As someone who had routinely straightened her office at the end of the day, I thought this was great advice . . . for the first few years. Not cleaning up saved me extra eight hours to ten hours a month, which I could spend making more money or taking off a Saturday.
It is a good idea in moderation. Most writers will take any excuse they can to avoid writing. Straightening up feels like work and eats up a satisfying amount of time, creating a false sense of accomplishment. (In that sense, it’s like writing a blog post.) The result: lots of hours in the office, but not much writing done.
But my office provides many examples of the problems that arise from focusing too much on billable tasks.
- Every raised surface and most of the floor are covered with papers.
- The stacks of related papers have gotten so tall that some have fallen on each other and merged.
- There are so many stacks of paper that I don’t remember what paper is where.
- To get to the built-in drawers and cabinets in my office requires moving boxes of supplies, promo items, or papers, which encourages leaving even more things on the floor instead.
- I waste probably an hour a week looking for lost items.
- My account book for 2009 is blank, and an unsorted pile of receipts several inches tall awaits entering.
A good start may be routinely straightening your office at the end of the day.
Your visit was appreciated. Please stop by again on January 23, when I'll be blogging about how much and what writers should read.