had I but world enough and time

It is no secret that organization is my arch nemesis. The organizational dream and I have a love/hate relationship that has overshadowed my entire life. The trouble is that I want so much to be perfect and then I do too much and it falls apart and it’s not so bad that things turn to chaos except that it bothers me so much.

I’ve tried every trick I can find: I’ve hired an organizational consultant, bought expensive dayplanners, read possibly every book on organization that exists, made schedules and lists, set priorities — but none of those help with the real problem. I just don’t have enough time. Which sounds like a cop out, I know, and maybe I’m just not prioritizing the organization thing, but I sort of just wake up in the morning and start working on stuff and then suddenly it’s 11 at night and the organization thing didn’t happen.

Anyway, a friend of mine caught a glimpse of my e-mail inbox the other day and was shocked and apalled. As though that weren’t bad enough, he saw my desktop today, and anyone who’s ever seen that has gasped in absolute horror. Inwardly, I said, “I know, I know! I’m horrified too! It’s the bane of my existence! The albatross around my neck. The weight that drags me…” Oh, you get the idea.

So when I saw my handy life coach today and she asked what I wanted to work on, I once again brought up the organization thing. She said that a full inbox does not mean I’m disorganized, it just means I get a lot of mail. To be fair, she didn’t actually see my inbox. Or my desktop. And she’s also much too nice for her profession. She said that I must be somewhat organized, since I get a lot of stuff done, and that’s true. But then I mentioned the black hole of undoneness — all of those things that I’m not accomplishing and that I’m not organized enough to even look at so I can make an action decision to ignore them, rather than ignore them by default due to forgetfulness, as with my current plan.

She said I needed a different term than “crazy disorganization”, but I don’t know that calling it “selective memory management” is going to help me all that much. She gave me some other ideas in addition to the name change thing, mostly things I know, things that just require a little of that time I seem to keep running out of.

What I really need is one of those machines that stop time. I could make everything halt and then spend a couple of weeks making everything perfect and tidy. And then I after that, I could surely keep up no problem. Right?

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