Somewhere, someone has designated today National Clean Off Your Desk Day.
This is according to checkiday. Personally, I could use a month (or two… or three).
It’s a good idea to clear the decks periodically. Unfortunately, when I do this, I usually end up revisiting stuff I’ve put aside for “later consideration.”
This is not a new characteristic for me. When tasked with cleaning my room as a child, I usually ended up finding a beloved book under my bed that I just had to reread – right then. This meant that tidying my room usually took all day (if I was lucky).
When I clean my desk of paper or electronic files, I still get distracted. There’s that scrap of paper with an idea for a new blog post! There’s the notebook with scribbles for a Christmas story! There’s an old newspaper clipping about September 11, 2001. There’s the project file for a graduate class.
This isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes I trip across just the right item I’ve forgotten about that proves useful right then.
Cleaning my desk – getting rid of things I don’t need any more and properly filing the things I do – saves me time in the long run. I don’t end up plowing through debris to find what I need when I need it. On the other hand, a bit of chaos is the spice of life.
When I worked for a newspaper, we used to joke that that my desk was a transfer station and the senior news editor’s desk was the landfill (which I inherited when I took the post). I just can’t have a clean, neat desk. It’s just not in me.
But I am determined to decrease the piles substantially. Now all I have to do is to steel myself against all those temptations!