JUNE 12, 2017


The French canals are full of natural debris. Canal grass, twigs, leaves, aquatic weeds, filamentous algae and even the odd dead animal, of which, unfortunately, could not get out once in. I paddle in the middle to avoid the debris. However, sooner or later, something eventually attaches itself to the hull or rudder.. Immediately the kayak slows down. The smooth glide is obstructed. Transit is heavy. Forced. Even the slightest sign of clinging debris affects my advancement.

Clutter does four things:

  1. Slows me down: Clutter simply slows me down. It obstructs. It decelerates. I seemingly paddle in slow motion and I know, if continued, I cannot achieve my goals. I get frustrated, knowing that clutter is consuming. It eats my time and captivates my thoughts. 
  2. Disrupts my focus: Debris is a distraction. Instead of seeing the larger picture, I see this piece of weed, forming a wave and collecting more and more grass until I feel like I am pushing a beaver dam up the canal. The more I focus on this debris, the less I see the beauty around me. When my environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts my ability to focus. 
  3. Forces additional energy: To move ahead, I have to generate a lot of energy. When paddling, I want to use all energy on moving from A - B and not taking extra garbage with me. Clinging debris is like paddling against a headwind. My strokes are shorter, less meters per minute, my expended energy is greater. I want to use energy on the right things, not clutter. 
  4. Stop: Small debris may be insignificant in the grand scheme of things, but it affects my productivity. Back up to clean up - this is essential to stay focused. I eventually back paddle to stop the kayak. The only way to get ahead is stop, paddle backwards to get rid of the unnecessary attachments. Smooth sailing means a clean hull. The ability to move backwards ( in this case) is imperative to moving forward.  

Face the issues, fix the problem. OK. I understand that it is a bit easier to do this  in a kayak than in real life. But if I choose to do nothing, clutter is going to get me down.