Sunday, March 19, 2006

I'm Grabbing My Shovel Again

3:30 p.m. Sunday, March 19, 2006
When I started this project I had 4,330 some emails. On Saturday, March 11, after a day of creating systems and files, I moved the number to 4,200 and kept it that way all week, making sure I dealt with every email every day. When I left Friday I had 3,700, because I spent one hour getting rid of 500 by sorting by sender.

I've also been keeping track of the volume. On Wednesday and Friday, I had 76 emails each day. On Tuesday, I had 100, and on Thursday, 96. I'm not sure if that is normal or alot. What do you folks get and how do you deal with it?

My goal today is to dump at least 1,000 more before 6:30 p.m! I have coffee, water, aspirin and unlimited access to my editor's chocolate stash on his desk, so I'm ready to go!

6:30 p.m.
I made it! I got down to 2713 -- the 13 are brand new since I left work on Friday and I will try to trim them down now.

7:00 p.m.
Down to 2,500 and I quit. Most fun? Tossing out way too many emails from my bosses. They say it takes a village to raise a child. Judging from how many emails I get from my many, many bosses, it takes a vast urban metropolis to supervise me. Thanks to them though, I was able to cut so many and so I now feel very productive!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jane! I've never visited a blog page until reading your article in today's paper. INterestingly, I just last week held a family meeting in which I presented and action plan for "digging" out our basement. As this has been ongoing for some 25 years, the ultimatum was if it wasn't begun and continued until finished, I would file for divorce this week.

7:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jane!

I'd never visited a blog page until reading your article in today's paper. Interestingly, I just last week held a family meeting in which I presented and action plan for "digging out" our basement. As this has been an ongoing issue for some 25 years, the ultimatum was if it wasn't begun this weekend, and continued for however long it took to finish, I would file for divorce this week. I had threatened this over the years, but this time it was in writing and copied for each family member to read. It worked to some extent. Though we didn't put in the 8 hours each day I had envisioned, things started moving.

Not sure if your readers are aware of it or not, but there is a serious disorder called obsessive hoarding disorder (OHD) that makes it next to impossible for those who have it to let go of things. They literally feel they are throwing out a piece of themselves..There is much on the internet addressing this malady.

My husband finally addressed that fact and has been in therapy for it for about a year. I don't see a big change, but a few small ones. I wish we had known about OHD earlier in our marriage so that he could get treatment. He recognizes that the clutter is overwhelming, but is extremely resistant to anyone helping him. I have extremely good organizational skills, but whenever I try to make things more organized and efficient, they never stay that way.

The inability to effect an orderly household has sucked me into not caring, which leads to my not even trying to organize, which makes me depressed and angry. It's a cycle we haven't been able to break and which has led me to take charge and ultimately deliver an ultimatum. (I'm a "take charge" person when it comes to myself and my son, but am uncomfortable taking charge of adults. It's something I need to work on).

I have come to realize that we all have different skill sets and that by sharing the the skills that we don't bring to the table, we can make life a bit easier. But it has to be welcome. The challenge is to overcome the resistance, personally, or in working with another. In my case, we are both skilled tradespeople. My husband works alone most of the time, where I have always worked with a partner--so what he sees as "taking over", I see as trying to "work with." When you share a space with someone who has OHD, that person does not see how his "things" take over the spaces that are shared areas in the house without consideration of the needs of others. Maybe the ultimatum was extreme, but I had exhausted all my other options, and this did work this time.

Just thought I'd share...

8:07 AM  
Blogger Jane M. Von Bergen said...

Anonymous made a very interesting point about people who work at home. Some of them are used to working alone, so that's a real issue when spouses want to help them organize. They can easily see it as interference, not as collegiality.
Hmmm... Food for thought.

I can actually see that at my house, where my husband is in his own business.

I don't think one has to have obsessive-compulsive disorder for that "working alone" dynamic to come into play. But obviously OCD exacerbates the problem. Thanks Anonymous for your posting.

11:23 AM  

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