The other day I spent hours at a coffee shop being incredibly focused on my writing. I came home feeling centered and productive, until I sat down at my desk. Which looked like this…
Instead of going right back to working on my book I was distracted by everything staring back at me. There were about eleven million things “to do” scribbled on various pieces of paper, a couple of library books I needed to renew, two books on creativity, three of my own journals (all dedicated to different purposes), five bills to be paid, piles of fliers to post, a stack of my son’s artwork (he likes to use my desk as his own creative space), gift certificates to use, a grinning fish on a card (and a partridge in a pear tree).
In the middle of it all sits my netbook. My mind, like my desk, quickly became filled with a sense of being overwhelmed. There was no room to simply breathe. In a split moment my focus was gone. Instead of opening the file to my book and continuing with my writing, I sat and stared at everything not knowing what to do next. Productivity came to a complete halt as I spun my mental wheels in circles not getting anywhere at all.
By that time I was feeling a bit hungry, so I took a lunch break.
As I ate my penne with sun dried tomatoes, a light bulb went off in my head. I realized that my cluttered desk is a reflection of my cluttered mind. I have allowed myself to become mentally disorganized.
Being creative I’m always coming up with new ideas for artwork, blog posts, book ideas, journal projects, business ideas, website improvements, etc. It’s a great trait, don’t get me wrong. The only trouble is that without a plan for organizing all of these ideas, it can feel like a zoofull of wild animals running around inside my head.
Before another creative monkey was set loose in there I knew I needed to get to work. I needed to organize these thoughts… and clear off my desk.
I took the time right then to sift and sort through the piles. As I did so, I took immediate action on as many of the little tasks as I could. Instead of putting it all off for another time, another day, I did it right away. I paid the bills. I renewed my books. I sent out those e-mails on the to-do list.
What amazed me is how little time it all really took. Now those items no longer clutter my desk or my mind. By spending the time to address all those little things and finding a dedicated home for the other items, I have found my breathing space (apparently my cat has too.)
Doesn’t that look better? Ahhhh…..
Now that my desk is organized, I need to do this with my thoughts too. I can take the time to sit and address all of the little mental piles I have accumulated, sort through them and take ACTION right away.
There are countless little things that we all hold onto that keep us from being able to focus. Like sitting down to write at a cluttered desk, we can not bring our total concentration to the present moment if our minds are cluttered.
How about you, are you clutter free? What do you do to keep your creative thoughts and life organized?
Love & Blessings,