As I’m winding down for the day and trying to wind down from the week, I’m haunted by a quote in a friend’s signature:

“If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” — Albert Einstein

If my desk is any indication of my mind, I’m in a lot of trouble.  Thankfully, I’ve been working from home this week, which means I’m cleaning up some clutter and hopefully getting things better organized.

The Cluttered Desk

So what’s been taking up space on my desk?

The Cluttered Mind

My mind is also racing in 30 directions at once, and I’m wishing it would settle down.  However, I know that’s impossible.  Some of the thoughts that have been racing in my mind include:

  • How do we get more people involved in the NASA Space Apps Challenge happening April 10-12?
  • How am I going to manage hosting Easter, celebrating my sons’ birthdays, NASA Space Apps Challenge, Stir Trek, and the other events going on in my life all within the next month?
  • Who else can I recruit for my next big community project? (I’ve already recruited two. More on what’s going on when we have better direction.)
  • When will I cross paths with my apprentices again?  I have been enjoying mentoring Java and .NET apprentices at Software Craftsmanship Guild, and I hope to cross paths with them in the working world.
  • Will my apprentices get placed in companies that are right for them?
  • When will I get back into development as a hobby?  While I liked being a dev for a job, I thrive more with development as a hobby.  I have the ideas… I just need to execute them or maybe find help in that realm.
  • I miss going to user groups and spending time with the community. (Soon, soon… I’m slowly getting back in.)
  • That nervous excitement… I only get it when I’m really around people I know I’d be great friends with or when I have a great idea that can be super successful with the right team. It’s a rare thing, but when it does come along, I always wonder how I’m going to get through the beginning of a new round of it.
  • Why am I constantly overanalyzing my emails? How long did it take me to get past this phase the last time I dealt with a situation like this?

Finding My Sanity

As a step towards finding my sanity, I cleared off some of my desk.  I now have more room to work and draw, which means that I may be one step closer to development as a hobby.  I also have more room for Post-its, which means more room to put up notes for conference and event organizing for April, May, July, and possibly September/October.  I have room to calm down some of the thoughts cluttering my mind.

Working from home, I’ve also been able to listen to music to help keep my focus.  From Queen to Glee to Lindsey Stirling to Alanis… they’ve all been keeping me focused on the other things I’ve been trying to get off my plate.

My desk isn’t empty, and it’s not heavily cluttered either.  Clearing the clutter from my desk is definitely helping me settle some of the clutter in my mind.