I stare at the bookshelf across from my desk. It remains empty; the color swatches taped to the wall. I have not returned the books and folders to its shelves until the wall behind it is painted a new hue. Two months have passed.
The color was undecided. Until now.
It has been over a year since the hubs and I have fully taken over the family business. Over the summer, the files of folders accumulated in twenty five years have finally seen daylight; scanned with my own two eyes. I sneezed dust as things were categorized, shredded and thrown away. The task was overwhelming. Eighteen banker boxes now sit in the shop’s top shelves; waiting to again be forgotten.
The work computer is not much better; a project in progress. My digital “junk drawer” consisted of files unknown. My computer desktop is cluttered with icons and downloads fighting for memory space. They slow down my hard drive; the disk dangerously full. When the computer scientist, hubs, implements new technological programs and tips, I resist. I am not ready. I do not want change. My brain is on overload.
My current read, The Organized Mind: Thinking Straight in the Age of Information Overload by Daniel Levitin, could not have arrived at a better time. I am only in chapter two and my whirling thoughts are crystallizing on my Kindle Paperwhite’s pages. I have found my muse. I am being affirmed.
With affirmation comes inspiration (again I am looking at results with the -tion). And with inspiration comes motivation.
Neuroscientists have discovered that unproductivity and loss of drive can result from decision overload.
Levitin, Daniel J. The Organized Mind: Thinking Strraight in the Age of Information Overload. New York: Dutton/Penguin Group. 2014. Kindle file.
And with motivation comes the action. The doing. I have returned, finally to the present tense (the -ing) as the light bulb glows brightly in my mind. I have procrastinated for far too long. It is in watching my sons struggle with back-to-school busyness that I must also confront my own issues. With so many transitions and decisions I have been paralyzed with fear; unwilling to make decisions in order to progress. And so, the hubs and I focused our eyes on the Benjamin Moore wall swatches to choose our top two choices. Independently, we both got resolution.
#1677 colonial blue.
I have decluttered our office and paperwork; trying to make sense of it all. I have been satisficing.
Satisificing is one of the foundations of productive human behavior; it prevails when we don’t waste time on decisions that don’t matter, or more accurately, when we don’t waste time trying to find improvements that are not going to make a significant difference in our happiness or satisfaction.
The example Levitin uses to illustrate satisficing is in our house cleaning. We clean just enough to be satisfied. If we did a thorough spring cleaning each and every time; we’d have little time for much else. I sacrifice absolute cleanliness for time spent on other things. There is much more to life than an OCD obsession with clean, perfect homes, thank you very much.
A painted wall does not a successful business make. Is a visually appealing improvement going to make a significant difference in my happiness or satisfaction at work?
Trivial as this color choice appears; it is symbolic. This one change will propagate much more. One colonial blue wall in a dull office can inspire creativity, productivity and progress. Choosing a paint color marks the beginning of a new season in our life journey. Just as homeowners paint their walls to define their space, to take ownership of their place, we too must prime and fix holes with joint compound and putty knives.
We must own the business within these four walls. 100% Quality.
I’ve discovered that the things, the people, that aggravate me most are deep seeded issues buried in my subconscious; waiting to be dealt with. The stronger the reaction; the deeper the issue. Years can be spent in denial, in waiting, hoping time will heal the wounds within. But when confronted, in a swift lightning strike, it is always surprising how quickly the problem is resolved; if I only fasten my full attention to it. Out of sight; out of mind does not ever bring resolution. It is only when my eyes see; that thoughts form in my conscious, that I can sort and catalog. I can sift through the detritus. I can finally make a choice.
Sometimes evaluating the trash can be valuable.
Acknowledging my internal mental garbage means I must accept the things I cannot change (as in the Serenity Prayer); and have the wisdom to know the difference. It is always hardest in taking that first step; to bring about change. My multiple intelligences mode of bodily-kinesthetic must be activated. I must physically work towards a goal to make it happen. I must paint a wall to affect change.
It is time, I tell myself, to fasten my attention and focus 100%. The decision is made.