Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Head Space

enbiggen v. to grow a small job in your head until it's too overwhelming to deal with; a technique used by master procrastinators to avoid starting tasks

I am highly skilled in enbiggening. One day I left a few pieces of paper on my desk and when I looked the next day I saw this:

The problem with enbiggening is that after avoiding what would have taken minutes for a few weeks, my desk actually looked like that. That picture was taken this morning, along with this one:

My home office is where much of the non-teaching part of running the yoga studio happens. It's where I do my bookkeeping, create flyers and plan workshops. It's also where I write my blog posts, answer emails, schedule my son's homeschooling assignments, write letters and, occasionally, play on Facebook.

When my office gets messy, I don't want to use it. My brain doesn't focus well when surrounded by clutter. I need open space for my head to function at its best. Besides, my laptop wobbles when it's perched on piles of paper.

I've been putting off cleaning it up, because I'd enbiggened the large job into something monumental and I just didn't have three straight days I could block out on my calendar for office cleaning. But my dear friend and life coach, Annie, stopped by the other night and happened to see the office. She immediately put on her life coach hat and said something very profound like "no wonder you aren't getting anything done!" only much more eloquently and life-coachy.

Then she offered to bring me a big basket to hold all the stuff on the top of my desk. I knew I had to tackle the job, even if I didn't have three straight days, to get my head into a better space, and to avoid dying of embarrassment the next time a friend drops in.

This morning I got out of bed (an accomplishment in itself lately) and started in right after breakfast. Thirty minutes later it looked like this:

An hour later it looked like this:

All I had left to deal with was this:

Those papers were filed or put in an organized "to-do" pile in less than thirty minutes. The job I had enbiggened into a three-day fiasco actually took ninety minutes.

That's the way it is with procrastination. There are so many things I put off because I assume the time I have to give them is more than I have. And some of them are fun things I'd really like to do. Like writing blog posts.

This is where I'm writing now:

Better, right?

And here's a picture of my dog in my office, because she was there and looking cute:

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