Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Time Management Tuesday: An-Hour-And-A-Half Chaos Break, And Now I Am Calm Again. Well, As Calm As I Ever Am.

To get right to the point, which is, arguably, a time management technique, I've been feeling chaos creeping up on me lately. A couple of days ago I had to lean on my mantra "Finish something" to get through the day. What did I finish? Beats me. Things were piling up enough that I can't even recall.
Chaotic desk these days

So I took an hour and a half, or so, off today from my May Days in October writing to clean my desk. I feel much better now. Especially since cleaning my desk included making a submission. I needed to make a folder related to that project so I could file things away, and since I had all that out, anyway, it wasn't that much more work to submit it somewhere.

Yes, I am ready to go, and I know where I'm going. 

Why Is Controling The Material Chaos Around You Time Management?

"...indicate that a "disorganized environment can leave you feeling out of control, which drains your reserves for future self-control, leading to poor decisions including impulse spending." What does impulse spending have to do with time management? It's not the spending we should be concerned with, it's the draining self-control or discipline. If a disorganized environment makes people feel out of control enough to impulse shop, won't it make us feel out of control enough to shake up our work schedules? In fact, according to ScienceDaily, the researchers on one of the studies Karp refers to, Environmental Disorder Leads to Self-Regulatory Failure, were "looking for changes in behavior like impulse spending as well as poor mental performance or reduced stamina on tasks that require advanced thinking skills."

Personally, I try to control disorder and chaos all around me now, not just on my desk. No, that doesn't mean I'm always on top of folding my clean laundry. It means I keep the clean laundry down in the laundry room so I don't have to see it all over the house. Om.

Minimalism And Desks

You may have noticed that the desk in the picture above doesn't look all that bad. However, I am one of those people who uses her e-mail in-basket as a to-do list, meaning I keep all kinds of things in it until I've dealt with them. So the in-basket becomes an extension of my desk and an extension of disorder and chaos. E-mail in-baskets are not like laundry rooms. You have to look at them all the time.

Chaotic desk in the old days
Certainly, though, the situation on the desk, itself, is nothing like the ones I was dealing with on desks years ago. For that I can thank the file draw in my new desk where I can keep working files instead of letting them pile up all around me.

I can also thank minimalism.

My present work station contains nothing but work-related materials.

  • No pencil holders, that's what drawers are for, and no knickknacks.
  • No shelf of writers' journals, which you can see in the older picture. I purged them a couple of years ago, moving material I thought I might use to a digital journal and tossing the rest. I can accept that if I've done nothing with an idea I had in the 1980s and have no interest in it now, chances are I'm never going to use it.
  • The red dictionary in the old picture is gone. It was outdated, anyway, and I use on-line dictionaries now. 
  • I see some medical bills in the old photograph. I have a file in the new desk for them, too.
  • Oh, and I think my trail journal is on the desk in the old picture. It's not allowed on my desk now.
For the most part, the desk chaos stays at a lower level, because I have fewer things to end up on the desk. 

It's amazing how mindless, soulless things are able to create such chaotic feelings in people who do have minds and, presumably, souls. It's also amazing how much faster it is to deal with the chaos things create when you don't have many of them.

Thursday and Friday won't be writing days for me this week. But tomorrow is. I should be able to do a lot more with it now that I've cast off the psychic burden of that chaotic desk.

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