My Busyness Number, Revisited

A few years back, I came up with an original system for classifying how busy I was at a given moment. I called it my busy-ness number. It is similar to how meteorologists measure cloud-cover, except instead of clouds, I measure the coverage of the surface of my desk. I was thinking about this post because I recently found myself in the “mostly covered” category, which represents 3/4 – 7/8th covered.

I sit there all day, working, and wondering if I will every be able to see the full surface of my desk again. I brush stuff aside when I eat my lunch, and then, depending on my day, more things accumulate. The plate from my lunch, for instance, can sometimes sit on my desk through the afternoon and past dinner, and it is only when I recall that the dishwasher is about to be run, that I remember to grab the plate (and any other relevant items) from my desk.

I have been ignoring the problem. It is just too overwhelming to tackle right now. Buried in the stack of stuff are a bunch of magazines I need to catch up on. There is a book that my sister sent me that looks really good. I think it is somewhere at the bottom of the pile right now. There are various documents that need to be scanned. I should move those documents over to the separate pile I have in front of the scanner so that they can get in line. I see various parts to things that have gotten separted from their parent object. Some of them I don’t even recognize.

There are coupons for Burger King. I can’t remember the last time I went to a Burger King1, and I have no idea why I would have kept a sheet of coupons for it. There is a bag of “goodies” from my last visit to the dentist sitting on top of the printer. It has been sitting there since December.

It is my hope that my desk surface–and, therefore, my busyness number–will clear up and improve by the time you are reading this post, somewhere around nineteen days from now. But at this point, I am not optimistic. Work is busy. With the beginning of spring came all of the various spring sporting activities for the kids: two kids in soccer, one in gymnastics three times a week; girl scouts; it goes on and on.

For now, I am going to pretend that by the time you read this, my desk is clear once again. Maybe wishing hard enough will make it so.

ETA 4/19: My desk has improved–a little–it’s down to “partly covered.” There is still considerable room for improvement.

Written on March 31, 2022.

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  1. On our drive back from Florida on Monday, we stopped at a Burger King in Dunn, North Carolina. But, of course, the coupons were on my desk at home.


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