A Mid-Year Life Shuffle

I've been on a organization binge. I cleaned out our storage shed, cleaned out the attic and expanded the storage area up there, made a new office in my study, sold some books I didn't think I would ever read or use to make room for more, bought a serious filing cabinet, organized all papers and class notes that I have kept since college, made a new little bookshelf, and made a treadmill desk.

Outside of the physical realm, for about a month now I have been in a state of inbox zero for both personal and work emails, have everything off my brain and into action lists, and am generally living in a chill mental state. I have run out of life to organize. Everything is in its place. It feels good.

Our pandemic made it clear that I was in need of a mental spring cleaning. Our family home-schools, so they were accustomed to being home almost every day, even if they now had fewer extracurriculars. But it forced me to work from home and that was a difficult transition. Though I was able to work as easily from home as from a workplace, I had a quiet office and a clear delineation between work and home. The change knocked me off kilter.

Some of the physical changes were especially helpful, like building the office within my study. But this was also a catalyst for the mental spring cleaning. I am still reflecting on and tweaking my system regularly, of course. It often takes time for me to try things and reflect on them before I see the strengths and weaknesses of particular changes. But through this I have learned a good deal about myself. Seven months later, I am now better for it.

Do you ever think about your productivity? If you haven't, I would recommend putting some time reading and pondering in the world of productivity thinking. Though I borrowed ideas from many places, I would start with the following. For a general organizational scheme, start with Getting Things Done. When you are reading it, think in terms of principles, not specific technologies or techniques. For daily to-do lists and general notetaking, I follow the bullet journaling system and use a Leuchturm 1917 notebook. And finally, I would read some Cal Newport, starting with Deep Work. If you are new to this and want help, or a veteran who wants to hash out ideas on such things, shoot me an email.

And just so you know, now that I've figured this whole work-from-home thing out, I love it. I don't want to go back.