Saturday Musings - The Case For Genocide

Saturday Musings - The Case For Genocide

This past week I’ve had the “pleasure” of wading my way through numerous legal documents well over 56 pages in length and my desk is becoming buried under a mountain of paper. Don’t get me wrong, paper has its place (I think), but I’ve decided this past week to commit a form of genocide by going on a rampage to decimate as much of the white stuff as possible. Just when I think I’m beginning to get the upper hand in my war the mail arrives.

I remember as a child I used to get so excited about “getting something in the mail”, now all of the envelopes seem to have windows on them. Grrrrrrr! Like the tentacles of some malevolent beast the subtlety of my enemy infiltrating my life is really quite scary.

For example, earlier I wandered into our dining room, glance at the table, to see it’s covered in paper from school assignments and studying courtesy of our youngest daughter. I have six boxes of business cards, computer manuals filling bookshelves and you guessed it, a stationary cupboard filled to overflowing with paper.

There seems to be a never ending flow of flattened, bleached, mulched trees threatening to engulf me in their pristine whiteness. Now it’s time for me to fight back.

My first assault on paper were the numerous notebooks that I end up carrying around (I have heaps of these). They’re stuffed full of bullet points and diagrams from countless meetings. All important, but all of them are going out the door.

So in a fit of a berserker’s frenzy I went down to my local computer store and bought a Microsoft Surface tablet with an e-pen. Combined with OneNote, it’s my first salvo to getting rid of the stuff that seems to endlessly clutter my office and my life. Notes are now categorised and things to do lists are syncing across my desktop, laptop, iphone and Surface tablet. I finally seem to be getting the upper hand……

My principle goal in my war is to not just get rid of paper but to simplify my life so that I can spend more time focusing on what’s really important rather than moving stuff from one pile to another. So in effect, I’m committing genocide but killing as much paper as I possibly can.

The next time a lawyer sends me a 50+ page legal agreement in the mail I’m going to politely tell them where they can put it. Send me an e-version that I can quickly search and mark-up but for heaven’s sake don’t send it printed on paper.

So as I wage my war my wife casually reminds of the fact that I’ve just ordered twenty printed copies of my SciFi book, Battleframe, so now, in truth, I feel like I’m trading in illegal weapons. Anyone want a table of contents? How about an index? There’s plenty of words to go around and it's all written on paper…. :-)

Have a great weekend!


Michael Gilmour has been in business for over 32 years and has both a BSC in Electronics and Computer Science and an MBA. He was the former vice-chairman of the Internet Industry Association in Australia and is in demand as a speaker at Internet conferences the world over. He has also recently published his first science fiction book, Battleframe.

Michael is passionate about working with online entrepreneurs to help them navigate their new ventures around the many pitfalls that all businesses face. Due to demands on his time, Michael may be contacted by clicking here for limited consulting assignments.

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