The Magic of Decluttering

"My advice is: Clear Your Desk!...  A clear desk means a clear mind, and a clear mind has vision and perspective.  If you are bogged down in paperwork, that's exactly where you'll stay.

"Working with a clear desk increases productivity, creativity and job satisfaction.  An excellent habit to acquire is always leave your desk clear whenever you finish.  It is psychologically far more uplifting to start with a clear desk rather than with mounds of paperwork, which make you feel defeated before you even begin.

"So begin now by removing from your desk absolutely all paperwork that is pending your attention and all objects that are not absolutely vital.  I'm talking here about leaving only real essentials, such as a computer, telephone, pen and notebook.  Keep other extraneous equipment such as staplers, pots of pens, paper clips, fluffy toys, bags of munchies, and so on, on a nearby shelf or in your desk drawer."

--Karen Kingston, Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, rev. ed. (2010), chapter 11.

Okay, so I cleared almost everything off of my desk on Monday, leaving only my desktop, a statuette of the Virgin, a mug of pens, a diptych of the Virgin and Child and Crucifixion, a lamp, a bookweight, a timer, and a coaster.  Oh, plus two little pots, a small heart-box, a candle holder, and a glass sun-face.  Everything else (and, yes, there was plenty more) I moved onto shelves or put away in drawers.

Within 48 hours,
  • I finished the footnotes on an article that I first gave as a conference paper eight years ago and sent it off to the editor of the festschrift in which it is going to appear.
  • I received and corrected the proofs on an article that I first gave as a talk five years ago, which will be published in another festschrift this winter.
  • I received an invitation to submit a piece to yet another collection and realized that I might be able to send an article that I first gave as a conference paper twelve years ago.
  • I got a note from the editor to yet another volume to which I contributed a piece six years ago asking for my mailing address for my author's copy of the book.
If that isn't magic, I don't know what is.


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