Organizing Chaos

Ah, Chaos, you mighty force of the universe against which humans have struggled for thousands of years–can you be organized?

Whether its turning a wild, untamed wilderness into neat log-houses and gardens, or trying to pin down the nature of the wily quantum particle, we humans seem to think we can organize ourselves into a state of safety and stasis, where the constant change, degradation, growth, and wildness of the world won’t scare us anymore. It’s a delusion, of course, but we do persist.

I, personally, have spent much of my life trying to be prepared for any possible scenario the chaotic universe might throw my way. Some call this being a “control freak”, or OCD, an “A-Type” personality. True, my desire to rule over the universe has caused me a lot of anxiety–trying to control the uncontrollable is exhausting and not very rewarding. But now I’ve grown a bit older and wiser, and I pick my battles with chaos. Rather than my WHOLE life, I can find neat little corners to organize. I still get the vast feeling of satisfaction at seeing a clear, concise piece of writing, or a tidy living-room (which lasts for a total of 2 minutes in my house with two young boys), without the misery of epic failure.

Here’s a tip I’ve learned about organizing chaos and how it can improve your productivity: when you have a deadline looming, alphabetize your spices. Really. Nothing like a tidy sock drawer/ neat pantry/ pristine desk to get you ready to write. Am I right? Call me OCD, but try it sometime and you will see what a clean kitchen does for you as you prepare to delve into hours of concentrated writing.

To round out this post, I’ve included my assignment from my ds106 (Digital Storytelling) class. I’ve created a Haiku Deck on How to Organize Chaos. I like Haiku deck for its ease of use, but felt my style a bit cramped by its rather rigid formatting choices. Or maybe I’m just terribly verbose and can’t admit it–three bullet points of text is just NOT enough.

The Haiku Deck Presentation

2 thoughts on “Organizing Chaos

  1. Sorry I was out sick on Tuesday–next week, we’ll show Haiku Decks in class. Most word people put waaay too much text on slides, so Haiku Deck DOES force you to do the right thing!. People are supposed to be listening in a presentation, not reading. The slides are just a place to rest the eyes.


  2. My chili powder and cumin have to be together in my spice cupboard because they are deeply in love. I guess it’s good they’re alphabetically close to each other. 😉


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