Partitioning (Lifestyle 101)

Biff arrived at the conference hall about 10 minute's before Chet's presentation, enough time to grab a cup of fairly good and strong complimentary coffee. He took a seat a few rows back from the front, along the center aisle. The room was about half full, maybe 60 or 70 people. Not bad, Biff thought. If I got 50 people out to one of my band's shows, I'd be super geeked.

The event organizer stepped up to the podium and gave a quick spiel: some announcements about upcoming events and a brief introduction and welcome for Chet.

Chet's topic was about partitioning and was titled "More is Less." He spent a couple of minutes explaining what he meant by the counter intuitive title.

"I used to think, and perhaps some of you think this way, that less is more. I wanted to kill several birds with one stone and try to get everything done at once, store all my papers in one big drawer in my filing cabinet, put all my money and credit cards in one big wallet, keep all my keys on a giant key chain...but what I found is that this didn't really simplify my life. When I needed to access an important document, it would take me an hour to sort through everything in the file cabinet. My keys were a jumbled mess and I would have to try three or four keys on the door before I got the right one to open it. My wallet was fat, but not with money...no, it was stuffed with all my credit cards and rewards cards and discount coupons and receipts for things I had bought. It was so big that if I kept it in my back pocket, I couldn't sit down without falling off the chair, I was so lopsided."

This got a few chuckles from the audience.

"One day I decided to partition my life and I have been doing so with great success ever since. What is partitioning? you might ask. I basically define it as simplifying by diversifying. Let me give you an example of what I mean."

"When I drive places, I only really need my car keys and my house key, if I am coming back home. Two keys. When I ride my bike places, I only need the key to the lock for my bike and maybe the padlock key for my locker at work, if I am biking to my job. I very seldom need both sets of keys, so I keep them on separate key rings and only grab the one I need for that day. It really lightens the load in my pocket and makes finding the right key quick and easy. On rare occasions, like if I am going to put my bike on my car and drive somewhere for a longer bike ride, I might need both sets of keys. Then I just connect the key rings for that day and when I get back from the trip, I separate them again."

"I also keep two wallets now. I have a small billfold that is strictly for my driver's license, credit and debit cards, and money. I have a separate billfold that is a different color and holds all the other things, like rewards cards and my fishing license and loose change. These are things I need a lot less often and I can usually leave this billfold at home. I can actually sit in a chair again, and it is quite liberating."

More audience chuckles.

Chet made a few more exemplary points from which Biff got the take home message to throw out all or most credit card and bank receipts.

"In this electronic, Internet day and age, you don't need paper receipts anymore," Chet said. "The paper trail is stored for you in the Cloud. Embrace the Cloud. It's your great big file cabinet in the sky. Thanks for your time today!"

The crowd applauded.

"Nice speech, brother," Biff said, after the handful of hangers on had dispersed.

"Glad you could make it, Brosef," Chet smiled. "Let's go grab some breakfast."

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