in Daily Life

A Clean Mess

I’m in the process of cleaning my desk. It’s a mess. It was smart to set aside space in the guest room for my office: I’m able to come here for peace and quiet when I need to get writing done, especially on Sunday afternoons. But setting aside a space for writing hasn’t helped with my tendency toward clutter. If anything, I’ve become messier.

I have a habit of jotting down story ideas on whatever scrap of paper is at hand when I have the inspiration.

  • Here’s a broad overview for “Get Rich Slowly: The Book” scribbled on a napkin from a restaurant.
  • Here’s a barely legible note — “How much in an emergency fund? — on last week’s shopping list.
  • On letterhead from my day job, I’ve neatly printed notes describing “how to test-drive a career”. I have a rough outline for the entry. I’ve even written a quote from a Broadway musical related to the subject.
  • I often get ideas while driving to and from work. I listen to many self-development books on my iPod while commuting. These frequently spark ideas. Here’s one: “Small town personal finance”
  • On the back of library receipt I’ve jotted ideas for improving site layout. I remember writing these down while stuck in traffic.
  • My wife and I recently watched a screener for an upcoming film about credit. I have several pages of notes on that. Far more notes than will ever make it to the actual review at Get Rich Slowly.

These are just a few of the notes cluttering my desk. Add to that the stack of personal finance magazines, the tumble of books, and the dirty tea mugs and you have a very messy space.

In fact, I shouldn’t even be writing this. I should get back to cleaning!

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  1. I’d kill for my own space! I share the office with my partner, who is at least as messy as me. We have two desks, but they are in an “L” shape next to each other and we can’t sit at our desks at the same time. Even if I could, there’s the lack of quite issue.

    Here’s to messes and procrastination!