What is a Meta Decision?
A meta decision is an umbrella-type decision that impacts all of the smaller decisions that come thereafter. It is made with the intention of impacting or replacing a number of future decisions. Thus, meta decisions are crucial to organizing because they save the mental anguish and time involved with making hundreds of individual decisions one by one.
How Can You Use Meta Decisions to Get Organized?
You can use meta decisions with clothing (“I will not keep anything that I have not worn in the last 2 years”), magazines and newspapers (“If I have not read it in the last 3 months, it gets donated or thrown in the recycling bin!”), e-mail (“I will check email for 1 hour in the morning, 1 hour after lunch, and 1 hour in the evening only.”), requests for social events (“I will commit to 3 social events this month only.”), etc.
Let’s take paper for example. You can make a meta decision to purge any business paperwork that is over 7 years old. Then, all you need to do as you are sorting is look at the dates. Anything that is older than 7 years automatically gets purged. This takes the guesswork out of reviewing and making a decision regarding each and every document.
Essentially, using meta decisions is a clever way to establish rules and set boundaries. Try it! I guarantee it will free up some of your mental clutter, allowing you to purge more of your physical clutter.