Autumn, day 25. Standing sort.

One of the techniques that I’ve used to help others organize their spaces I call a ‘standing sort’.  It’s very much big picture and can help create clarity for the tasks that need to be done by creating some order even if it’s rough.

It goes like this. Go into your office, pull the chair back from the desk, and begin to make sense of the space. Sort things into piles that make sense. Use sticky notes to indicate what needs to be done later. DO NOT DO IT NOW. Resist the temptation to start dealing with individual tasks. Use lots of notes, and labels. Pay attention to ideas that emerge that could help you organise the space, and list these for later. Perhaps some wall files, file folders, binders, clips etc.

Throw out things that should be discarded. Remove things from the office that don’t belong there. This is not a store room. Catch yourself saying…’I’ll just put this here for now’.  Note what should be done with the item.

Put on music if you like. Dust, sweep, tidy, annotate, etc. Spend 30 to 60 minutes doing this standing sort. Think about three major categories as you work 1) discard 2) give away and, 3) deal with. The ‘discard’ and ‘give away’ piles need to be removed from the office during a standing sort. ‘Deal with’ items just need to be sorted into piles that make sense, tucked into action folders, and/or annotated with instructions for doing later.

Once you’re done, you may pull in your chair and sit down.  Until then, standing helps keep the mind away from details, and only noticing things within reach of the chair.  When you’re done you’ll notice how much more inviting and less intimidated the work feels.  You might even feel new energy to tackle the work.  

I took my own coaching and I did this on Monday. It makes a difference. Other days, I can’t think big picture and it’s all I can do, to deal with one paper at a time. We’ll see how much progress I can make this week with some new order.

Today has been tough. Thankfully I got to my doctor, thanks to the appointment a friend made for me. After eight months I got there. He sent me for blood tests etc… I bucked up, went and did those right away. I’ll be all set for my official check up on Monday next. Let’s hope I’m in good shape. I fought the blues most of the day but am hanging in there.

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