It’s “Clean Up Week”, Day 1

I have hereby deemed this week “Clean Up Week”.  I know it is time to go a little nutty cleaning up when I find myself staring at little piles of paper or clothes in random places.  I have become more aware over time that these little messes take up actual head space that can be counter productive and simply unhealthy.  Don’t wait for the New Year; join me in my journey to clean up stuff this week!

My office is first on my list.  Luckily my office is fairly clean, so I am going to tackle the desk, which needs help pretty badly.

As is the case with many of my posts, I stole the following ideas from books, blogs and articles.  I can’t reiterate this enough:  When you want to learn about something, research it as if you want to become an expert on the subject.  Everything you read will lead you somewhere else, and you will feel so much better off as you continue your journey to learn the next new thing.  It won’t be long until you are an expert yourself!

The biggest challenge for me is going to be compiling all the little notes and papers around my office into one place.  I’m not a huge “folder guy”, but I am going to become one.  I also will need to clean up my computer’s desktop as well as my physical one!  Should be interesting..

Here’s the plan first thing tomorrow morning:

1.  I’m completely emptying my desk, unplugging everything, and putting it all in a pile in the middle of my room.  I’ll have a pile of blank folders, a couple of boxes, and a notebook by my side.

2.  I’m going through every item in the pile and processing it in some way or another.  I have a few choices here:  Items go in the trash,  go in a file (an existing file or one I create on the spot), go on a list to do later in my notebook, or get delegated to someone else.  Thanks to David Allen, author of “Getting Things Done”, I learned to do things such as making a pile of  tasks that will take me 2 minutes or less to do and complete them immediately.  At this point in my morning I should have one pile left:  items to do later.  I’ll create a “to-do” list for these.

3.  I’ll hook up my computer and accessories and arrange wires accordingly.  Any other shwag on my desk (pictures, golf balls, etc.) goes bye-bye.

4.  Pens that no longer work will get tossed.  The inside top drawer will be organized with only the supplies I need.

5.  I have a ton of books in my room.  They will get organized by subject.  Hopefully I can give a bunch away.  This will be an extended project, but I’ll send an email out to people offering the books up, at least.

4.  I’ll do this once a day from here on out (although there will be no need for the big pile on the floor; I’ll have an “IN” basket).  This should take 10 minutes daily.

I also pledge to never use Post-It Notes again; my notebook will be my primary place to write everything.  Any printouts of online material will get thrown out, since I will have a digital copy already.  I will also keep blank file folders and labels on my desk.

Hopefully my “Clean Up Week” will be the start of enduring good habits, not a crisis-control mechanism.  Join me in cleaning up this week, and post any methods you have for cleaning your desk in the comments!

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