Today, because I happened to have my camera in my bag, I took a picture of the desk area of my office (quality not great because lighting so dim):
Strewn with papers, and they're not in any kind of orderly piles - somehow this picture makes them look much more orderly than they actually are. Other surfaces in the office are similar - the top of my file cabinet, the shelf of the bookcase where I store my materials for current classes (nuclear holocaust, that shelf is right now) and even this week one of the chairs in there are all home to disheveled sheaves of unrelated stuff. Now I am usually a messer when I work - my home desk looks like this - even messier - and I am used to it and don't usually mind:
But the university office feels unmanageable. And so I've realized something about what's going on for me on campus. Since my days up there are so crazy, I have no time to properly do anything about the papers that accumulate. I don't have time to organize, nor to file. But of course, this adds up to chaos - and very rapidly, too. And so when I walk into the office, the feeling of anxiety is increased. It's a vicious circle that just leads to the magnification of my discomfort in that space!
One of my goals for next week (when I have a special day off from teaching) is to sort this out so that my office doesn't feel like a black hole anymore. I so hope this works - right now it's no fun to go in there, that's for sure. How do you feel about working in your office?