Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Calculated Risks and Clean-Up

I wish my desktop were this uncluttered.
Icon via Pixabay
Last week, in an effort to get my computer desktop under control, I decided to resort to something a little outside my comfort zone. Because I have a Mac, I can have multiple desktops going at the same time. Because I'm an I need to see it person, I take full advantage of that option, giving each project a desktop of its own. I won't even tell you how many desktops I had going, but I will tell you that it was in the double digits.

But, it was starting to backfire. I had so much laid out on the desktop, that, like an actual desktop, it was messy, making it really hard to see what I had. Much of what I had was class prep -- slide sets, articles and ideas that I wanted to keep visible, but I also had several desktops worth of writing projects I was working on. Seeing these provided a nudge, a sort of, "you haven't forgotten about me, have you?"

But my Macbook, which is nearly five years old, was losing patience with this system. I don't know if the growing number of program shutdowns had to anything to do with my, ahem, system, but it was time for a change.

It was time for folders.

It isn't that I don't use folders -- they're all over my desktop. Unfortunately, they're buried beneath the class prep and writing projects. And they work. I just wasn't using them for my class prep and works-in-progress. 

Two folders later, my desktops were all but clear and my class prep and works-in -progress were neatly filed away. I was afraid that since creating folders doesn't change the fact that I'm an I need to see it person, it would be another case of "it looks pretty, but it's not working," but, so far, it's working quite well.

And you know what? Seeing the things that had been spread out across the desktop tucked neatly into a folder was a relief. They were far less overwhelming as closed files than they'd been as open files, and I could still see what I needed to do. All I had to do was open the (color-coded) folder.

Sometimes, we need to step outside of our comfort zones. As we become more aware of what works for our styles and what absolutely does not, it becomes easier to know which risks are calculated and which are likely to throw the system into upheaval. I know that, used in specific ways, folders can work for me (outside of file cabinets), so this was a calculated risk.

So far, it has paid off. Stay tuned to see if it stands the test of time. 

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