I was chatting with a physician the other day at work and he was talking about the benefits and drawbacks of the newer electronic records. All of the patient’s history is listed, equally, in the diagnosis portion, where the computer gives the same weight to a surgically corrected ingrown toenail as to a collapsed lung or a kidney transplant. “We need,” he said, “a way to eliminate the unimportant diagnosis, so the important ones are obvious.” “It is too easy to accidentally click on the drop down window and click on something that you did not mean too.”
To a minimalist such as myself, the answer is obvious: declutter! The electronic record needs a method to delegate problems such as ingrown toenail to the “resolved” or “unimportant” status.
And we all need a process to move/remove from our lives/closets/calendars things that are no longer relevant or important to our lives. Here are some that I employ:
By keeping my clothing items to a set number, I only keep what fits me and is worn often.
I used to have a paper calendar, and each year would transfer important dates from the old to the new, eliminating dates that were no longer relevant (birthdays of ex-husband’s for example.) Now that I use an electronic calendar, before I print a week or a month out, I verify that the entries are appropriate and up-to-date (film club is over for the summer [Dave–time for Frisbee golf?] so, I have deleted this weekly reminder from the calendar.)
Or, deleting from the cell phone numbers the ex-boyfriend, so I don’t accidentally call him and leave a silly message (no, love muffin, I didn’t mean YOU) on the wrong voice mail.
See? Decluttering leads to fewer mistakes.