Today, when we were talking about transferring archived emails from one computer to another, I realized that as much as the best-selling stories,self-improvement books, and motivational talks discuss about living and being in the "Present", the corporate world insists on the "Past".
For those who are clueless about software and hardware industry, let me tell you, anything to do with Storage is the word of the day.. Just about anything and everything needs to be stored in the computerized age. This blog post would not show up if it is not stored. Hail Storage!!!.
While there could be functional and operational and process-oriented reasons behind the idea of storing all your emails for as long as you work in an organization, often, I must admit that most emails that you read once, do not have to be opened ever again in your life. We still keep an email, because a "What if I need it later/next year?" question comes up, almost always.
I agree that this is information world. Any information from the past, small or big, can make a lot of sense when in a decision-making situation - Medicine, Construction, Banking, Designing are a few fields that heavily rely on such historical data. These days, every sector has decided to learn from past mistakes ( which is a good move...) and consistently keep up accomplishments. So they store records of the past and use the statistics to improve business ( which is good again...).
We are so used to this storage practice outside and most of us are unable to avoid this percolating into our the storage attics - Cupboards, Desk drawers, kitchen shelves, Footwear racks,refrigerators, and of course attics if you want to call the overhead shelves as an attic in your house [ Indian building drawings and designers use the real-estate very well.. If nothing else can fit in contextually in that building drawing, it becomes a storage...most occupants love that extra storage space..].. We are so happy to have an extra storage space in the house, as much as we like to have a super-high memory space in our flash drives.. [The latest( by my slow standards in technology news)fancy I came across is an 8GB flash drive from Hewlett Packard.It could be easily mistaken for a white, strip of a chewing gum].
Okay, so we have the space.. now what?? In most houses, this is the scene:
All papers, no matter how important or unimportant get stored. You just might need a newspaper to wrap your shoes ( which is of course stored away in the far corner of the footwear rack) when you take it to the cobbler to mend, someday. And tell me, unless you've paid over a few hundreds for the foot wear, would you bother to mend it?
Every member of the family, especially the younger generation has a tendency to stack up foot wear that matches every dress in their wardrobe. May be that's a way to live up to the trend of the day, but also adds up to the clutter in the shoe shelf.
Some people put away plastic covers, old and outdated receipts, medicine strips and pens that are unusable. Clothes are another problem area altogether. We know we buy new clothes, but do we donate the same number of clothes at least to clear up space in our cup boards?
Next is books.. Keepsakes are fine; ardent book lovers keeping a library is good, but I see a lot of houses stacked up from floor to the ceiling with books that no one has the time to flip through. One spring cleaning should help find the books that can be donated to the nearest school library.
Coming to think of it, we must clear a lot of trash from our minds too. We store away a lot of thoughts too, just because we are so habituated to putting away things for a later reference or usage. Pleasant thoughts should be stored safely and shared often so happiness doubles. Unpleasant thoughts should be translated into experiences and shared with someone, so sadness or negativity dwindles. I think, it just needs some practice.
Cluttered mail box, cluttered work desk, cluttered house, cluttered mind, all consume time, energy and space.. The last and best of all: Your search for something never ends in a cluttered space. This directly means your stress never ends :)
Don't you think, this simple principle of storing only what is needed, is all we need to keep life easy? May be we should start with emails at work... I have started trashing the emails which I dont need, before I leave office each day.