THE Creativity Chronicles

A journal of creative thoughts, content commissions I'm working on and where I'm at right now. The life of a creative copywriter.

"Creativity takes courage" - Henri Matisse

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It All Started With a Desk

June 28, 2020

I have wanted a new desk for ages.  My current desk is a beautiful French antique dressing table.  But it’s just that – a dressing table.  It’s for make-up not for a Macbook.  I used to have a really big office in our house but as time has gone on and I’ve had my two daughters they have those rooms for their bedrooms and I’m left with the smallest room in the house which is also where we keep our wardrobe and storage.

Our wardrobe is also a French antique (getting an idea for my style?)  She’s big, grey and beautiful, like an elephant (I nicknamed her Nellie) but she takes up 70% of the room.  I cannot bear being cramped in a small (dark) corner working from the dressing table where I don’t even have space to write (I mean, I’m a writer so you can see how this is not working out for me).  How have I got around this all this time?  I sprawl out on my lovely large dining room table or I work on the beach.  Well I DID: cue lockdown.

Suddenly with the kids in the house I couldn’t work from my dining room table and I just physically can’t fit on my bijou desk so I found myself working for the past three months from my bed.  It was manageable but it made me realise just how much I wanted a proper workspace rather than packing and unpacking temporarily every day and speaking to my clients surrounded by scatter cushions. 

So the hunt for a desk began.  I searched high and low to find one that would work best in the space.  I went to buy a few only to discover they had either sold out or had a 12-16 week delivery time.  Realising that a corner desk would work best only made it harder as my requirements became more niche and so I considered having one made.  Solid wood was too expensive so I ended up looking at scaffold desks but even those had long lead times.  It was at this point that my husband casually said “I could always make you one”.  And the rest is history.

A fortnight later and we were in business.  Nellie was down, the desk was in and I was good to go.  But this opened a complete Pandora’s Box.  I’ve ended up moving my bedside table out of my bedroom and putting my dressing table there instead (I’ve been doing my hair and make-up on the floor of my bedroom for 4 years so this itself is revolutionary!)  Then I had a total de-clutter of all of my make-up and cosmetics.  Everything felt better except we were now wardrobe-less.  Enter Facebook Marketplace where I quickly found one of those makeshift canvas wardrobes to tide us over between now and a “real” wardrobe arriving.

Emptying Nellie made me realise just how many clothes I’ve got.  I even took a year off buying anything and STILL I have too much.  It reminded me of how a few years ago I used to do the Project 333 Challenge (where you can only wear 33 items for 3 months at a time) and I remembered how good that had felt – to always wear the pieces that I loved.  It totally took the hassle out of the what-to-wear conundrum.  So that’s what I did.  I stripped back to my 33 items again to last me until 1st October.

This ties in perfectly with my new 90-day project plan.  As you may have seen from my Instagram stories, I’ve been planning a 90-day period starting from tomorrow where I know exactly what I’m working on when.  This is no mean feat.  I’m a ball of chaos – a self-confessed seat-of-the-pants type of person: planning is just not in my DNA.  But I’m already surprised at the incredible plan I’ve put together for myself.

No more forgetting to call clients or not turning up for a meeting because I was walking my dogs (true story), no more losing the notebook that I need or being late for everything, this new system should be pretty much foolproof, I even changed the make-up I have so it’s now a grab-and-go, five-minutes-to-apply setup making me presentable in 30 seconds (I haven’t got time for more than that).

So there you have it.  It started with a total meltdown about how I needed a “real” desk and here I am less than a week later with a capsule wardrobe, a streamlined make-up selection, a colour coded 90 day plan, a full kanban board to keep me accountable and some semblance of a woman who has her shit together.  I’ve never yet found a system to keep me organised or on track so it will be interesting to see if this time I’ve cracked it but what I do know is that less makes me happy.

I don’t need all the make-up, I don’t need all the clothes, I certainly don’t need the chaos.  Less is most definitely more.  And as for my new desk – she’s solid oak and she’s a thing of beauty – she’s called Elowen of course as she’s Cornish.  So now, just a wardrobe to find.

Keep in touch with my new organised life on Instagram @theferalwriter and if you have tips on productivity and organisation I would love to hear them!

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