A Messy Desk

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When I was growing up I used to spend a lot of time at my Dad’s office.

Hanging above his desk he had a sign that said ‘If a cluttered desk signifies a cluttered mind, what does an empty desk signify?”

I’ve thought about that sign many times over the years.  I often have to climb over piles of paper, books, notes etc to get to my computer and I quite like the organised chaos of it!  Which is weird really because I’m usually a complete control freak about most things.

So I was quite surprised last week when my usual brand of  ‘busymess’ (see what I did there, love a play on words) all started to feel like it was closing in on me. 

You may have read a couple of weeks ago that I recently completed week 4 of Jenny’s Tuffit programme and being half way through, I was feeling pretty good about how it was going.  But at the time I was writing that article, I was fighting off a nasty virus.  I had an enforced period of rest for just over a week and felt so truly sorry for myself.

I was down about not being well, not being able to work, not being able to train and continue with my fitness programme and on top of all that my usual household chaos (the rest of my house often looks a little bit like my desk) was making me feel really low.

Sort of like if I had an internet browser in my head with 30 tabs open at once but my computer had crashed so I was stuck looking at the screen with no ability to do anything.

I was definitely on the verge of letting panic and despair set in.

But then by Thursday last week, I was starting to feel better.  So I spent the day just trying to get back on track.  I did loads of organising, cleaning, tidying, planning, admin jobs that had been on my list for weeks and by Thursday teatime, I felt so much better.

On Saturday morning I picked up where I had left off with Week 5 of the 8 week Tuffit programme and I’m feeling pretty good now. It was like my enforced rest period never really happened.

So what I’ve learnt is this.

Sometimes it’s good to step back and de-clutter – both physically and mentally.  It can give you that fresh start or the re-boot you need to keep going.

The sign above my Dad’s desk is apparently a paraphrased quote of a quip made by Albert Einstein and much research has been done regarding how your environment influences the way you think.  There’s an interesting Forbes article here.

But I’m not sure I’ll be tidy for very long, I’m just not cut out for maintaining it – real life gets in the way.

And isn’t that true about fitness too?

Despite our best intentions, real life often does get in the way.  It would have been really easy to throw in the towel on the 8 week programme after missing over a full week of training.  But I’m so glad I didn’t.  Real life is what we’re all here for – so let’s just ride it until the wheels fall off.  Fitness is a journey not a destination. It is ok to take a couple of detours now and then when real life demands it.

And if you ever want to feel better about your messy working environment, check out the desks of some of the most successful people in the world.

Apparently it pays to be messy…that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!

More soon,

Sarah xx

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