12 August 2011

Clearing Out

A number of years ago I worked as a trainer, business people not animals!  One of the courses I trained was a personal efficiency course.  The first part of the course was a workshop session, but the rest took place at the person’s desk/work area, putting all the theory into practice.  It’s interesting that just knowing something doesn’t necessarily help us in the everyday practice of it.
To help me get back into the groove of writing, I realised I had to get my head clear, and for me part of that is having a tidy workplace.  That's just me.  I know plenty of people who happily work with stuff piled high around them.  I can cope with that for a short time, if it’s there for research, or my technical writing projects.  But now was the time to clear through everything, decide what what could be scanned, filed, and what I could throw out.
I am also busy with work at the moment so I didn’t choose the best time, but sometimes things just have to be done.
Everyone knows about the To Do list.  We’ve all made them.  You might even have one sitting on your desk or kitchen counter.  A To Do list is okay, but it’s just the first step.  It can languish there never getting cleared, or looming over you and making you feel worse. 
The next steps are to prioritise the tasks, work out how long each is going to take, and then allocate a date/time to each one. 
I put the tasks in my Outlook calendar, but do what works best for you.  It could be a physical calendar on the wall, a whiteboard, or any of the electronic gadgets we carry around.  The main thing is to allocate time to the tasks on the list, either long enough to finish the task, or at least make a dent in it (and add another date to complete).
I’ve worked on this for the past two weeks and being able to see the wood of my desk (dining table) is such a good feeling.  Just that makes me feel more creative.
It’s not a case of waiting for the muse to call, but doing what I know I need to help it along.  Happy writing.

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