June 23, 2020

  1. Let family members know you'll be in "Do Not Disturb" (DND) mode working (a/k/a mucking up the clutter) in the home office area for a while. Make sure you ask them in advance if they need help with anything beforehand so as to minimize any possible interruptions while you're working (I mean -- while you're having so much fun).
  2. Put a reminder sign on the door thanking everyone for not disturbing you until "x" o'clock. Humor helps too: "Open door at your own risk - Really Grouchy Person Within!
  3. Close the home office door or if no door, put on your headset or ear pods to block out noise as best as you can.
  4. Turn on your favorite energizing music or  a more relaxed, gentle genre if it fits your work style better.
  5. Set a timer for at least 30 minutes and preferably 60 to 90 minutes if possible. 
  6. Turn on your favorite energizing music or  a more relaxed, gentle genre if it fits your work style better.
  7. Pick the most cluttered area of the room or on your desk.  Zero in with complete tunnel vision solely on your mission.
  8. Begin mucking the chaos up one item at a time by putting each in one of two labeled temporary files (labeled something like ASAP and Action Needed)  or straight into a nearby trashcan.  If it's something you need to work on within the week, it goes into the Action Needed file folder (WARNING: Unless a document or object is literally on fire, resist - resist - resist the impulse to work on anything except decluttering right then - no matter how much you may want to - even a 2 minute distraction can throw you totally out of sync with your mission). The other folder is for ASAP matters that should be done within the next 48 hours). My hot or ASAP file is red so it stands out on my desk or in my file drawer (as long as it's a drawer you open daily that is).
  9. Every 15 minutes take a 1 to 3 minute stretch or dance like crazy moment. Breathe deeply and slowly for a bit and then sit back down with that buzzard-like focus on the current section or pile that you're mucking up.
  10. When your 30, 60 or 90 minutes is up, you should have more trash, fatter "Action Needed and ASAP" files and a cleaner room or desk. Feels good, doesn't it? Just take a few seconds to look around and focus on what you've done (NOT on what is left to do, please!) and be very pleased with yourself for doing what you set out to do.
  11. Thank the family or roommates for honoring your DND time (if they did that is) and reward yourself with some time outdoors, a healthy snack or other fun activity.
  12. Make an appointment with me, myself and I ---one that you intend to keep (7 days or less if possible and no more than 10) for continuing  the great home office muck up project.  Tell yourself frequently - "I can't wait to do more mucking!" The positive reinforcement is at least  worth a try and saying the word "muck" just feels good.  Be careful and avoid saying it too fast or slurring your words, however, if you know what I mean.
  13. Please share your tips and other input in the comment section below and as always, many thanks for adding your 2 cents worth and for dropping by.


WHICH DESK TOP BELOW DO WE PREFER?

About the author 

Nancy Byerly Jones

Nancy Byerly Jones and her husband reside on their mountainside ranch (“Little Hee Haw Farm”) with an energetic “family” of horses, donkeys (large and miniature), dogs and cats. Their favorite pastime is sharing the joy and fun of their animals and ranch life with their family, friends and clients.

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  1. I hadn’t thought of praising myself for a job (well) done! That personal encouragement might help. (usually pretty hard on myself..) Thanks for the pointers!

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