I don't function well in chaos, and I know it. So I've created lots of clear space to do my work. I have two large tables where I can spread out my papers (or my artwork, or my fabric), and I have lots of storage space (filing cabinets, book shelves, and storage shelves) where I can hide things away when I'm not working.
I'm also reminded of the need for regular maintenance. Most good organizers will tell you that once you have systems in place, you need to take time at regular intervals to maintain your systems. This can be a chore if you let things go too long, but now I make it a part of my "settle down to work" routine.
I spend time every day puttering around - filing away papers, tidying up messes, doing light housekeeping - before I start working. You could also do this after work, but I prefer doing it at the beginning of my workday (which usually starts sometime in the late afternoon, if I don't have an organizing client). Mid-afternoon is my "slump" time, and my brain is not its sharpest then, so puttering is a great use of my time.
(So is napping. Shhh...) ;)
Today I made a bunch of phone calls, tied up some loose ends, and sorted an accumulation of paperwork: committee projects I'm involved with, business leads, inspirational journal notes, and financial stuff.
Now I'm awake and ready to get down to the nuts and bolts of my business writing. I look around me and I see the neat piles of papers that I will need this evening, as well as inspirational messages that keep me focused on my values. Here's a quote that's sitting beside me right now:
If we could learn to live from the level of the soul, we would see that the best, most luminous part of ourselves is connected to all the rhythms of the universe. We would truly know ourselves as the miracle-makers we are capable of being. We would lose fear, and longing, and hatred, and anxiety, and hesitation. Living from the level of the soul means diving past the ego, past the limitations of the mind that harness us to events and outcomes in the physical world.
Deepak Chopra, The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire, p77
What are the circumstances and environments that best nourish your own work life? Do you know?
(And do you use that knowledge?)
copyright 2007, Michelle Lynne Goodfellow