Day Fourteen: Positioning

Yesterday, I cleaned up using the book Unfuck Your Habitat: You’re Better Than Your Mess by Rachel Hoffman. I skimmed the beginning and while I hesitate to call it “fluff”, it was essay material. I went straight for the meat of the book.

Unlike the Marie Kondo book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing, Hoffman is the proponent of “Do a Little at a Time “.

 I’m a “messy person”. The reasons for that go deep into psychology, habit, and laziness and I’m not really concerned as much about why as much as how I can fix it.

I will need to be tidier and more minimalist if I want to be more “Zen”, right?

Clean in “20/10s”, she says.20 minutes of work. 10 minute break. Repeat.Mini-challenges.

Mini-challenge #1:

Before: Absolute disarray. Nothing here actually belongs here.
After: Minimal approach. My faux leather-bound “bullet journal”, Kindle Fire w/ Bluetooth keyboard, copies of “365 Tao” and “The Tao of Pooh”.

Mini-challenge #2:

Before: Nearest flat surface. This is usually much worse. I have obvious issue with throwing things down on flat surface and not throwing trash away immediately.
After: Cleaned off. Incense holder, TV remote, “How to be Idle: A Loafer’s Manifesto” by Tom Hodgkinson, & two children’s books.

Kids Room Project:

Before: Just beginning to attack some clutter.
After: Not perfect, but much improved.

“One of the toughest concepts for people to wrap their heads around when it comes to housekeeping and cleaning is the fact that it’s a never-ending cycle. Cleaning, by its very nature, is never actually finished. That’s probably the most aggravating thing about it, and that’s why most people can’t stand doing it. You’re never done. How annoying is that? So we rebel against it or ignore it entirely, because why on earth would we bother doing all that work, just to have to turn around and do it all over again in a few days or next week or next month? It’s incredibly frustrating and makes the whole process seem pointless. And yeah, any task that needs to be repeated over and over really is a pain in the ass, because you never ever feel like you’re finished.” -Rachel Hoffman

Another tip I found helpful. I will put this as a Reminder on my phone and use every night before bed.


  • Wash the dishes in your sink.
  • Get your outfit for tomorrow together, including accessories.
  • Set up coffee/ tea/ breakfast.
  • Make your lunch.
  • Put your keys somewhere obvious.
  • Take your medication/ set out your meds for the morning.
  • Charge your electronics.
  •  Set your alarm.
  • Go to bed at a reasonable hour.

Deng Ming-Dao on Positioning:

Key points:

  • Actions in life can be reduced to two factors: positioning and timing.
  • If we are not in the right place at the right time, we cannot take advantage of what life has to offer.
  • Almost anything is appropriate if an action is in accord with the time and place.
  • Even if time and place are right, we can still miss our chance if we do not notice the moment.
  • When life presents an opportunity, we must be ready to seize it. Position is useless without awareness.
  • If we have position and awareness, we make no mistakes.

The Daily Stoic: Cut the Strings that Pull Your Mind

“Understand at last that you have something in you more powerful and divine than what causes the bodily passions and pulls you like a mere puppet. What thoughts now occupy my mind? Is it not fear, suspicion, desire, or something like that?” —MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 12.19

Another great day from Ryan Holiday’s book. Ryan refers to “temptations and forces that distract us and pull us away from the things that truly matter.”

So, what does truly matter?

The first answer I found was provided by Gary Keller, author of “The ONE Thing’.He divides the most important things in life in 7 areas.

  • Spiritual life
  • Physical health
  • Personal Life
  • Key Relationships
  • Job
  • Business
  • Finances

That’s a pretty good list. Obviously, with Gary being something of a business guru, and my being more of a creative type, I would probably add “Creative Work” somewhere on that list.

List of my top distractions & temptations:

  • Facebook (particularly reacting and responding to provocative posts, time consuming debates, addiction to checking Facebook for new feeds and messages, etc.)
  • Smoking
  • Engaging in bickering and pointless arguments
  • Gossip
  • Eating junk food
  • Being angry at others
  • Fear

Tomorrow, we’ll cover the subject of “time”.



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