Up-leveling is MESSY (can I get an amen?)

Finally, I got a standing desk. After years of trying to cobble together a solution of standing desk converters, I finally said THAT’S IT. I can’t sit it any longer! 

So, I got a standing desk. And I got lots of accessories like drawers, hooks, keyboard trays, and filing cabinets. I invested in everything I thought I needed to make my office work for me. 

Then I realized I was cutting out 2 filing drawers and two regular drawers. This is storage space I’ll probably need so I had to consolidate. Purge. Get creative with the lack of storage space. 

Then the boxes starting arriving. And kept arriving. Stacks of them. Every part in its own box. 12 in all, sitting in my tiny hallway jamming that up. 

In the midst of the excitement, I lost track of the fact that I still have my original desk and it’s a beast! I’m not even sure I can get it out the office door in one piece much less down the stairs. So what to do with my original desk until I can get it sold or taken away? 

I wanted to put together my new desk immediately!! NOW NOW NOW!! It’s new and promises to be fantastic!! 

So… while the goal was to up-level my desk experience, I ended up with my entire upstairs in complete disarray. Files in boxes. Spin bike crammed into the bedroom. Boxes on the bed. Boxes downstairs. Boxes on the landing. Boxes in my office… where there is now one huge desk shoved in front of the couch and one desk that needs assembly. 

And JUST as we’ve finally committed the time to assemble the desk something goes wrong with one of the parts so I have to reach to the standing desk company for help… on a Sunday. 

At this point all I can think is… I can’t sit at my old desk anymore but I need parts for the new one and they won’t be here for days and there is not one place to sit and work upstairs anywhere anymore due to the boxes and boxes and boxes.  

And by that point, I was tired. I considered boxing everything up and saying forget it (and I was getting tired of saying and seeing boxes)! 

In the beginning when I was ordering the desk I totally had in mind what I wanted and what the outcome would look like. But there was a crapload of work and mess and tiredness that I did not foresee. Yes I realize now that this mess had to happen in order to get to the next level but I didn’t plan for it. 

When people I coach want to up-level, THIS messy, exhausted space is where they often give up. Because all evidence points to your goal feeling further away than ever. 

My recommendation is: Keep going.

To up-level you have to: 

  • Decide and commit to your goal 
  • Create a new plan 
  • Take action 
  • Rearrange your habits and thinking 
  • Take action 
  • Endure the mess 
  • Take action 
  • Resist going back to where it’s tidy and safe. 
  • Take more action 
  • Take breaks and nurture yourself 

And ask for help. Enduring the mess is easier when you’ve got someone in your corner who knows that the mess is temporary and can point this out while cheering you on. 

Here’s the part I always forget: what I think up-leveling looks like and what it actually looks like are usually two very different things.  

By Sunday evening the new desk was assembled as we found a workaround for the parts we thought we needed. But I’m still crammed into my office with 2 desks, a small couch, a spin bike and an armoire, and boxes upon boxes.

Have a look as this is what up-leveling looks like in-process. 

Obviously I still have a few things to do… 

The moral of the story is if you are in the middle of an up-leveling process and it feels messy or half-completed or not quite what you expected, breathe… this is the process. Stick with your plan and ask for help so you don’t snap back to doing what you’ve always done. Remember that you’ve been down that road and you know that it doesn’t go where you want to be.

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Mary Cravets

Founder Mary Cravets started Simply Get Clients because she saw small business owners complicating growing their businesses. Or falling victim to the "build it and they will come" myth. So she developed the simple structure to cut through all the noise of social media, "experts", online funnels, advertising and more to focus on the central problem of business owners: getting more clients. And you know what? There is NOT a one-size-fits-all solution.

Reader Interactions


  1. Lois Grushka says

    Read it all. Reminded me why I respect Mary’s coaching. Crafty slapper-in-the face. Wow, I needed that – Thank you!