It was a busy week. Covering for staff members who were on leave, a ship in and my workload for the week was heavy. Add to that school holidays and 2 birthdays to celebrate, I was on the go the whole time. Alternating between working from home and the office the pile of paper I was carting from desk to desk seemed to grow exponentially – manifests, load lists, scraps of paper with notes scribbled on. Both desks were messy. It is fair to say that by the time I sat at my desk on Friday morning I was feeling rather overwhelmed.
So I did what all wise people do in similar situations I went and got a coffee! But actually “what really helped me was what I did next. On my return I then proceeded to tidy my desk. For one of the things I have discovered about myself is that a messy desk, a messy house adds to my stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. Taking 10 minutes out of my morning to tidy and order my desk set me up well for the rest of the day. Tasks were put in order, folders had the required documents so I wasn’t wasting time shuffling through paper to find them. By the end of the day I even had capacity to accommodate a last minute urgent request from my Boss and reduce his stress as well.
Personally, I work best when my workspace is ordered and tidy. Taking time out to organise my desk when I have pressing urgent things at hand may seem strange to some, but I have found that as my desk becomes organised and clear, so too does my mind. Working through my workload becomes for me more efficient and productive.
I have found that in being intentional with my life sometimes is a lot like handling a messy desk (or laundry for that matter!). Our minds can quickly become filled with clutter – negative thoughts, idle thoughts, worries and fears, vain imaginations, drivel from tv / movies. Our minds need regular “decluttering” and “tidying” too and a lot of these thoughts and feelings need to head straight to the rubbish bin.
The best way I have found to do this is to meditate on Jesus. To focus on Him. What we focus on we magnify. Spending time focusing on Jesus magnifies Him in our lives, our hearts and our minds. It clears the cobwebs from our soul (and the stress too!). It beings us a Heavenly perspective to life. And peace.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” (Isaiah 26:3)
“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:1)
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
I love handbags! Love them! I must confess I have several….well many would be correct. On a business trip to Kuala Lumpa my boss and I hit the markets on the day we were flying home. The markets were easily 80% full of bags. We had a fantastic time. Not sure what my husband thought though when I opened my suitcase and all you could see were handbags.
Recently though my handbag was giving me much stress and frustration. It was a great looking black bag with several compartments. In fact when I was travelling recently it was the perfect bag with a compartment for my passport and another one for phone and wallet etc. But back home to everyday life and it just gave me stress! My phone would ring and I would not be able to find it in my handbag even though my phone is yellow! I’d go to find my wallet and have the same problem. And don’t mention trying to find what compartment I’d shoved my keys into! It seemed to be the perfect bag for attracting squashed raisins from my toddler and amassing “stuff” that I couldn’t even remember how or why it got into my bag!
So in an effort to recover my equilibrium and my sanity the handbag was donated and another one much simpler has taken its place (from my wardrobe of course).
Something has to be said for the simpler life! Far too often we lug around stresses in the form of handbags or other that quite easily we could remove / reorganise / declutter from and be all the more free.