First off, I just want to say that I’m not scatterbrained, nor am I disorganized. I’m multi-focused.
Now that I’ve got the politically correct semantics out of the way, this blog post for #YouDayTuesday is intended for working dads like me who have a hard time keeping it together. I have a lot on my plate, and as you can see, sometimes it can get overwhelming.
That’s my desk at work. (Of course, I messed it up to make my point, and just so you know, messing it up was extremely painful.) A lot of dads like me could have desks that are just as messy, if not messier, and I’m sure our man-caves at home are just as primeval. So what’s a disorganized dad supposed to do?
Well, 1 Corinthians 14:40 says, “But all things should be done decently and in order.” We are called to do things in an orderly fashion. “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,” 1 Timothy 3:2 adds. I feel we are called to excellence, to overcome, by grace, our natural tendencies to be sloppy. So here are some useful tips that I’ve found work for me. (Also, I have ADHD. So if these life hacks work for someone like me, they’ll most likely work for you.)
1. Expandable envelopes. This is the fastest, easiest way to deal with important papers that just pile up on your desk, desperate for archiving. Most expandable envelopes come with customizable labels that you can use.
2. Get bookends. Some people like to pile books up to serve as bookends, but what’s the point of that? You’re going to have to read one of those books sometime, and when you do, oh, there goes your bookend. Best to just pick up actual bookends and use them to prop your folders, envelopes, and books up against one corner of your table.
3. Get a coaster for your cold drinks. I’m not like Monica Geller from Friends, but seriously, the water rings on tables caused by ice condensation is just… no, no, no. Aside from the potentially damage it can cause to wooden desks, it saves you the effort of always grabbing a napkin or tissue to mop up the water ring. I’ll bet your wives are annoyed by them, too. There are so many awesome-looking coasters around.
Or you could always use a sheet of paper, folded into quarters. But come on, man.
4. Magnets. These little babies do everything from display the artwork of your precious kids on refrigerator doors, to keeping your directory, and other essential sheets of information available on your tables for easy use and reference.
5. Extension cords. I can’t live without my extension cords, so much that I name them. (The one I took a picture of is Saksakan ng Saya. The spare one in my drawer is Saksakan Ng Liit.) These handy babies, especially when perched directly on your desk, offer you a fast and easy way to plug in laptops, phone chargers, and other devices, without having to crawl under your desk daily to do so.
6. Rubber bands, paper clips, and small compartments. These are great for a variety of reasons. I use a small clear box to store all my flash drives (I have six to date.) The rubber bands are always handy for things that need to be kept or tied together (like my clear box, LOL). I find paper clips are great for keeping wires in place, like so.
7. Pencil case. Gentlemen, I know we’re no longer in Grade 1–when I was in Grade 1, Marcos was still in power–but there is something remarkable and useful about the classic pencil case. Prior to my getting one–stealing it from my daughter, to be quite frank–I was always losing my writing tools. Ballpens, pencils, pentel pens, highlighters… it was quite frustrating. And over the course of time, expensive, too! So I got this pencil case, and voila! I haven’t lost a pen since, and all my writing tools are in one quick place. I also have a small ruler, an eraser, and a spare flash drive in there too.
7. Desk organizer. Having a desk organizer is the best thing that’s ever happened to me. Prior to this, I would keep all my materials–ballpens, pencils, highlights, pentels, rubber bands, paper clips, and the like–in a cardboard box that used to have Glorious Blend 7-in-1 Health Coffee. Useful, but certainly not aesthetically pleasing, and it was difficult to have to sort through the whole box to find that one item you’re looking for.
My organizer is arranged with highlighters and whiteboard markers in the center (tallest and thickest), along with my laptop brush; one segment for ballpens and tech pens; another segment for pencils; another segment for my little alcohol bottle and laptop cleaning fluid; another segment for coloring markers and pens–hey, I work in Creatives, we like coloring!– and one segment for rubber bands and paper clips.
Of course, these just work for me, and whatever your situation is at work, I hope that these hacks prove helpful for you. This is what my desk looks like now, BTW. ;)