Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Old Dog + New Tricks


I spent a day tidying up my office last week, as there were far too many work projects in, completed projects needing to be filed away in archives, and also a couple of columns due.

I am a classically chaotic person by nature; I thrive under deadlines, stress and procrastination.

But these traits have not been serving me well lately. And I ponder on the causes of such behaviours such as mine (as if knowing the underlying reason for anything will automatically cure it, ha!) whilst I endeavour to change how I do things.

For the first time in my life, I put back to its place everything I move in the office, whether file, pencil, reference book or pen before I leave it. I know where every piece of blank stock, equipment (yeah even unto the battery charger) is.

And I find, as I work, and work hard, that it is all just a little more peaceful and OMG, organized.

Is it possible to change the deeply ingrained traits of a lifetime?

We shall see.

Picture above is the view I am having today from my desk of a very stormy sea while the fire behind me warms the room.

PS And I just found out I am BLOG OF THE WEEK at the Newfoundland Blog Roll. Thank you, Stephen!

16 comments:

  1. I come from a family of genetically untidy disorganized people. But when I was young I notice that even my chaotically messy father got better as he aged. I think that as we age we have a greater and greater need for order and control of our lives. Although my desk is still very imperfect, my bed is made every day, my closets are tolerable and my kitchen is always clean.

    It wasn't always so.

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  2. I started making the bed every day about thirty years ago now and I never get over how lovely my bedroom always looks. Visitors remark on it. I grew up in a house of unmade beds. I thought made beds belonged in magazines only ;^)
    My closet got organized and only held stuff that actually fits me, about 10 years ago.
    And yes, from a life of really, really messy kitchens mine is now cleaned up every single night before bed.
    Thanks 20CW for reminding me, we CAN and DO change.
    You feel like a twin!
    XO
    WWW

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  3. The view is wonderful from your desk... I now know where you get your inspiration to write beautiful stories....

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  4. What a gorgeous view! There is nothing that wrings my withers more than a stormy sea. Comes from all those wet and windy seaside family holidays in Ballybunion, I suspect.

    Like you and Anne, I've got my bedrooms and closets under control, but the desk is still a work in progress. I do a mad cleanup every now and again, and revel in the tidiness for a while ... but then it gets away from me again. My bete noire is all the press-clippings and printouts I accumulate for my work, which desperately cry out for sorting and filing.

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  5. Congrats on writing the Blog of the Week! Since you thrive on pressure, WWW, you'll find a way to generate it regardless of how organised or chaotic your office is. And a little organisation can be very helpful — it is like tidying part of your head!

    I think that knowing the underlying reason for something won't necessarily cure it, but it will make it easier to cure or change it if that's what you want. The view is great. I love the evergreens outside, and the blue jars on the windowsill.

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  6. Am I allowed be envious of the view from your desk?

    I used to be extremely tidy with a place for everything and everything in its place... somehow tidiness is slipping up, I find I am leaving things on the table to be sorted later etc. I moved bedrooms temporarily pre-op and now I am neither in one room or the other. Clearing and sorting closets will be a priority when I return next week.

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  7. Nevin:
    It is hard NOT to be inspired by the changing face of the sea, I feel so blessed for living here.
    XO
    WWW

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  8. Tessa:
    I have a lot of clippings, language articles and historical stuff and I am finding that different labelled deep baskets and boxes serve me very well. I hate filing cabinets but have found that an open concept with baskets and wooden boxes works really, really well.
    XO
    WWW

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  9. Stan:
    Yes, these new tricks may be tiresome to the old greyhound!
    And hats off to your noticing so much!
    And once again, a nod and a wink for being shortlisted at the Irish Blog Awards!
    XO
    WWW

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  10. GM:
    As I remarked to Nevin, I feel blessed every day I walk into this magical office. From the fiftieth floors of Toronto skyscrapers this is indeed an almighty change and one long hoped for.
    Yes, that catchall dining room table I have to be especially vigilent of. It became a rat's nest last year, I counted 20 projects on it. Now it is clear once again. Ha.
    XO
    WWW

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  11. Jenny also thrives under deadlines, stress and procrastination while I'm exactly the opposite, I like a degree of order and not having too much on my plate at once. Is it possible to change the habits of a lifetime? Sometimes, if you're very strongly motivated.

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  12. As a confirmed multi-tasker, Nick, I find that no longer works very well. Forgetfulness being a major factor as the lifetime files in my head threaten to explode and ignore my 'delete' button.
    So this experiment had better pay off!
    XO
    WWW

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  13. that is a very very appealing workspace.

    i have learned to clean off ONE side of my desk every night before i leave work. it's hard for me, but it makes the mornings so much smoother.

    blog of the week, indeed! blog of the year!

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  14. I sure do like your work station with its splendid view. It must be inspiring. As for changing life long habits-perhaps necessity is the mother of change.

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  15. Laurie:
    Even one side is better than none, we need to welcome ourselves to the workstations, don't we.
    And *aw* thanks for those kind thoughts.
    XO
    WWW

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