I’ll never forget my daughter Laura’s pride in her accomplishment when she announced to our family that she had spent the afternoon getting her bookshelves organized in her room. I think she was all of 8 years old at the time.

My expectation was that they would be in neat rows starting with Alice in Wonderland or an author with the last name beginning with “A” then working the length of the shelf to the z’s. But instead, she very excitedly escorted us into her bedroom where my jaw dropped at the beauty of her rainbow-colored arrangement of her library. It worked perfectly for her.

Stephen Covey includes Sharpening the Saw as the 7th habit in the  7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Today I used the essence of this dictum:

Balance and renew your resources, energy, and health to create a sustainable, long-term, effective lifestyle

when I took time to modify a resource I’ve been using for several years.

I keep a document on my computer with all of my passwords. Every time I get a new password, I simply cut and paste it into this document. I know that my expedia.com username and password are there along with my AAA membership number. It’s a handy reference for my family’s Social Security numbers, should I need to access them or the bridge line conference number I use weekly.

But each time I needed to look up one of these figures or phrases  I’d make a mental note to myself: “I should really alphabetize these one day.” Then I’d curse a bit as I scrolled down the list looking for my JetBlue membership number or some equally seldom-used bit of trivia. “Yeah, I really should do that.”

Today I did it. I printed out the entire list (4 pages) and arranged them in order for future usage. It feels really good to have taken the 20 minutes to save me far more than that in the future. Plus, I like that really satisfied feeling I get, like I did just a minute ago, when I added a new resource. I signed up for a new website that allows me to download royalty-free images and added that new password to my list.

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