Ugh, I have to do something about this office. I absolutely cannot work in this mess! I had finally reached the end of my rope with my office.
Many of you may know already that my office is a never-ending source of frustration for me. As I talked about in the post How’s Your Environmental Wellness, when my desk is a mess, I just can’t work.
The problem is, it’s hard for my desk not to get messy because I’m out of room in my office. My bookshelves are overflowing, I’ve got more craft supplies than any one person could use in a lifetime, and I have additional bins of books that won’t fit on the shelves.
This week, I’ve finally been able to articulate what I really want to do in this next phase of my life and I need a space to work that supports it. It’s time to get serious about cleaning up my office once and for all.
It’s a big job, and I’ve been dealing with a lot of pain issues over the last month. Of course, my sweet husband offered to help in any way he can, but this is something I really need to do myself so I know where everything is.
I’ve put it off for long enough. It was time to “bite the bullet” and get started on it….
First, I had to prioritize my work. What was going to give me the “most bang for my buck”? I decided on my closet. It has wall-to-wall shelves that I use to store craft supplies, photos and other mementos, and office equipment.
I determined this would be my first priority because I want to get rid of one set of bookshelves, and in order to do that, I need to be able to move some baskets of office supplies that I keep on my shelves to the closet. Getting those into the closet will clear up at least two shelves.
Next, I had to actually start working, and honestly, just opening that closet door was almost enough to send me screaming from the room. There was so much stuff in there, some of which I haven’t used at all for the six years we’ve lived in this house, that it’s kind of overwhelming.
I decided to apply the ONE THING philosophy — What ONE THING can I do today that will move me closer to my goals? I decided I would do one “thing” per day – one box, one basket, one bin – until it was all done. For each of those things, I’m making a decision to keep, donate, or trash immediately – no putting things aside to deal with later.
Doing one thing per day is not ideal, and my Type-A personality is fighting me every step of the way. That voice in my head keeps screaming that it’s going to take forever, but I know it’s the way that I can get this done without my fibromyalgia flaring up and stopping me mid-way through. It will also allow me to get things straightened out permanently. If I have somewhere to put everything, my desk won’t get piled up with things that shouldn’t be there.
Things are progressing much more quickly than I thought they would. I’ve made quite a bit of room in there and I have a bin full of things to donate so far.
Once the closet is done, I’ll start working on my bookshelves. I’ll keep using the ONE THING philosophy until my office is the place I want it to be.
It may not take as long as I thought it would….
So often, we think if we can’t get it all done at one time we might as well not attempt it. When we live with chronic pain or energy-limiting chronic illnesses, that thought process can paralyze us. The thought of having to tackle a big project all at once can discourage us and keep us from even attempting it.
Whether it’s cleaning out an office, changing our eating habits, starting an exercise program, or any of a million other things, doing just one thing each day that moves us forward can help us reach our goals without overtaxing our systems.
Doing just one thing may not sound like much, but doing that one thing time after time builds on itself and allows us to make progress, even when we deal with chronic pain and fatigue.
How do you tackle those big projects? What have you found most helpful in making progress with them? Please share!