(Mis)Organization and Dissing Time Management — Or Why I Like My Chaos Theory

When you work at home, I guess you have to be organized and manage your time well. The companies for which I write provide organized virtual desktops, making it easier to get my writing assignments done. Or it’s supposed to, anyways. As I grow older, the days seems to slip past me in a whirlwind. It’s suddenly dark outside and time to write again.

The problem is I’ve never been a very organized person, and I like chaos; it’s so much easier to maintain than organization of, well, anything. Even as a small child, my parents had to threaten me within an inch of my life to keep my room organized — no easy thing to do when I shared that dinky room with two sisters. Unbeknownst to my parents, I finally resorted to shoving all the games, puzzles and picture books under my bed. It’s a wonder that the bed frame legs weren’t left dangling in the air, there was so much under there.

My stepmom is a very organized person; there is a designated time to do everything because there has to be when you have 6 kids. Even the impromptu wallpaper hanging party my parents had in my bedroom late one night really wasn’t so impromptu. It was late at night because that was the only time during the day left to do it. So they turned my bedroom light on — I didn’t wake up. They laid out all their wallpaper supplies and got out the measuring tape — I still didn’t wake up. I had an odd sort of half box canopy on my bed which made it awkward to move, and unbeknownst to me, my parents tried to move the bed — with me asleep in it. The mountain of debris avalanched out from under the bed like a soaked Cali hillside — I woke up. You know, it really would have been easier to just crawl over me to measure the wall; I probably wouldn’t haven woken up.

Even when I DO try to organize, whether it’s my schedule, my medicine cabinet or my chaos of an apartment, the disorganization turns into misorganization, as in I can’t find anything because I have misplaced it all. I guess I need to start drawing diagrams of where I put everything away. I haven’t seen my Free People grey thermal shirt in weeks, and I really miss it…

The other problem with working at home and trying to be creative is time management. I admire my stepmom’s time management skills, I just cannot fit my writing into a rigid schedule. There are days when I know exactly how colors and baby development go together and I just have to find the online references to back up my article. There are other days when I have the Maytag dryer manual in front of me, and I’m damned if I know how to write about changing the drum belt on the dryer — even with the numbered steps in front of me. The weird thing is, when I push through on those days, the writing turns into crap. Sometimes, I do my best writing in my head while I’m out for a walk and away from my computer. That’s why I like my chaos theory; it’s easier to perpetuate chaos than it is to force organization on things, whether it’s my writing process or retraining myself for the thousandth time to put clean laundry away.

I tweak my scientific friends on their oh-so-serious theories like quark theory, black hole theory, Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity, and law of gravity by purposely misunderstanding them, misappropriating them and generally misusing them as revenge for making my brain hurt when trying to understand them. Maybe I could have a new career writing about theories, though. Super string theory, anyone?

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