I often write about the state of my desk. Which is rarely tidy. Or, if it is tidy, it doesn't seem to take very long before it reverts to its . . . angle of repose. Which is definitely not tidy. In fact, often, I feel like I'm working in a canyon -- with walls of stuff surrounding my computer!
At some point, I get to feeling claustrophobic enough that I straighten it all up.
And then I swear that I'll keep things tidy.
But then . . . angle of repose.
In fact, I tidied up my desk and organized everything on Sunday. This morning, though, I can feel the canyon walls creeping in. (And this photo doesn't show the other side of my desk.) (Or the surrounding floor.) (Or the cart within easy reach.)
I thought . . . let's analyze this. Break it down. Unpack the situation.
What's going on with my desk? Why do I let these canyon walls build up?
So I took a quick photo. Just for assessment purposes. And do you see what I see?
1 - Behind my desk (not terribly clear, probably, in this photo) is a stack of papers for a project I'm working on right now. I have segregated them out from my in-box, and they are neatly stacked. But on top of them, I've placed a metal "book hug" that I use for my iPad so I can see it when I'm knitting (I use KnitCompanion for all my patterns, and need my iPad nearby). A set of size 3 double-points are resting in it (because I need them for my next project). And there are two sets of headphones, a pair of cheaters, a party invitation, and some checks I need to deposit. All things I need to keep in ready-reach today. (Except, probably for the "book hug" and the needles.) (But they fell off the couch while I was on a phone call last night and I needed to put them somewhere in a hurry.)
2 - I keep an in-box on the corner of my desk. It's even organized with marked file folders -- so I can neatly file away the papers that come my way! (They remain . . . empty.) The in-box is really just a "corral" for stacks of paperwork that is not immediately necessary (but I always know what's in the "corral", y'know?). The in-box is usually the first canyon wall. Because I can continue to stack stuff in it. Even stuff that has nothing to do with paperwork! Like . . . library books. My iPad. A stretchy flip belt that I can use for my phone when I don't have pockets. And another pair of cheaters. (Uh huh.) My in-box really serves as a repository for things I don't want to lose track of , but that I don't need now. I know where things are; I know what's in there . . . for later. (Except for the stuff on top. That's just . . . convenient.)
3 - And then . . . there's all the stuff that just winds up ON my desk. A coaster for my tea. Pretty cards and notes I've received in the mail. Three or four ongoing pads for jotting ideas and random thoughts and figures (because, you know . . . I probably can't find one when I need it, so I grab another from the basket on the cart. . . ). A tape measure (I'm buying new throw rugs, and I've been using it a lot the last few days as I finalize my decisions). Lovely yarn (from Vicki) that I received this week. (I like to keep it near -- for inspiration - as I try to figure out what to do with it.) (I'm thinking maybe socks.) My planner. My phone. Another pair of cheaters. (Hmmm.) (I always have ALL the cheaters - or NONE of the cheaters - when I need them.) Random post-it notes for myself everywhere. Business cards. Yarn labels.
(And that, my friends . . . is How Happen!)
Going through this exercise will NOT help me keep my desk neat and tidy. Really, it won't change a thing. But it does help me understand what's going on. Because my desk . . . is kind of an extension of my brain. And this is how my brain works. I like to keep my immediate projects close at hand -- where I can SEE them. I also like to keep my not-immediate projects "corralled" in a safe space. And I seem to have no problem working with a lot of inspiration nearby. (And, well . . . I'm also kind of lazy and drop things where the land.) (You might get an eye-twitch if you could see how many open tabs I have on my browser. . .)
So. This is the official news of the day: I am not going to worry about my desk anymore. Now that I'm "almost 60", I think it's time for me to stop apologizing for the state my desk (which is representative, I guess, of how I think). It's time to just accept that I'm good with canyon walls. That I will stop to control the piles when I need to. And that . . . while I may be a bit messy, I'm also effective. And creative. And I don't tend to lose things ever.
(But perhaps I really do need to get the cheaters situation under control.)
How about you? What's your workspace like?
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