Clutter. That’s what I’ve been dealing with lately. Not just at home, but at work where piles and piles of documents that people drop off lie on my desk in stack upon stack upon binder upon folder upon bin upon stack.

Obviously, I’m a bit behind. I’m not sure that being so swamped is all that unusual. So much work, so few people, and so little time.

I haven’t found a good system to keep track of all of the requests. And there’s no due dates to prioritize them with. I’m the kind of person who thrives on due dates. I want to know where the new work fits in with all the other work that I already have started. But people just drop things off and disappear, never to return again.

It’s like their part is done. They can wipe the sweat off their brow and tell their boss, “I gave it to Maery.” Some of these people have even retired or moved on to other jobs. So who do I even go to if I have a question? Who do I give the finished project back to?

I’m sure these requester people are in the same boat as me. New work, hot projects, have pushed the old work aside. But I’m wondering… if a request is more than two years old, and no one has returned to check on my progress, can I just toss it? Or maybe shove it into a box?

I should have taken a photo before I started to stack things neatly on my desk. I even brought cleaning supplies to mop the dust Flemish Giants (largest breed of bunny in the world) off of my desk surface. But no. I’d rather not capture my Cubeland dwelling to gaze at in fond remembrance. I’d rather carry these sorts of images around in my brain.

And I think that’s why sitting night after night writing a book is so hard. How much computer monitor staring, mouse clicking, and key tapping can one person take?

If anyone has suggestions for making job computer work all day and writing computer work for a couple hours in the evening more bearable, I’d love to hear them.

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  1. Ah, I suffer from this too. I use a system called 43 folders to diarize work and present the “memos” back to the people who assign it so they can tell me what they would like me to do – ditch it or finish it? There are websites that can help you set it up. I like that it is a paper system. People seem to respond better to a single piece of paper.

    As for home? Make your work space wonderful. Have beautiful things to look at it and inspire while you work on your book. Then the computer becomes a tool, like a beautiful pen and notebook, rather than a monitor mouse keyboard!

  2. Have ya thought of writin’ the old fashion way. Sometimes it opens up the writing creative juices just by simply puttin’ pen to paper. It can also be quite soothing.

    Just sayin’….

    God bless and may those creative juices flow.

    We always benefit from ’em! :o)

  3. I like Nezzy’s idea. I do a lot of outlining when I’m writing, and that’s better to do with a pencil and paper. That would give you a break from the computer.

    Decluttering is so hard to do… I am terrible at it so I’m afraid that I can’t help you with it. But, I’d say that a request that no one followed up on in 2 years can be forgotten.

  4. Far Side, I have been using the record feature on my phone to record ideas I get while I’m driving but I also have software that transcribes that I should try.

    Kath, good ideas for work issue and for my work area at home. Right now, my home office is pretty cluttered with stuff.

    Nezzy, I can’t hand write for very long because my hands start hurting. But I do hand write a journal where I put story notes and things to follow up on later.

    KB – Yes, I do believe that anything that sits that long without follow up can be ignored indefinitely. Too many new things coming in my door to address.

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