Cleaning: A Necessary Evil for My Brain to Work
I once told a friend who has a degree in psychology that I’d always considered myself a type A personality, but my housekeeping methods does not support that theory. The natural state of my home is messy.
My friend explained that actually most type A’s houses look the same as mine. Apparently, we are not able to clean just one room. To us, the whole house has to be straightened out at the same time, which makes it such a time-consuming and overwhelming project that we decide to save it for another time. So there you have it, I am just too much of a perfectionist to clean my house. 🙂
The exception to this rule however, is my office and my desk. In the middle of a project, my desk share the appearance of a war zone. It looks completely disorganize, but I actually know where everything is. The reason it looks messy is because everything–and I mean EVERYTHING–has to be within reach. I don’t want to interrupt my thought process to go search for a resource or a note. This is my method whether I’m writing, preparing lessons, or grading.
At my teaching job, this past week was the one leading up to finals. To the students, that means a lot of studying and little sleep. For the faculty, that means TONS of grading and no sleep. Here’s what my desk looked like at the start of Friday:
I stayed super late that day and did indeed complete all the grading and the test preparation. You’d think I’d drag myself to my car so I could use my last ounces of energy to drive myself home, but this is where my type A personality comes out in full force. I can’t leave a messy desk. And I can’t start a new project until the desk is uncluttered and clean. It’s like the act of organizing and putting away my last project spring launches my focus on the next one.
So here’s what my desk looked like half an hour later, at which point I took a deep breath, closed my office door, and finally drove home to my comfy bed.
What’s your relationship with messy vs. clean and cluttered vs. organized?