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Chapter 3. Blame It on the Environment > How a Cluttered Life Holds You Back - Pg. 28

Blame It on the Environment Get out your appointment book or calendar (yes, now ) and schedule a block of time on a specific date (probably one to two hours are needed) when you'll go through your hard drive to discard files and programs you don't need and to reorganize your files and folders. 28 Computers in homes and offices are among the most overlooked clutter traps. They look innocent enough, sitting there on the desk with no telltale signs of the junk hidden within (unlike closets and drawers, which always seem to have something spilling out of them as a reminder of the chaos that lurks within). Like any type of clutter, an excess of computer files, folders, and programs slows you down when you're trying to get things done. For example, I've used my computer and the Internet to find and store tidbits of information and ideas that relate to books I was writing or wanted to write. Although this convenient access to in- formation is extremely helpful, I find that when it comes time to write a book, I'm overwhelmed by all the random bits of data I've accumulated. I often don't know where to begin to wade through it all or to organize it into a particular chapter, so I sometimes end up saying to myself, "This is too much trouble; I'll work on that chapter another day." There's no denying that in many ways computers enable us to be more productive than we ever would be without them. But, if we let them become clutter traps, they can make us feel dazed and confused and unable to do what matters. Commitment Overload Clutter doesn't have to consist only of tangible objects. It also comes in the form of things you have to do. Your life may be crowded with so many commitments and responsibilities that you can't handle being pulled in that many different directions. When this happens, you may become overwhelmed, shut down, and not do anything.