Thursday, May 14, 2015

Making Space for...

When I was in high school and college I worked at the same company as my mom. Technically, I worked for my mother. I did various things, which we may discuss at some other time if we ever get into our origin stories. What I learned from that job, other than a passing knowledge of microbiology (which isn't really helpful in any way, surprisingly), I learned from watching my mom go about her business.

One of the things she did was have a very tidy workspace. Surely this came from her many years running a research lab -- you can't just leave mouse spleens laying around at the end of the day.  One of the labs that my mother ran was a dirty lab, dirty in that they worked with live human pathogens that could kill you. Put everything away, clean everything, check again, check again. When working in an office, she cleaned and organized her workspace.  Daily neatening, the last hour of her week cleaning her area thoroughly.  Monday morning met with a neat clean ready-to-go workspace.

I managed to pick up some of these habits and carry them to both my kitchen and my shop, but I struggle with them at work. When the end of the work day comes I tend to pack everything into my bag and take it home. Things get more and more disorganized throughout the week, until I need to take a half-day to sort it all out. Random things get spread across my desk and I know that my calculator doesn't go there but I'm "too busy" to take three seconds to put it where it does go.

In this time between class sessions, though, I have enough time to get to inbox zero, so it is a good time to try to reinstate a habit of orderliness. It is important for me because this orderliness has a huge impact on my efficiency and clarity of mind. So I will take tomorrow to organize my office. I will book off the last hour of Friday on my calendar every week to make time for neatening the office. I will resolve once again to take the first and last 20 minutes of the day setting priorities and organizing my tasks.

We let some things slide because they are fundamental. Because we don't appreciate fully how other things are built on them. What core practices help you be your best self? How do you value these in your work day? Let me know in the comments!

Keep Rockin'

1 comment:

Jessica Olin said...

I do it at the end of each day - I take a half hour to straighten my (very small) office and write a list of things I both need and want to accomplish the next day. I make sure to look at my appointments so the list is realistic.