organize office

A Time to Organize, A Time to Think

It's the beginning of a new year. My main goal for the Christmas Break was achieved - migrating all my blogs to Wordpress. Sure, there are things yet to tweak and widgets to add; but the hard job is done. My other main task - to attack all the loose paper I kept shuffling from one Bring Forward folder to the next. That too was achieved. My file organizers are significantly tidier.

I guess I shouldn't complain that I didn't get anything accomplished over the break. Between that and practicing madly for Christmas and New Year's church services, I deserved the imposed break that my cold gave me on Week 2.

This has me reflecting upon the ongoing struggle to stay on top of things. To just stay organized. Between loose papers, music books and emails - we have a lot of clutter in our lives - so much that it's easy to drown in it.

However, I continue to press forward at tidying up the back end of things. Strangely, it gives my brain time to wander and think about lesson or presentation ideas that have been floating just on the periphery of consciousness.

I've taken to using the countdown timer app on my phone. It has helped keep the daunting task of decluttering my mess somewhat bearable. 30 minutes to clean email, 30 minutes to tidy up my blogs, etc. Bite-sized chunks. That's the key to whittling this monster mess down.

A Note on Office Organization

My primary project this past summer was to organize my office and music studio. Oh no, not a cursory, throw things into a file to deal with later. I've been in extreme decluttering mode.
Since I began teaching in 2001, I have dutifully kept all of my music teacher newsletters. Have I read them all? No, of course not. 
Just a fraction of my piles to declutter! Photo by R-M Arca
Just imagine how much paper that is. Got the picture in your mind? My paper clutter is truly as scary as you imagined it to be.
I am approximately 80% through but I have been gleefully ripping out articles to read throughout the year. I have developed the following filing system:
  1. Activity/Event ideas
  2. Blog topic ideas
  3. Group Class ideas
  4. Lesson planning
  5. Professional library ideas
  6. Music games and puzzles
  7. Piano Pedagogy
  8. Professional development
  9. Portfolio additions (my own published articles)
  10. Recital/performance ideas

They will reside in my Active Files drawer until I am done with them. My hope is that throughout the year, I'll actually read these articles. Of course, that hinges upon me clearing the area leading up to my filing cabinet.

Cutting down my To Read Pile into a simple filing system. Photo by R-M Arca