Tidy desk, tidy mind . . .

Or so they say.

There is a fine line I think , between keeping all your things tidy in order to continue with your current project, and just heading down a huge rabbit whole of procrastination. I think I fall somewhere right in the middle of that, in no man’s land.

I have a friend who is a creative, who admits to spending the major part of her day tidying before she can get any work done. I am not this person. I have been known to just get stuck in – and work in amongst piles of fabrics, tiles, receipts and empty tea cups if I’m on a deadline. Neither of these scenarios is an ideal solution, I realise.

Planning, before embarking on any kind of project, is paramount. But it’s really important to stay focussed, and try; if you can, not to fall down any rabbit holes.

I’ve learnt a few tricks along the way that help me keep focused and keep me from straying away from my goals.

  • Set achievable goals and deadlines. If you are completely re-vamping a whole room, give yourself a good amount of time on each element.
  • Choose ONE item to focus on each  time you work on the project. Like, one day just do paint colours, the next, just hardware and so on. This way you don’t over confuse yourself and end up with a desk full of samples you don’t even need.
  • Try to stick to the one thing you are researching when looking at design blogs, Instagram and Pinterest for ideas. This is the HARDEST I know. Pinterest especially . . . something catches your eye and all of a sudden you are booking a 7 night holiday to Mexico because a fabric – destination – cocktail menu – 7 night offer brought you to this place. Get out of this place! And head right back to the initial cushion fabric you’ve been looking for, for over a year now.
  • Once you have eliminated something from your project, be it a paint colour, tile sample or furniture idea; remove it from your sight for a little while if you can. I do find a lot of design can be a process of elimination  – and the more you keep on your desk, the longer you stay confused.
  • If you are looking at one particular device or publication  – try to remove all others from your ear and eyesight just while you are in the depths of making choices. A ping from something else will lead your mind away immediately . . .  and you’ll be back online shopping or booking yourself in for a spin class within seconds..
  • Lastly, and possibly a bit of a curveball here.. don’t over plan. I know it probably makes very little sense, but if you try to stick too hard and fast to what you put down on paper or into a spreadsheet it might leave very little space for creativity and going with your instincts when putting it into practice. Try to just go with it sometimes, follow your heart.

I can be an awful culprit of getting on with something with very little physical prep. It’s a fault. And I admit it. I plan things meticulously for weeks, months even in my mind. But the day I decide to go ahead and start work. . . . there is often very little sanding, stripping, and prepping of surfaces. . .  I just get stuck in  – immediately.  Once the decision has been made I’m a results kind of girl.

You know what else they say though, the messier the desk the more intelligent the owner. I’ll take it.

Photo credits Ryan Liebe


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