Next time I’ll pack even less snacks. Some of the clothes just didn’t work as well as I had anticipated in the whole wear, wash, rewear program. When we were hiking it got very cold and I wished I had thought to toss in a light windbreaker or something.

Assignment 69: Use a minimalist productivity system.

I feel like this is a review of stuff we’ve already gone over – or maybe I skipped ahead on this one too back in August??

I’ve adopted the notebook habit at the office, and the notepad on the fridge in the kitchen at home seems to be working OK too. The notepad has become my catch-all and I’m really appreciating the ability to go back and see my archived notes in it. I used to use sticky notes a lot at the office: jot down voicemail notes, reminders, short to-do lists, etc. The notebook is now holding all of this information – I type the date at the top corner of the page and then scratch lines to divide the page into three sections: the top is the MIT list, the bottom is for voicemail notes, and the middle is for quick brainstorming.

Assignment 70: Leave space around things in your day.

This has been a necessary time budgeting task for me for years. Being late for important events and appointments is very stressful for me, the exception being social events. When it seems clear that adults with children show up early and adults without children show up later, I will chose the latter so I won’t feel like going to bed at 7pm.

Assignment 71: Live closer to work.

Ha! I’m less than a block from work, if I lived any closer to work I’d be in the same building. On one hand it is simpler to not have to get in the car and drive – on the other hand I struggle on a regular basis to schlepp items back and forth (office supplies, laundry, csa box, etc).

Assignment 72: Always ask: Will this simplify my life?

I’ve been asking this question more of myself since I started this project. Life can be complicated, but I don’t need to be adding to that unnecessarily!

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