I have been beating my head against a wall this morning. That wall’s name is Boss. We do research. What is invariably involved in research is lots of paper. Some of that paper, like consent forms, we are required by law to keep for 7 years. Okay, fine. Some of that paper is surveys or locator forms or all manner of other paperwork associated with a study. In my office there are FIVE file cabinets. Only 2 of these actually have projects that have been active in my time here. So I’ve been on a crusade to get rid of a lot of this paper.
Me: None of these projects have been active in years. All of the data has been entered electronically.
Boss: But I’m not ready to get rid of it yet. I might do something with it.
Me: We both know you’re too busy with current projects to ever go back to this old data, and by the time you are, you will be retiring and the data will be so old, it will be wholly irrelevant. Plus it’s already been entered electronically.
Boss: I’m not ready to get rid of it yet.
I know perfectly well she will NEVER USE THIS DATA again. She just wants it to molder and take up room in my office where it is out of sight and fully out of mind.
I did, at least, manage to talk her into letting me shred the locator forms for the project that was over four years ago. We’re never contacting these people again, so we don’t need it anymore…
It puts me in mind of all the stuff we have in storage and the things that I’ve held on to over the last five years in our house just because “I might use it.” Honestly, I think I’m past this. I need to acknowledge I’m never gonna be super tiny again, so a lot of those clothes can go to Goodwill. Some of the stuff in the attic–same deal. I never remember it’s there until Christmas when we unearth it beneath the Christmas decorations. It can all GO. I’m tired of storing things that have no value or use to me. So garbage or Goodwill, it’s all gonna go! I’m determined to declutter my life, my office, my house, and my brain.
What are you hanging on to that you don’t really need?