cluttered desk...cluttered mind


Today, I undertook the monthly "cleaning" of my desk. What this really amounts to is the shuffling of papers from here to there, hoping they'll somehow disappear in the process. I keep a notoriously messy desk, so this is quite a process. Usually, however, I am derailed several times when I come across a post-it note I wrote to myself. I live and die, professional speaking, with the post-it note. I have, at any given moment, twenty-five post-its with information floating around. Some of these are personal in nature (mostly lists of books I come across in my duties that I want to read later), some are vital information (vendor account numbers). But most are a sort of note-to-self Frankenstein: half a to-do list, items checked out from the library (I'm still on the pen-and-paper form of library automation), phone numbers with no other information, random quotes and so forth.

Theoretically, these things help me to remember. However, they are failing me and, by extension, I am failing. So, I get flummoxed when I unearth things like I did today. To give you an idea, here are the contents of three post-its I uncovered today that I still cannot, for the life of me, figure out.

Number 1 contains a series of ISBNs. I have no idea why I wrote these down or what I was hoping to do with them. I assume they're to be purchased, but they must not have been that critical, if I didn't take the time to enter them into the online system we use for book buying. Solution: placed aside to consider later.

Number 2: three items. A. Smith written twice, once with a þ and once with a ð. B. A call number in the NA range and C. the phrase 'art with wax and beads...Toltec?'. Solution: thrown away.

Number 3 is the densest and most confusing of all. It has what appears to be a to-do list with the following items on it: labels for shells (presumably, I meant shelves), new library handout (was I supposed to create one? distribute one? find one? the fact that it is not crossed out leads me to believe this was not done and now, sadly, never will be), check for insight (now, I know that insight media is one of the places we buy stuff from, however, when I first saw this, I thought I was reminding myself to assess my professional learning. Good thing I'm not doing that, as I can't see much that I am figuring out). This note also contains a phone number, in foreign area code, with no explanation of who or what it might be for. Hopefully nobody's expecting a call from me. Meow planning, as I've written, is probably menu planning, a reminder to buy books in the category. My inability to read my own handwriting led me also waste valuable time trying to remember why I would be following up on K's locks for her. While not beyond the realm of possibility, once I made it out to read books instead, all was much, much clearer. Sex & Bacon, while an interesting name for an album of my fictional band (the Graham Greene Catholic Quartet), means nothing now and probably never did. "The devil's in his diocese and all's right with the world" is evidently a quote from something (the quotation marks are on the original). It is kind of a nice turn of phrase, but I've no idea the source or why I wanted to preserve it. Solution: Wrote a blog entry, hoping for clarity. None came. Decided to leave it as is and call it a day.


Shaun R. said...

I started my new job last week. At the beginning of the week I was issued a small yellow pad. It basically serves the same purpose of the post-it notes except it puts them all in one place. Random phone numbers with no names, to do lists, notes taken while getting trained. It's all there. Fortunately I've only been at the job for 8 days now so the system works.

Petra said...

You should see all the notes I have on my computer's sticky notes program. A random samplings of the ones I'm not sure I understand:

(This is all that is written on each of those notes.)

Note 1:
bow chicka bow wow

5008-Amman11953 Jordan

Note 2:
attend Church in the Chapel that Grandpa Tueller helped raise money to build it when he was bishop.

Note 3:

Note 4:
"participants in a text act"

Note 5:

why should the hippo be denied the intimacy of the modern dental experience?

Note 6:
“Linguistics causes erectile disfunction!”

Note 7:
Updated Bathroom with Modern Flair. Yes ladies. It has a tub.

Plus I've got notes of all the types you describe: articles I want to read, bands I want to listen to, quotes from TV shows or movies that I liked, half-written blog entries, titles for blog entries, phone numbers, old to-do lists, etc.

I think I can explain some of them--funny quotes from things, probably, but why am I bothering to save them?--but others mystify me, the hippo one in particular; I remember transcribing it from another old sticky pad I found, and I remember writing the phrase down (my sophomore year of college, natch, before we even met) but I have no idea why I would have been thinking of that.

Great minds think alike, apparently. Good to know I'm not the only one with confusing sticky notes.

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