November 29, 2010

  • Cleaning my Desk so I can get my Stuff Done

    I don’t remember the comedian’s name, but he did a piece on the tendency we have to “clean our desk” before we can get ourselves motivated to get any of our stuff done. Somehow (for example) the simple task of paying bills becomes an all-but-impossible nightmare if our desk is cluttered. I know this to be a fundamental truth of my own life… so I consider myself busted.

    What made me contemplate this “illness” (in between slurps of coffee) is that I’ve been feeling the urge to start writing again. But… of course… I can’t just sit down and resume where I left off, several years ago.

    No, no, no, no, no, no, noh…

    First, there is a taking of “inventory” and planning.

    Maybe it’s the side effect of being a pathological planner and control freak. And– perhaps– a side effect of living for too many years with people who insisted we can “get organized later,” typically with the result that things did get done right away, but then the “retroactive planning” would take forty times longer than a little foresight.

    So… I’m “tidying my desk” because I hate wasting time, later…

    Of course, this can become something more than “organization.” For some people, “getting ready to do” is actually a serious dysfunction that keeps them from ever getting around to DOING the things they really want to do.. because something else always needs to be taken care of first. It’s all about finding balance.

    So next time you find yourself “getting ready” to do something… or resume something you used to do… ask yourself if your “planning” is necessary, or actually an avoidance technique that’s keeping you trapped eternally in a “pre-doing” holding pattern.

Comments (3)

  • I also like to be sitting at an organized desk before I get anything serious done.  Sometimes that might mean just grabbing a handful of crap and setting it down elsewhere, out of sight.  But only if I’m in a hurry.  Otherwise, I actually put it away.

  • “pre-doing” holding pattern… nice concept.  :)   indeed the things we do to get things done.  Best of luck with writing again.  

  • It’s a syndrome of some kind, it ought to have a name! My wife has it, and the desk has never been clean enough for her to finish that cross-stitch project, etc….

       Talk about a world wide web, this is it!

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