Lesson learnt: Avoid clutter on desk

Slightly improved desk situation

I have spent the last hour trying to finally organise my desk and sort out all the flying papers and notes and I am not done yet. I started with the thought that it will take no more than half an hour. Did I underestimate my mess-making capabilities?

I meant to work really hard today in order to structure my recent writings into a comprehensible draft for a meeting with my supervisors and to do some extra reading. I have recently felt falling behind with my PhD because of all the different things on my To Do list, projects and school meetings. Yes, I’ve had a few quite busy weeks so in a way I was looking forward to going back to studying and writing.

Well, it turned out that I could not possibly concentrate earlier today, I kept being distracted by looking at one book or another, checking online blogs and articles, procrastination big time! And just then I had an unexpected urge to create some space on my desk and get rid of all the papers, books, sticky notes, you name it, because they started annoying me… Three reasons for doing this:

  1. The clutter and lack of space was really contributing to my writer’s block, it felt like all the stuff on my desk was actually in my head blocking my thoughts and making me stop all the time which brings me to the next point.
  2. Distractions, too many of them – notes from previous work, books and papers, does it need saying that I constantly felt like picking up something and looking at it…
  3. I am organised, actually too organised sometimes, but the lack of time and work rush during the last few weeks had turned me into a Messy Bessy. I didn’t feel annoyed by it earlier simply because I wasn’t spending any time on my desk. But today I felt it, the mess was annoying me very, very much, it was making me uneasy and slightly unhappy.

So off to finish clearing that desk and enjoy the creative juices in a mess-free environment. I suppose there is a lesson in all this: short, simple but sometimes hidden in the shadows – keeping your desk clear and clutter free is essential for a good writing/study session. I will keep reminding this to myself.


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