You probably have a bunch of different piles in your life. Work piles, household chores, to-do lists and other tasks that clog up daily schedules pretty easily. Blogger and author Scott Berkun suggests an even simpler approach with three piles: things that are important, things that are unimportant, and things that are unimportant and distract you from what is important.
Photo by Khairil Yusof.
Berkun suggests defining each of the three piles so you know what you really desire. The third pile, "things that are unimportant but distract you from what is important" is crucial. He suggests these unimportant distractions might be small things like the idea that expensive sneakers make you a better athlete, or that a necklace will make you a more fulfilled person. His solution is to define each pile explicitly:
Unless you take explicit action to define #1 and #2 on your own, you are inheriting the value system that defines your biggest life choices. And you are inheriting it from people who likely were failed by that very framework. Why copy their system? Make your own piles and ask for feedback from those closest to you. Only they can guide you in shaping the piles most likely to shape your life into the experience you desire.
Everyone has to do unimportant things, but you can get rid of the unimportant things that distract you from what's really important. These might be goals, habits, or even work. The end goal is a more streamlined approach to finding and getting what's really important to you personally.
The three piles of life [Scott Berkun]