The Clean Desk Fantasy � AKA �When All My Work is Done I�ll��
by Life & Career Coach, Debby Parkinson, PCC
Today is the first official day of summer
in the top half of the world and that means Spring has also officially
passed us by. Traditionally that means you spent a little time �spring
cleaning� something, right? Usually, it�s closets or your living space
or garage (if you�re lucky enough to even have one) or some part of it .
But for most of us who spend time working at a desk, every day can feel
like our desk needs to be spring cleaned!
We�ve all heard the phrase, �A messy desk
is the sign of a genius,� and personally, I sure hope that�s true! But
there is also such a thing as, �within reason�. So, if you are one of
those people who hasn�t seen the top of your desk since Clinton saw
Monica on top of his, you might want to reconsider your definition of
genius, at least a little bit. However, that�s a discussion for another
day. Until then, be kind to your messy desk and give it a little fresh
air now and then. Dare to throw away more than feels comfy. I guarantee
you, something terrific will come into your life and take its place.
Then there are those who are obsessed
with the idea that their desk must always be totally clean, neat and
complete at the end of every day. To me, this doesn�t seem to define
�within reason� or �genius�. It defines �foolish� and �unrealistic�
because the need for such perfection is more like a compulsion, or
chasing a fantasy where ALL work is always ALL done. Work �all done�?
Does that ever truly happen in real life? In your life? Certainly not in
Then there are those of you out there who
feel so overly responsible for the world, you feel compelled to complete
every piece of work that lands on your desk. Why do you assume all work
that falls on your desk must be done by you? Could it be you�ve taught
people to expect it from you? Perhaps someone else needs to step up to
the plate and your only responsibility is to afford them the chance?
Perhaps you would benefit and clear some of your desk by merely letting
go of control? Among my Top 10 most useful phrases, passed on to me by
my favorite mentors is the phrase, �Do It, Delegate It, or Dump It!�
That means you have options and �Yea!� for that! Everything that lands
on your desk doesn�t have to be a �Do It�. Be open to the other two
choices, �Delegate It� or �Dump It�, but DO CHOOSE! Indecision creates
back log and often results in decisions we would not have chosen.
So what have we got here? We have the
messy desk people and the clean desk people. Both are trying to be
productive and happy while operating in one extreme or another. Some
people even battling phobias over fear of completing things and some
over fear of not completing things. Both afraid of being judged. Also a
fascinating topic for another day; but may I suggest a topic for
discussion with a licensed therapist? IMMEDIATELY!!! Life is simply
too short to let anything control you!
The reason I call �Clean Desk� a fantasy
is because it will never be true. You will never have a clean desk that
stays clean. The truth is, no matter how much work you complete, there
will always be more. If there weren�t more work, you would no longer
have a job, a business or a career. Life is work and life is often
messy. Get used to it!
And we must remember there is joyful,
fulfilling living to be done too. It�s all about that over used term,
�balance�. But all balance asks us is to find a happy medium. Our minds,
body and spirit need to work AND play equally. They both refuel us, each
in their own way.
Whether you prefer a messy desk or a tidy
one, obsessing about work is just plain bad for you. It drains you
mentally, physically and spiritually and is detrimental to your health,
your relationships, your happiness and in a bizarre yet perfect way,
even detrimental to the quality of the very work you�re obsessing about!
I challenge you to redefine your life and
priorities. Life is not a series of results, it is the journey towards
the result. So, enjoy the process and let go of the result. Release the
need for instant gratification and seek pleasure in the doing. Because
when you are forever chasing the end result, not only will it elude you,
you will be missing life in the present. That means you�re missing
people moments, funny moments, and precious moments � the very moments
that link together to create a happy and fulfilling life. And isn�t that
what we all want, happiness and fulfillment that lasts vs. the fleeting
happiness of, �Ah. I�m finally done!� ??? Yuk!!!
Having more work to do will always be a
fact of life. Embrace it! And perhaps take to heart another piece of
wisdom passed on to me by my mentors. �Work Hard and Play Hard,
Equally.� Because honestly, the truth is when the day comes where there
will really nothing left to do, you�ll be dead! And for all we know,
not even then!? HA! May you find the joy in every task and every
Focus less on the �Do It� and more on the �Delegate It or Dump It� this
month and see what it does for your desk and your life!
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