Zen desk, Zen mind?

Three years ago I read David Allen’s Getting Things Done and started applying it to my life. I used to take pride in my messy desk and my ability to (usually) find what I needed from the stacks of paper scattered about. Inspired by GTD, Merlin Mann’s 43 Folders, and Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits, I now strive to keep my desktop (including my computer desktop) as clear as possible. Less clutter means less distraction and less stress and, hopefully, more focus and more creativity. It took weeks to get to this point when I first started. But after establishing a system I liked and developing a habit of clearing my desk each day, it’s been easy to maintain this approach. (I also process my email in-box to zero every time I open it. That doesn’t mean I respond to every email right away. I just decide what action is required and where it should reside if that action isn’t happening now. Here’s a helpful guide to “Inbox Zero” from 43 Folders.)

In Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind Shunryu Suzuki wrote:

“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

Maybe this empty space I work from will help me cultivate a “beginner’s mind” on a regular basis. Endless possibilities… 

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