Everybody has one.
The area, the counter top, the room, the kitchen island, the closet, the drawer . . . the place where stuff seems to gather. Every. Single. Day.
No matter how hard you try, or how many methods you use to combat the Stuff, it finds its way back to that same spot.
My Stuff Magnet is my office. My kitchen is tidy, my living room, immaculate, my bathrooms are quite nice, my bedroom is peaceful. My office? Oy.
The picture above is my desk this very moment, as I’m writing this post. I’ll walk you through my process with a series of questions as I ask myself about my desk:
What is your desk saying to you? It’s telling me that I’ve spent time working on the “fun” tasks around the house instead of being better self-disciplined about working at my desk. My desk is saying, “You’re in the middle of about 14 projects right now and none of them are getting done. Let’s whittle down the list and get you more focused so you can complete each task at hand.”
What items could you immediately put away quickly and easily? The sunscreen, the empty water glass, the bottle of essential oil, the tape measure, the calculator, the tech zipper pouch, the check register, and the pen can all be put away immediately. They all have homes and I can put them away without any big decision-making or having to create a file or place for them to live.
Is there anything in this pile that needs immediate action or attention? Yes, the paint chips need to go back into my purse for my errand running this morning, along with my check and deposit slip.
Is there anything in this pile that will require more time and attention to complete it or put it away? Why, yes, all the paperwork is in the middle of me creating my new Swiftfile system and customer files. They don’t have a permanent home yet and I’m making file folders, labels, and sorting out my best method of keeping them at my fingertips.
Why do lose items feel free to flock to my desk and sit there? Ouch. This gets real. We’re back to “I don’t love working with paper” and it shows. The Stuff Magnet shows up primarily from a poor system, “too tired to deal with it” or extreme busyness.
Every single day, it shows.
I can say, however, that this particular mess is there because of my efforts to tame my paper dragon. So at least I’m working on it instead of avoiding it this time! We have been entertaining a guest, right on the tails of my being gone for a week, so this mess is reasonable but could have been minimized if I had my system in place prior to the crunch.
The biggest reason I have a pile on my desk is due to my “I’ll put it here because I want to make sure I remember it and will deal with it later.” The key in that sentence is “deal with it later.” Using “later” as a deadline never works out well unless I’ve developed a consistent habit of dealing with “later.” Apparently, my habit-building needs more work to reach a level of consistency that will surpass my piling habit. Granted, sometimes you just hit critical mass and things just have to wait. But that was only part of my problem this week.
So guess what I’m doing today? Yeah, working on my desk and clearing it of indecision, “later,” “finish creating my filing system,” and “I’ve been so busy” . . . which will happen because today is my day to catch up after our guest returns home and Roger and I get back into our normal routine.
Check your Stuff Magnet areas. Ask the above questions. See if they will help reveal why stuff flocks to your area and feels free to hang out!
Where is your Stuff Magnet?