64 out of 410 days: Reducing Stimuli

I saw this on a social media site which I frequent. I thought it was dreadfully pretentious. “Oh poor me! I am a creative. No one understands me. Life is soooo difficult.” *

And then I looked at my browser tabs. On average I have about 16+ web pages open, 7+ pdf documents, 4+ word documents, at least one spreadsheet, a few sticky notes, 3+ powerpoint files [I use powerpoint slides like the index cards of old for sorting notes, images, references etc.], the snipping tool, my dropbox file folder, skype, and then did I mention my problem with stacks of books:

Image

That is the “surface” of my desk this morning. I’m not sure there really is a surface under there.

[The pillow in the window is normally for the cats (when Mary Beard isn’t using it, of course); this reduces their attempts to climb the book stacks or stand behind me poking me with their paws for attention.]

Is this because I’m a creative mind? Maybe. Maybe, I just have a hard time focusing on one thing. What if I need it later? What if I lose the reference? What if forget to come back to it? OH MY G-D! I’m a data HOARDER. Some people hoard bits of string. Or tins of food. Or boxes of garage sale finds. Even some people to whom I’m related… Nope, not me. All information, all the time. A veritable pack rat of details.

The last couple days I’ve been trying to restrict my pdfs and browser tabs to a single one of each. To open another, I must close the last. It seems to help.

Now that I think about it a few colleagues have periodically said “Wow, you have a lot of windows open.” when they stop my office at work. Maybe I should have picked up on that feedback a little sooner.

* – If you’re the friend who posted the e-card above. I’m really sorry for being so horribly judgmental. And, thank you for helping me come to a useful little self realization.

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