The Adventures of a Horizontal Organizer

Working with my wife to help our daughter and new son-in-law this week on the move to their new home in Louisiana reminded me of one of my more unlikable (to some) traits:

My name is Bob, and I’m a horizontal organizer.

I like the things I am working on spread out on a surface in front of me, where they can beckon me to continue working on them. Efficiency experts and time management gurus live in a world of vertical file management and a digital, paperless world, but me – not so much. As a horizontal organizer, I am at a situational disadvantage. The whole world is set up to help keep vertically organized people on top of things.

On the other hand, all my work is on top of things – my desk(s), the tops of filing cabinets, bookshelves, the nearby futon, and the floor. As you have no doubt heard, a messy desk spread thick with paper and stacked high with books is the sign of a genius at work. At least that’s what I tell myself.

The relocation of my office from the main level of our home to the second floor has had many benefits, not the least of which is increased domestic tranquility – a phrase not exclusively limited to governmental issues by any means. Because of my tendencies towards horizontal organization – actually, more like a full-out embrace – my working office is now out of sight, but not out of mind – the office must also remain a guest room. I’m sure I’ve got some resources somewhere around here on how to accomplish both…

Now – where did I put that book?

Special thanks to my youngest son Aaron, a junior in college, for pointing me to the book The Art of Procrastination, by John Perry. After he bought the book, read it, and wrote a paper on procrastination the day it was due, he gave it to me to read. What can I say – he’s a genius!

Through it, I was introduced to the concept of horizontal organization. I’m looking forward to finding out more about Structured Procrastination, To-Do Lists, Procrastination as Perfectionism, and other strategies for the serial procrastinator.

Alas, it is pretty close to home…

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