Monday, June 05, 2006

My God! I Have A Chair!

It's totally immature to crow about this, but the chair in my cubicle is empty!

Long before I started this digging out process, I had a mail crate that was full to overflowing with papers, articles, notes that some day...

Sometimes I stashed this box of dreams and regrets under my desk in my cubicle. Sometimes it was smack dab in the little amount of space that I have, tripping me up. Lately, I've been keeping it my chair as an incentive to empty it. It has taken nearly six weeks to empty it.

So why did an 18-inch pile take so long to go through?
Because I'm trying to finish what I start -- and that is a priority.

One of the main reasons I used to have piles on my desk is that I'd finish a story, the article would get published, yet my notes and phone numbers would stay in a file on my desk. The files grew into towering piles, which hemmed me in physically and psychologically.

Now I'm trying to go through those story files immediately after the story is published -- kind of like doing the dishes after dinner instead of leaving them in the sink. I make sure I keep track of the phone numbers and contacts, check my notes, look over reports and toss what I don't need -- which is 90 percent of it. That process can take me about half an hour per story.

Given a choice between staying current with these ongoing organizational tasks, or getting to the backlog, I've chosen to stay current. The reason staying current matters is because the key to this whole thing, I think, is to have a plan for your work and then, as they say, work the plan.
The Box Of Backlog gets more out of date by the minute, which means regrets for some of the ideas that have been lost in the sands of time. On the other hand, there's nothing that screams trash louder than a two-year-old press release! It makes the tossing all that much easier.

After I emptied the mail crate and returned it to the mailroom, I went out for a cup of celebratory latte. Now, I think I'm going to sit on my chair and read something, before I start the rest of my day.

Anybody else have a triumph? You can confess your mess, but you can also trumpet your triumph.

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