When All Else Fails…Clean

timerTell us your tried and true techniques for focusing when that deadline looms and you need to get work done. In other words, how do you avoid wasted days and wasted nights?

As I’ve aged, being able to focus has felt like the last rung of a ladder just out of reach when the sand monster is chomping at your feet.  You know that if you could just extend the reach an inch farther, you could get it done.

One of my mentors, Victoria, always appeared to be on task, very productive; regardless of the fact that all others around her might be losing their minds.  There were many late afternoons when I was a student, and then an employee; I would find Victoria squirreled away in her office.  Tucked behind piles of things, she was always busy: writing, filing, typing, reviewing, putting things into scrapbooks. 

Her office wasn’t big.  It was lined with bookshelves and two and four-drawer file cabinets, and a desk of course. The tight space was never messy, at least not by my standards.  Piles, sure, but everything had a spot and everything was in a spot.  One of the things I learned from her particularly when it came to meeting deadlines, was to clean up before you start.  In other words, when a project was finished, be done with it.  File the papers, put the boxes back where they belong, make the new list of tasks and move on.

swordI find that when meeting a deadline is like the sword of Damocles over my head, I stop, look around my space, and I put things back where they belong.  The un-filed folders that have stacked up as people come in and out of my office for a “quick question”, find their way back into the drawer.  The recycling bin gets put next to the door so it can be easily emptied by the custodian.  Pens and pencils are returned to the plastic drawer container on my desk, and the hundred little post-its are put into and envelope in my desk for when I need them in the future.  And, I clean out the coffee cup that I’ve forgotten to take down to the kitchen for three days finally gets washed.

Today I thank Victoria for yet another lesson on how to be successful at work and in life.  Thanks, VA!

Wasted Bloggers:

  1. Why Bother | AS I PLEASE
  2. When Morning Breaks | The Mirror Obscura
  3. Daily Prompt: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights- Psychology, Why People Are Lazy | Journeyman
  4. Procrastination | Knowledge Addiction
  5. The Match (Part 8) The Ride To Mother’s | The Jittery Goat
  6. DP Daily Prompt: Wasted days and wasted nights | Sabethville
  7. Daily Prompt: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
  8. Focus! | The Ambitious Drifter
  9. directions | yi-ching lin photography
  10. Just Do It Piece By Piece | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  11. Forever Distracted | Musings | The Wangsgard
  12. Boredom! Wasted Time! If only… Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  13. Make a Plan and Stick to It | Under the Monkey Tree
  14. Daily Prompt: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  16. Footprints on the Sands of Time | marjanitalarosa
  17. Just Get Started | wisskko’s blog
  18. Changing Direction | Inspirations
  19. Phoenix Nights | Views Splash!
  20. Deadlines/Smeadlines | Dragon Droppings
  21. The Slits in Time | The Colours of Life
  22. of unforgivable douchbaggery | Anawnimiss
  23. 291. Wasted Days and Wasted Nights | Barely Right of Center
  24. Daily Prompt: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights | A Day In The Life
  25. Daily Prompt: Wasted Days and Wasted Nights | seikaiha’s blah-blah-blah
  26. Wasted Days and Wasted Nights | new2writing

8 thoughts on “When All Else Fails…Clean

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