Clean Up Your Act!

As we are wrapping up the CE course on management tips I'm teaching, the discussion has focused on ways to create zen in work life. Everyone has had a ton of ideas - from "eating the frog" first thing in the morning (getting the hardest thing done first) to list making to no email until later in the morning.

Everything in this thread fascinated me. But one that especially resonated was the suggestion to get your desk together and cleaned up/organized before you head out the door from work. A neat desk at work? That would not be me - as my team can attest. But maybe it could be?

My home desk is far less chaotic but probably just as busy. This is the spot where I create, write, record, research and do all.the.things. for my classes, my blog, my workshops, my presentations for in-state and out-of-state conferences and all the stuff that has nothing to do with my day job. My computer and "stuff" is on an old wooden table that my parents got when they were first married seventy years ago. Solid! I spend a couple of hours there most days of the week. It's tucked away so I'm not ignoring my sweetie while I'm diving in to the work.

For some darn reason I can stay perfectly organized there. Maybe because nothing is coming in to the "wonk workshop" (my name for this space) except the assignments I accept or pursue. And it's small so if I'm not organized and feng shui-ish, I can't create. Of course, what makes this space more concentrated is that I have the time to keep it together. Nothing comes in  - no phone calls, patrons, emergencies - unexpectedly.

So keeping organized there has been key to huge productivity for me. There is a finite amount of home time I want to spend on this stuff. Because my sweetie, my family and friends, gaming, cooking, getting outside, reading, learning and looking out the window to watch the birds, trees and seasons pass by.

So maybe I can turn my work chaos desk

into my wonk workshop desk

Zen awaits!


  1. Woohoo! "Zen and the Art of Desk Maintenance" or something like that there. :) I'd love to see an "after" of your work desk even if it's months down the road.

  2. IHope springs eternal. I am targeting the second week of November to do a "clean sweep!"

  3. It isn't just my desk it is my whole office! Last week I cleaned out no less than 10 assorted boxes of gifts, transfers and discards and then walked in this morning to find an even bigger pile of boxes full of EL materials in their place. I try to tell myself that I'm not losing the battle so long as the piles are circulating in and out and not just accumulating, though anyone who got a good look at this place today might call Hoarders. I'm inspired-- no meetings this afternoon time to bust a few piles!