A Pile of Papers

June 14, 2010

There are certain things that I put off for another day. Okay… there are lots of things that I put off for another day; and it seems like the more I put those things off, the larger they grow in proportion and personality, until they are large and loud and naggy creatures.

One such creature was the FileMeNow. A rag-tag collection of papers that had taken up residence in a box under my desk. I hate filing. I hate the thinking behind it, the compartmentalization of minutiae. I like order, but it makes me hinky looking at each and every piece of paper that I must keep and finding the right place for it―the place where I will look the first time.

So, the idea of sorting grows too big in my imagination, and the pile grows and grows and, inevitably, I need something from the pile, and it gets to be a jumbled mess.

A couple of weeks ago I pulled the box out and sorted the stuff all over my big desk. Then I left the stuff there, all over my desk for two weeks. Why? Because the papers formed splinter group piles called things like Where The Hell Does This Go?, and Do I Need A Separate File For This One Piece Of Paper?, and Why Am I Keeping This?… and I gave up.

Yesterday I finally tackled the FileMeNow chaos. I went in with a crowd control mindset and got things done. I made snap decisions, and now all of the papers are living somewhere in the filing cabinet. It’s not perfect, but, now that I’ve broken up the mob, each file can be sorted one at a time.

A nice thing… silencing the din of procrastination by just getting a thing done.

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3 Responses to “A Pile of Papers”

  1. I can so relate to this…but I don’t do the intermediate step of having it below my desk. The detritus resides on top of my desk until I say uncle and sweep it all into a box…which then makes me go through each layer like an archaeologist to fine that things home…but in some pique I send some things to their doom that could get saved.

    Yeah, I get the victory over procrastination.

  2. What Barry said. I have also found that, if I procrastinate long enough, I can throw away almost everything.

  3. Laura said

    Would you like to come over to my house and bully my pile? It’s taking over my desk – all the in-trays, all the file holders. Like Ken and Barry, I think the shredder is going to be my final filing place the way I’m going…

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