March 18, 2017

Organize for Pause

Thanks to a link shared by my friend CJ Chilvers, I recently watched this great TEDx talk from Mike Williams about how to organize your smartphone home screen in a way that causes one to take a calm pause before engaging. Especially, only having apps on the that first screen that align with your best intentions and that don’t distract you from what you are setting out to do. Then, moving everything else to another screen.

I did this a few weeks ago and the results, for me at least, have been better than expected. My good results are likely directly correlated to the changes in my online engagement in general but I’ve found that my phone leaves my pocket dramatically less than it used to and, when it does, it does so only for a purpose other that filling in the blank spaces of life. I’ve been scoring well in The Battery Game most days.

This has worked well enough that I’ve been thinking of ways to organize for pause in other areas of life. My work desk at home is kind of a hot mess right now. I’ve blocked out time on my calendar this coming week to clean and organize it. I normally do this by getting a couple of banker's boxes, taking everything off of the desk and throwing it into them, then, taking things out of the box one by one and asking myself, “Where does this belong?”. It’s an effective strategy.

But, this time, the answer to that question will not be “On the desk”. I’m going to keep my desk as free and clear of stuff as possible. I’m going to organize it, too, for pause. So that, when I sit down, I’m forced to think about what I sat down to do. I then will have to make an intentional choice of what to do next. Grab a pen and notebook? Grab my MacBook Air? iPad? I’ll have to take a pause and ask myself why I came there in the first place.

Bonus: My dear friend Annie Mueller is back to online writing after being away for a while (Oh, you thought my idea was original? Silly you!). As one might expect, she’s come back with, perhaps, one of the deepest, thought provoking, and important series I’ve read in a long while. Start at The Real You, part 1 and read the rest. Seriously, a must read.

If you were to have asked my the main reason I’ve gone on sabbatical, this is the answer I wish I’d have thought of giving. I’m tossing out the junk (and there’s a lot of junk) and getting back to uncovering the real me.

March forth!

Sincerely, me.