Last month I challenged myself to clear off my desk every night at the end of my work day. I'd found, like many people who work from home, that work can easily spill into the whole day. I was feeling overwhelmed. Clearing off my desk felt like a good way to tell my brain it was time to stop for the day. Now I don't know about you but I've found that if I put things into folders and out of sight, they can easiy go out of mind! How would I clear off my desk without putting everything away? My other challenge is that my office is not hidden away but right off my kitchen, smack dab in the middle of my home for everyone to see. And, frankly, I don't have a lot of places to put stuff away even if I wanted to.
I considered these problems for long time and I finally came up with a solution that works for me. My solution was to find a box with a lid into which I piled everything that was left on my desk at the end of the day. Not only did it address the biggest stress for me (visual clutter) but by going through everything that was in the box at the beginning of the day, I was reminded of everything on my to do list (even things I decided I would wait to handle) and I found that I felt less anxiety about things slipping through the cracks. The box was also a good place to throw things during the day that I didn't have time to deal with knowing that they'd at least get a once over the next day (return addresses I'd torn from envelopes that I didn't have time to input right that minute, bills, letters I wanted to respond to, coupons, etc.). Also, even when I lost stuff on my desk (happens!) I felt confident that I'd find it the next morning when I was going through everything. I also felt comfortable allowing my desk to get as messy as it needed to be knowing that it'd all go into the box at the end of the day. Simple, effective and so far it's a system that's been working for me. The hardest part is making going through the box first thing in the morning a priority over emails, checking Twitter and the many other false but persistent alarms that usually start my day.
What about you? What was your home resolution and how'd your 30 day challenge go?
(Image: Abigail Stone)