When you find time to clear the clutter from your life, whether it’s in your space, on your To Do List, or even in your mind, you are giving yourself an energizing and very practical gift.
What do I mean by that? Well, clutter is fundamentally debilitating. It makes every task take longer than it needs to, drains your energy, and can be discouraging … even embarrassing … adding to your stress and decreasing your everyday satisfaction.
So, finding time for decluttering is one of the most sure-fire ways for making two vital and positive changes in your life:
• Decreasing your stress and
• Increasing your efficiency and effectiveness.
If you feel like clutter is holding you back and making your daily life more stressful and challenging than it needs to be, you are not alone. And if you are ready to start making some changes, here are 5 suggestions for you to consider.
One size definitely doesn’t fit all … so feel free to tweak these suggestions to suit your preferences and needs. This is about finding what works for YOU!
1. Break your challenge into pieces. Focusing on the whole of it (whatever “it” is) is bound to be overwhelming and discouraging. If you bite off too much, you are simply sabotaging your efforts, so start small – very small!
2. Once you have set a manageable goal, if you live with others, it’s helpful to include everyone in the effort. Communicate the goal in a friendly, non-judgmental way. Consider making it a game, to enlist everyone’s support. Make it fun and you’re more likely to get it done!
3. Clutter is sometimes a function of not having places to put things. Whether you’re talking about clutter in your house or in your mind … if you have places to put things where you know they will be accessible when you need them, you’re more likely to be able to “let go.” Try to add shelving, reorganize closets, or maybe explore ways to create a more useful “To Do” list for yourself.
4. Always, always, always validate the effort! You are probably good at validating others’ efforts … but it is fundamentally important to validate your own efforts, too. Pat yourself on the back when you follow through. This energizes you and builds positive momentum. In a very real way, it keeps you going!
5. Be willing to set clear and consistent boundaries … and to maintain them. If others refuse to deal with their clutter that impacts you directly, what is a reasonable consequence? Communicate the expectation and the consequence clearly beforehand, and then follow through.
It’s very important that you create consequences that you are willing and able to carry out. It’s also helpful to tailor them to the person you are dealing with. The expectations and consequences for your 5 year-old will be very different than for your 15 year-old … or for your partner, for that matter!
Above all, be sure that you give yourself plenty of pats on the back every time you follow through on a goal that you have set for yourself. DON’T minimize what you accomplish.
BONUS TIP: You may also want to start a “Clutter Journal” so that you can track your progress, the challenges that crop up, and how you overcome them.
As you chip away at the chaos and create more time and space for yourself, you will be amazed to see what emerges! That's because clutter doesn't only clog your space and your time ... it also clogs your creativity, your energy, and your confidence.
As you start letting go of your clutter, whether it's in your bedroom or on your To Do List, you will find that your energy is freed up in all sorts of new and exciting ways!
Now, ask yourself: What other things can you do to increase your energy, creativity and productivity?
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Paula Eder, PhD is an internationally-known coach and published author who mentors spirit-driven solopreneurs and small business owners to align their core values and energy with their time choices and behaviors so that they can make more money, create more freedom, and find more time.
Living on a working farm in rural New Hampshire, Paula’s connection with time is as organic, spiritual, and down-to-earth practical as the vitality and resiliency of the seasons. From her base in New Hampshire she has maintained a thriving coaching practice for the past 35 years; is a Certified Coach in Kendall Summerhawk's Money Breakthrough Method™ Program; and is a certified graduate of the Vanguard class of the Authentic Happiness Coaching Program conducted by Martin E. P. Seligman, PhD and Ben Dean, PhD.
Always fascinated with time’s ability to hold the most profound and the most mundane moments simultaneously, Paula’s passion is helping people understand time through the gateway of their hearts. Her Heart-Based Time Management System helps busy people just like you develop the skills to make authentic time choices that lead to work success, personal growth, vibrant health, and an ever-deepening relationship with yourself and those you love.
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