I alluded to my four point plan in the previous post which received a positive avalanche of comments, by which I mean five. But in the context of Joygantic, which receives something like 65 page views a day that is an avalanche. Thanks people!
The good suggestions I received have largely been anticipated by the Four Point Plan:
(1) Create a coherent workzone for all my digital/information work.
I didn't go into details, but a core pathology of my situation is that I've allowed the desk (which Dia informs me actually cost >$2K) to dictate where stuff does/doesn't go. So that means that the printer is over there and not here, where I need it. And there's a tangled mess of cords. And when I need to say, access some
porn important documents on a harddrive I have to find the cable and plug it in and blah blah blah. Thus the powertools. I'm drilling giant holes in the desk and consolidating all my (considerable) gear in one zone. SO when I need to find data, print photos, charge my camera/phone, burn a CD, rip a DVD, etc it can all just simply and easily happen.
(2) Create a functional zone for all of my collections of stuff.
I blame my (lovely) parents for my propensity to collect stuff. I can point straight at my dad when I find myself staring at some object thinking "hmmm, I think this could be useful for something that I don't know about yet some time in the future." I have a couple functional collections including, for example, my extensive travel gear, and I have several intentional, but otherwise useless, collections that have developed over the years: tickets, name badges and IDs, hotel card keys, keys, patches, stickers, etc. And also a bunch of defined but less organized collections: letters I've received, photos (actual physical ones!), every major paper I ever wrote for school grades 2 through 20, and so on. These logical and meanigful collectins get to stay in the office, but in a defined space that will make adding new items easy and not distruptive to (1) above which is the current situation.
(3) Everything not facilitating (1) or part of (2) must go.
A huge obstacle to achieving workspace zen is my propensity for projects. Like my alchemist briefcase project, my (incomplete) LED lantern project, my (not started) learn about building circuits project, and slews of other art/maker projects that remain unrealized. Unrealized , to some extent because of time but that's not really the reason. The real reason is that I have so much crap that I might use in a project that I have no room to complete any. So every thing that fits into this category is going in boxes and heading to the basement. Sometime in the next three months I'll tackle the basement and purge the space, filling up a truck with stuff for the dump and leaving it organized so I can access my stuff. In the future, when the project bug strikes, I'll be able to simply bring a kit box into my office--which in my mind's eye is actually an office/studio/mad scientist laboratory--and actually get something done.
(4) Hire an expert.
Thanks to Ms. Dia's loving insistence I now have two evenings in January scheduled with someone who is an organizational consultant. I don't know what to expect. I'm sure she'll have some good ideas I haven't thought of and will probably stun me with some obviousness right in front of my face that I just can't see. I also think that she's likely never encountered a client who has so thoroughly and methodically (and to date futility) spent so many years analyzing their relationship to their stuff.
I'm using up pixels writing about this because it's really important. I am fortunate to be living such an incredibly rich and varied life--I fucking love my life--that there is only one thing I really need more of: Time. OK, money would be good too, if you want to drop several millions of dollars in my lap so I can just outsource this all and fearlessly retire, please send me email immediately.
But mostly time is what I need. While I can't create more hours in the day I can take some friction out of my existence--the 20min looking for this or that piece of paper, making it easy to send cards to friends, to burn somebody a mix CD, to rapidly start and complete the hairbrained project I dream up at 1am. So this is about being more in control of my time and creating a canvas for my ideas and creativity.
When I clear the deck I can actually begin conceiving of BIG projects that are currently impossible to contemplate:
- Digitizing all of my media and putting in the infrastructure to make music and video ubiquitous throughout our abode.
- Digitizing & archiving the artifacts of my life. This is one reason I don't want to throw shit out, I want to digitize it and make it accessible. I figure we're not having kids so at least I can leave a terabyte of data behind. This (some might say narcissistic) propensity to collect and reflect is a key reason I've failed to organize my crap: I'll start "cleaning my office" and will end up being transfixed by the detritus of my life.
- Building some crazy beautiful stuff.
- Buckling down and bringing Joygantic up to speed--link blog, tagged pix in Flickr, tagged posts, and so on.
- Writing another book . . . something that I'm seriously thinking about diving into in the next year. I know I have more books in me, but there's no space for them to gestate at the moment.
So there you go.