Recently I’ve been having difficulty managing my time and being productive during the day. I tried getting more sleep so that I could awaken feeling refreshed. I monitored the food I ate and attempted to eliminate or moderate eating that which was not healthy. I even used my tried-and-true trick of making a To-Do List, but nothing appeared to be working. I still struggled to meet my daily goals.
Yesterday I walked into my home office and it I felt like I was seeing it for the first time. It was JUNKY! I have two desks that were over flowing with papers and books. I had multiple To-Do lists with only one or two items crossed out. There were boxes on the floor filled with files that I’ve been meaning to go through for weeks and hadn’t even touched. In short – it was a HOT MESS!
Now, I’m the type of person that loves to stay organized, in fact, I see it as one of my secret super powers. This office was unacceptable. No wonder I couldn’t complete anything. My physical surroundings were impacting my emotional state of mind leaving me unfocused.
The chaos surrounding me was creating chaos inside of me. I knew what I had to do and immediately got to work. I rearranged and reorganized my office space. I removed everything that I hadn’t touched in over a month. I found a home for everything else. I looked at the flow and created a space conducive to peace and productiveness.
And it worked. The next morning, I was excited about being in my office. The space was comfortable, and I accomplished more in one day than I had in the prior week. It was a reminder to me of how burdensome clutter can be.
What clutter do you need to remove today?
You can fill your physical space as well as your mental space with clutter. You can fill your mind with negative thoughts that hold you back, fear that paralyzes and time-zappers that sabotage your productivity. Are you spending more time and energy on things that don’t matter, activities that aren’t fulfilling and people who emotionally deplete you?
Now is the time to identify your clutter and resolve to start making changes.
Clutter you may need to lose include:
- Believing that you are alone – Most of us feel lonely at times. It may appear that others are surrounded by friends, family, and loved ones while we feel that no one understands us. Loneliness is not about how many people are around us, but about how we feel inside. If we feel that we aren’t connected to anyone than we are more likely to feel lonely. We can begin to unpack this clutter by building up our self-esteem, self-respect and self-care.
- Trying to people-please – There’s nothing wrong with having a desire to please others. But, problems occur when we please others to the detriment of our own emotional health. Are you always saying yes with the secret hope that others will accept you? Does saying no make you anxious? If so, there may be some underlying issues that should be addressed.
- Negative self-talk – Are you aware of the words you say to yourself? Would you say the same thing to your best friend? Often, we are much harsher to ourselves than we are with others. Negative self-talk will not motivate you to make a change – it may reinforce the bad habit you’re trying to change. Resolve today to speak to yourself with kindness.
- Perfectionism – The drive to always be right, do right, and have the right answer is a heavy burden to carry. Personal growth occurs when we make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. No mistakes. No growth. The result of perfectionism is that we can end up getting sicker, sadder and ultimately limit our own potential. Learn to be more accepting of your mistakes and recognize the growth opportunity they present.
- Fear – Fear is an indication of danger whether real or imagined, physical or emotional. Is fear hindering you from setting and accomplishing your goal? Procrastination is the manifestation of fear. Fear of making mistakes (see perfectionism above 😊) will paralyze us and cause us to avoid doing what we know we should or want to do. Feel the fear and do it anyway.
What clutter in your life is hindering your progress? Awareness is the first step in making a change. What changes are you ready to make? What resources are needed to aid you in beginning and maintaining your change? Surround yourself with people who are supportive of your de-cluttering efforts.