Increasing Productivity (aka decluttering the office)

Long standing favorite movie of mine is Fight Club. After watching it, I want to go live in an abandoned building filled with random magazines in the leaky basement. But, in all honestly, my favorite part is when Tyler turns to the Narrator in the bar and says, “The more things you own, the more they own you.”

How powerful is that? I’m pretty sure Marie Kondo would be proud of the idea, maybe not the execution of Tyler’s plan. Did you feel the same sharp intake of breath when this truth is spoken? Maybe you need to hear it again:

“The more things you own, the more they own you”

Chuck Palahniuk from Fright Club

This week in the Declutter Challenge, it was the office. This is an area I struggle with because we all use it, but not daily. The random things that nobody knows what to do with end up on the desk. Crafts are started here, as is homework, school projects, and my book business. When were on quarantine last year, this is where I lived.

Now that we are back to a semi-normal, I’m not in the office as much. This is what has happened:

The Goal

I will transform my office area from a dump zone into a functioning work space so I can more efficiently run my blog/book business/school work and spend more quality time with the kids instead of cleaning. I will have this space cleaned out by February 28, 2021.

Book: Getting Things Done by David Allen

Bible Verse: 1 Corinthians 14:40 “But all things should be done decently and in order.”

Taking the Advice of Professionals

The decluttering challenge I follow gives one week to declutter in each room. This was going to be a bigger undertaking, so the office gets a month. In the Book Getting Things Done, David spends four chapters on it. I spent the week dumping out all the drawers and folders and going through it all and piling it in an “in” box, a “to be read later” box, and a “stuff to deal with” box. Not quite what either of these professionals recommends, but it was the best I could do.

Then I dedicated four hours to going through the piles.

FOUR HOURS! Just me and the stuff. Two garbage bags later, I’m down to a more manageable “in” box, and a smaller pile of stuff I’m not sure what to do with. This is where I will need to call in one of my girlfriends who will just throw away the stuff that needs to be thrown away. See, I totally understand how the stuff you own really owns you.

Honestly, I’ve started this book several times, and never been able to push past page 93 — at least that is where all my notes end. This time, I think I was ready to finally feel the freedom of getting into the swing. David explains that being in the swing is a “condition of working, doing, and being in which the mind is clear and constructive things are happening.” Our job is to simply stop holding back and allow the swing — the state of arrival — to take over.

This is why I spent four hours wrestling with myself in the office. I’m ready to be clear and conscious in my life. I’m tired of holding myself back from the greatness I feel clawing to get out. I looked through pictures and letters, I cried, then I threw away that which was not serving me in a positive manner. The things I needed for reference, I filed. Items that still have an emotional hold on me, I set aside to ask for help in determining best placement.

Call to Action

I am far from being done. It is almost decluttered, and I’m ready to set up a new system. Keep following me to see what tips and tricks I pull from David and Mary this month!

Your challenge this week is to pick that one area that is on your mind. How can you declutter it so the things in that space stop owning you? Share about your experience below — I’d really love to know I’m not alone in this taking back my life from stuff!

1 thought on “Increasing Productivity (aka decluttering the office)”

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