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Declare bankruptcy and don’t be ashamed of it

Burning it down and starting fresh is a tool, not a failure.

I’m not talking about financial bankruptcy. I’m talking about all the other kinds of bankruptcy:

  • Email bankruptcy (anything important will come back up)
  • Backlog bankruptcy (because Backlogs are not idea buckets)
  • Books-to-read list bankruptcy (if your TBR list is 100+ books long, it’s not doing you any good)
  • Slack inbox bankruptcy (i.e., the first-day-back-from-vacation feeling)
  • Wiki bankruptcy (I wrote about this one before)
  • Social networking notification bankruptcy (this shouldn’t even be a question)
  • Browser tab bankruptcy (you can find stuff again when you to, but you won’t)
  • Garage/attic bankruptcy (don’t try to go through it, pay someone to haul it all away)

If you feel like declaring bankruptcy is a failure, stop that. It’s not a failure. It’s a fresh start. It’s a powerful tool and we should take advantage of it. It’s a weight lifted.

If your washing machine breaks, you can spend hours and hours learning how to fix the stupid thing, or you can toss it and buy a new one. Buying a new one is nothing to be ashamed of. It’s practical. You’re declaring dryer bankruptcy (I know the metaphor is a stretch, shut up).

Sure, if you declare bankruptcy on the same thing over and over, then you should examine your patterns about that thing. Bankruptcy is a voice that says “what can you do to make it unnecessary to do this again?”

Try it. Declare bankruptcy and come tell me if you don’t feel ten times better afterwards.