dinsdag 14 juli 2015

Clean desk policy

Let us play a game of Spot the Difference

Left is work, right is home.

Can you tell the difference? Of course you can (assuming for a minute none of my readers is blind!)

Work is spotless cause I need to concentrate on my job, and I can't get distracted by nick nacks and bits of everything and nothing. I have breaks for that :) I clean every friday, and sometimes more often, a clean desk makes sure I have less thing to worry about.

Hobby room is the lovechild of a Tsunami and a Nucelar Apocalypse. It's gotten so bad I only work downstairs at the dinner table (that I must clean after each sitting) and the hobby club. I go to my hobby room almost every night with the best of intentions, but invariably end up behind the pc, surfing websites, blogs and fora to feed the monster that is my creativity. This eats up almost all of my hobby time and thus, I get nothing done. Because I get nothing done, my time feels precious, so I'm not willing to spend a few hours cleaning lest I miss something. With each passing day the pile seems to get bigger, no matter how much I trade or sell. Looking like a Herculean task, I give up most of the month, with just a token effort to control the beast here and there.

Sound/look familiar?

I've seen numerous topics of people lamenting that they have no time to get stuff done like some people do. That it takes years to paint armies while others do it in months or even weeks (here's looking at you Piers!). Cause they have no time due to kids, family business or watching cat videos.

The answer is simple. What is the biggest distraction on your hobby table? All your toys? Guess again. The biggest distraction is the glowing object you are looking at. The screen of your PC/laptop/phone is a glowing monster that devours time. More on that further down.

It's not all bad, ofcourse. Forums can help you with questions on painting, just like You Tube tutorials and Blogs that give you ideas and  meeting like minded people online if you are like me and have no real club. But most of the time you just follow the light and what do you know, it is time for bed already. Time will fly by if you are not paying attention (well, you are to somethings, just not to the clock)

Back when I had no kids or relation to speak of, I had no cleaning routine. Well, I had the shotgun approach. I did the basics (cleaning the toilet, kitchen and doing the laundry as well as the occasional vacuum) but the clutter always seemed to grow like a cancer untill a birthday or somebody special would turn up, and I would go into overdrive, spending a whole saturday or even weekend cleaning like mad into the late hours. As this is extremely draining I started to hate it, and would not do it untill I got really mad at myself and cleaned it all in a weekend again, once every 6 months, cursing at myself for being such a dumbass. I somehow managed to keep this up for a good 18 years.

Sounds bad, doesn't it? Well, in comes Kim, and in the beginning of our relationship I started to clean much more often but was still fighting a losing battle, with half my living room taken over by the hobby. So, Kim being Kim made me promise that when I moved in, there would only be clutter in the hobby room, and I would clean more often. Something died in my head that day.




I didn't plan the hobby room very well when I moved in...not at all even cause I had to make due with what was already there and worked around it. Just wall to wall cabinets and 2 working areas facing each other so we could see each other when working behind our PC's, both of us with our backs against the wall. Still, it worked for a while, I could have my time, she would have hers and on occasion we would even meet in the room. But Kim is more of a television person so she would spend most of her time downstairs, and my desk started to clutter more and more often. More clutter meant less work and more PC time. More PC time lead to more clutter and even less work time. Etc, etc. Turns out the beast wasn't dead!

The system is still there. Cabinets with labelled boxes. Surplus stuff in the attic. But let's face it, this hobby is a multi-facetted addiction, and like a fire, it is fed by 3 things. Money, ideas and creativity, and space. Take away one of the 3 and it dies.

Now hold on there, I'm not going to kill the hobby! But I am going to kill the main distraction and that is undeniably the PC.

Not literally! (though, good luck trying that with a modern flatscreen)


Have you tried turning it off? Really off? Background music doesn't count. Get a real radio for that. As most productive painters will tell you, turn the pc off. Get rid of that distraction. If you really need a reference, print it out of heaven forbid get a book or magazine to help you.

So, to help myself, I've taken a day off tomorrow from work, I will pick up Kim in the morning from the hospital and I will spend the entire afternoon in my hobby room cleaning. Yup, cleaning, starting with the floor and the boxes piled up against the cabinets, and when that is done get stuff done on the table. Then have dinner with Kim, drive her back to the hospital, and spend some more time cleaning. and call it a day no later then 22:00 hours as I will be beat.

(In case you think it is not nice of me to leave Kim alone all day, she's actually supposed to be alone in the house (the kids are at my parents place for the next 2 days) to see if she can handle it when she is alone and the kids are at daycare, and I'm at daycare work. She has friends and her mom on speeddial)

 So, to recap.
  • sleep till whenever I wake up (i've deserved that for a change)
  • greet a beautiful new day 
  • pick up Kim at the hospital
  • Operation Cleansweep commences!
  • have dinner
  • drop Kim off at the hospital
  • work till 22:00 at the latest or untill you are done (good luck with that!)
  • look back at a great day
This still leaves me with the little red devil that is maintaining a clean room, but I actually want to keep up the same strategem as I have at work. Sadly, this can't be friday as that is the club night, so it will be monday (I'm not in the hobby room most weekends anyway). When I get in the room, but before I start up the pc. Sounds fair enough?

Good luck dealing with your own mess. I know I'm not alone in this!

2 opmerkingen:

  1. You are completely right! For me it is my phone.
    Though I have far less time compared to when I was still kidless and single, if I use the time I spend online painting a miniature. I would have finished a lot more by now. The biggest factor is I use my phone mostly while doing other activities like cooking or watching TV with my wife.
    You have seen my desk and the chaos on it :). But luckily it isn't as bad as on yours.
    Good luck cleaning up!

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    1. I could only wish my desk looked like yours, let alone clean and empty :) Well, I made s start, but not all went according to plan.....

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