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Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Snowflaking your life

If you've been reading finance blogs for a while, you know about the idea of debt snowflaking, and probably about its younger cousin, savings snowflaking. The theory behind the snowflaking method is that no amount is too small. Find a dollar on the floor? Put it towards your debt. Make $3 doing online surveys? Put it towards your debt. Every little bit counts. And once you've paid off your debt, build up your savings in the same way.

This morning (note: this entry was written last week), as I was standing in my kitchen waiting for the coffee to finish brewing, I thought about how the concept of snowflaking can apply to the rest of your life. This, of course, is nothing new - we all know about the idea of baby steps, and FlyLady touts her 15 minute cleaning plans. But can it work? Can you snowflake other things as well?

As my coffee brewed, probably no more than two or three minutes, I took the time to wipe down the kitchen counters with a damp cloth. Something simple, and sure, it could wait until I got home after work, but that was one less thing I would have to do.

I'm working on cleaning out my closets. It always seems like such a huge task, as I like to pull all of the clothes off the rack and go through them one by one to decide whether it's something I will ever wear again, and then try it on to be sure it fits, and then decide whether it's going to Goodwill or back into the closet. But I could snowflake this task. When I pick out my clothing in the evening, I can pull five things off the rack. Or two things. Or maybe just one extra thing, and make a decision there. Quick and painless.

Got a big project to get done at work that keeps getting pushed aside because it's not top priority? Every time you find a few minutes, try to get a little bit done. Desk a bit too messy? Straighten up a small part of it while you're on hold or while you're waiting for something to print, or, if your office is like mine, while you're waiting for your computer to complete the log-in process.

What are some other ideas of how to use snowflaking?

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