My dining room table functions as a desk, and this weekend, I decided that it was hampering my ability to be productive. The table was functioning as the launch pad to prepare taxes for five people, it served as a storage place for the binders and documentation for a retreat I was recently in charge of, it houses our computer on most days, and it is where we eat meals when more than two of us are home. Needless to say, it was chaos!
I decided that I would take ten minutes and just straighten it up. Ten minutes is such a small amount of time in the grand scheme of a day. What a difference, though! I found that spending those few minutes helped me focus and finish a presentation that I was really excited about giving, but found many other things vying for my attention (Youtube, Facebook. Netflix, Snapchat, Instagram, home DIY blogs, online news...)
I am not alone in my experience. There is research that clutter affects an individual's ability to focus, can cause feelings of guilt, or can tell us that our work is never completed.
At my 9 - 5 job, everyone is expected to clean off their desks daily, and I have found it reduces what I choose to print and what I decide to keep. When I first started, I would shove everything into a drawer at night and close the drawer, and the drawer was pretty full. Now, I have one or two pieces of paper with a to-do list or notes, and I routinely recycle the paper when I am finished. Admittedly, this is easier at work than at home because I have so many additional personal interests that seem to involve paper!
But ten minutes produced miraculous-seeming results. I put on some dance music and set a timer and raced against the clock. When the timer went off, I was finished. But more importantly, I was able to focus and finish my presentation! By the way, ten minutes was arbitrary, so you could choose five minutes, twenty minutes, etc. My thinking was "I can do anything for 10 minutes!"
Are you ready for a ten-minute miracle?