Have you been needing to clean your workspace but can’t work through the resistance? This post is for you.
Implementing the ideas from this post will probably take you about 30 minutes (including reading this post), but it’ll be time well-spent. I’m channeling Merlin Mann, Pam Slim, and Jen Hofmann for this post, so this will be a complete fusion of our styles. Let’s jump right in.
A dash is a quick segment of time where you focus on just getting movement. This term was made popular by Merlin Mann, so read Kick Procrastination’s Ass later if you’d like to learn more. The key word in that last sentence was later – you don’t need to know more right now to get it.
We’re doing a workspace dash, though, so here’s where Jen comes in. Instead of beating yourself up about your piles and mess being there, ask what difference you’d like to see in your workspace. What does a more organized and peaceful workspace look like to you? What can you do to make your workspace get closer to what you’d like to look like? Take a couple of minutes or so to write down a few things you can do to get to your desired endstate.
It’s time to mix in a bit of Pam. Head over to Pandora and sign up – it’s free. Pandora is a free internet radio station that will play music of similar characteristics to any group you tell it to. When you get your account, type in “Black Eyed Peas.” You’re going to be dancing. Trust me on this. (Pam gets credit for this because she got me hooked on the Black Eyed Peas as background music.)
Now, set a timer for 20 minutes. Pull up the list you created above, put your office chair in a place where you won’t trip over it, and start dancing and working through your list. Smile, let the beat guide you, and work until you’re through your twenty minutes. Dance like no one’s looking.
When your work becomes fun, you won’t see it as work. When you don’t see it as work, you won’t resist it. Without so much resistance, you can do great things with less effort.
(I’m blessed to have such great friends influencing my thinking, online and off. And, yes, I’m listening to the Black Eyed Peas right now.)
Jennifer Hofmann says
Wow. This rocks. Love that this post connects me the with Pan and Merlin, too!
Pam’s suggestion is a really good one – and I’d forgotten about Pandora! The best thing about using music for cleaning is that it gives your “thinking” brain something to do, so you can clear stuff more easily. It block out that naggy, suspicious voice that asks you, “Are you *sure* you won’t need this someday?” Goodness knows that voice is the reason why I keep things I’d be better off without.
Thanks for the pep today, Charlie, and the dose of fun!
.-= Jennifer Hofmann´s last blog ..Preventing holiday insanity for you and your biz =-.
Pamela Slim says
I agree with Jen – a link with you, her, Merlin and the Black Eyed Peas is a super-slam dunk!
I usually choose soundtracks for projects.
John Legend helped me write my book. Whenever I turned it on, it told my brain “it is writing time!”
The Black Eyed Peas are my “clean out this year and plan for next year” soundtrack.
Gotta go clean my desk! 🙂
The “Fun Workspace Dash” idea you’re describing is exactly why I’m happily addicted to Jen’s Office Spa Day. It is my monthly Fun Workspace Dash, with a bracketing of support and camaraderie. (Cannot recommend it highly enough!)
My background music is club-type stuff, including the Black Eyed Peas. DJ Earworm’s mashups make frequent appearances, and Girl Talk (more mashups!) is positively transporting when I want to get anything done. Jay-Z’s Blueprint 3 is my latest go-to music to get stuff done.
Fun (and useful) post, Charlie!
.-= Marissa´s last blog ..Monday Mashup #5: Three Choices I Make Each Day =-.
I enjoy merlins work he’s such a funny guy. Thanks for the heads up about pandora i will check it out
Mike Stankavich says
I was just thinking earlier today about how powerful it can be to reframe work as fun. You are so right when you say that lowers resistance. And Pandora is awesome for setting the tone. Today I’m rocking out to to my Papa Roach and The Offspring Pandora station. I find that heavy metal with a driving beat will get me moving every time.
.-= Mike Stankavich´s last blog ..How to Securely Access Your Home or Small Biz Network From Anywhere in the World (Part 1) =-.
Steven Handel says
I haven’t used Pandora in years. If you are from the U.S. then I recommend http://www.lastfm.com. I believe they charge for their services if you are from anywhere else.
.-= Steven Handel´s last blog ..33 Questions from Dragos Roua =-.
Amy Harrison says
I’m all for making work fun – but for me, tidying and sorting is a guilty pleasure, I have to stop myself which is why setting a time limit is essential, otherwise I’d sort and sort and never get anything done!
Andrew Lightheart @alightheart says
I’d forgotten about soundtracks – I totally used to do this with filing (before I delegated it to my partner who finds filing a joy – Amy – you two should meet).
In fact, I used to make sure that I didn’t allow myself any more than 15 minutes as then my Inner Procrastinator would believe me the next time.
I like to ‘go inside’ and find out about what my IP needs – sometimes it’s going to a coffeeshop, often it’s just putting on old West Wing episodes – something to make it feel like a treat.
Oh, and today I remembered how tiny chunks help – making a really detailed list (get envelope, get address, write address) to move me through something I was dreading.
Thanks for the brisk and motivating post – nicely done!
.-= Andrew Lightheart @alightheart´s last blog ..Handling your feelings, their feelings, your feelings about their feelings =-.
That was so cool! I loved this post! 🙂
It is like a therapy but it is what I think too.
Working and having fun are two concepts that must be together.
I hope you don’t mind, I stole it to my blog.
Greetings from Portugal! 😉
Last month I programmed the Black Eyed Peas channel into Pandora during a road trip. It was awesome! So many fun songs came on.
Then I used it last week when I was helping my mom organize her storage closet. Helped it go by faster for sure.
LOVE the dancing around and moving stuff.
Great steps for getting things organized in the office space. xoxo