If you walk into my house, you’ll be greeted by a cheerful entryway and a clean and tidy front room and dining room. When you pass through the front hall, you’ll notice that my kitchen is fairly picked-up with dishes (for the most part) put away and a clean table. When you enter my family room, you’ll find a cozy and comfortable room filled with beachy decor and family pictures.
However, if one were to gaze past the comfy couch, you would find my mess.
It’s not always like this, but about every three months or so life just seems to “pile-up” in the form of papers, unfinished projects, art supplies, books, teaching materials, bills and receipts to file, notes, my kids’ school papers, old to-do lists, and remnants of unfinished plans, and more.
Here it is, in all it’s ugly and messy glory…
I have tried system after system and get in a good groove for a while, but eventually the “system” stops working…because I stop working on it. Life gets fast and my desk becomes the dumping ground for everybody’s $%#!, my own included. Then this happens and I have to take time to stop and get it all organized again.
The real problem is that I don’t finish the task. For example, I get the desk tidied up but, still need to “file” papers and I think “I’ll do that later with a glass of wine, when the kids are in bed.” But then bedtime rolls around and I don’t finish the job. Then, that goes on for another day, then a week, and then a month. You know, it’s just not necessary for day-to-day living to file those papers.
Hence the question, are they even important? Why do I need to file anything? The only reason I can think of is for the “what if I need them” answer. And that goes for everything on my desk, on the floor around my desk, and any surface nearby. What is the point of all this stuff? I clearly don’t need it if it can just sit there untouched or in a “holding pattern” until I do something with it. And all this clutter is just stressing me out.
The physical mess is a direct reflection of the mind-mess happening in my head. The actual clutter builds up around me when my mind is cluttered. So, when I start to see my physical space get out of control, I know that I am in deep with brain clutter. That’s when I need to sit-down and refocus myself. I need to have a reset.
So, today is my reset.
I am putting this out there to show that my mess is just like yours. Your mess might not be your desk; it might be a room in your home, your closet, your junk drawer, or even your mind. Your mess could even show itself in your personal or work-related relationships. No matter what form your mess takes on, I think the problem is the same for all of us.
We, the collective we, do not have time or cannot find the time or do not make the time to prioritize the need to keep our mental clutter at bay. And that mental clutter stresses us out, at least me. Then (for me), it shows itself when I can’t focus, how I communicate with others, or in the way I keep my spaces tidied up. And then when I feel out of control, the task of cleaning up seems insurmountable.
In 2016, my mantra was “Just keep swimming” due to my survival mode of living at that time in my life. Looking forward, my mantra for 2017 is “try, fail, learn, grow.” I am going to push myself in new ways and willing to feel a little uncomfortable while doing it. Therefore, I am going to try something new when it comes to my physical mess, a.k.a. mental mess, I am going to make time everyday to focus myself. I am going to wake up a little bit earlier and set an intentional focus for the day. I am betting on myself that this helps me stay on top of my mental clutter and that a successful side effect will be a clean and neat desk.
So here’s to getting out of my comfort zone by waking up early, setting a daily focus, and staying on top of my goals!!
I challenge you to do something that makes you feel a little UNCOMFORTABLE and therefore makes you grow as a human, just a little bit by learning something new about yourself. You are CAPABLE of so much in a day, didn’t waste the TIME you’ve been given on meaningless tasks or stresses. FOCUS on your goals and how you’ll accomplish them. Then get out there and do it! You’re side effect might just be less mental clutter, too!
Today, my focus is to empty my brain by organizing myself…but first the desk…the desk.
I’ll report back and let you know how it goes.
There are no happy accidents.
If you liked this post, you might also like: