Have you seen the show Hoarders, Buried Alive? Many people are entranced by it. It’s reminds me of when you drive down the road and pass an accident… it’s hard to turn away. I’ve heard people say that they are amazed at how “those people” live. Can’t “they” understand the difference between what’s junk and what’s not? How can “they” save all that stuff? What were “they” thinking as they accumulated all of it? Did “they” really think they would use it? How can “they” live that way? Don’t “they” know when enough’s enough?

It’s easy to see how things can physically block your path and get in your way but it’s not just about physical things. Information can do that too.

This may be dating me but, I remember when getting information about a topic was difficult. If you wanted to learn about a topic you’d have to spend hours in a library, use card catalogs, read books and ultimately consolidate all the information.

Times have changed. For the most part information is easily accessible. When something interests us we just “google it” and like magic, information appears. Then, instead of selectively reading the information that appeared, if anything is of even the remotest of interest you read it or simply hit print.

Here’s what you end up with…piles of ideas, piles of articles, multitudes of marketing and business strategies, dreams and ideas waiting to be read or done…someday really soon.

People who hoard physical things believe that those things are vital to their lives. Many of us do the same with the information that we come across. We see the information as vital to our businesses and our lives and simply cannot let that information go.

You may be holding onto the information because you think you’ll be able to use it someday, or it’s a good idea that you “should” do. Maybe you hold onto it because you think it’s interesting or that it might be useful for a client. BUT and yes, that was a big but…unless you use the information it will do nothing more than clog up space and energy in your mind, in your computer and on your desk.

Here are two examples:

A client of mine told me about his swipe file. Whenever something interested him, maybe an email or idea about a product or program he’d print it out and file it. He ended up with thousands of meticulously filed ideas all neatly organized in binders which he kept on shelves in his office All the ideas were good but he wasn’t using any of them. We talked about the binders and the ideas that were in them. He realized how much time and energy he was giving them.

They were taking up space, they were taking time to maintain, he spent money on binders and paper but more importantly they were sucking up his energy. Every time he walked into his office he saw the binders…he saw what he was not doing. He felt guilty about the things he wasn’t doing. All this information was blocking his path to action.

So what did he do? He took the binders, along with all of their contents, and after taking a deep breath, let them go. He immediately opened up space for new. Now he has a new guideline for himself: Whenever he sees something that is “swipe file worthy” he only prints it if he knows he will use it within the upcoming week. In othe words, he gives himself permission to let it go.

Another client of mine is transitioning into a new business. She has a lot of valuable information which she used to use frequently in her old line of work. BUT (yes, there’s that big but again)…that information is no longer valuable to her. She told me that she feels like she is squeezing her new business into the old. For her it’s time to pick up the old and let it go so that her new business has the space to grow both in her mind and in her office.

I’ve spoken with other entrepreneurs who gather ideas…marketing ideas, product or program ideas, thoughts and other inspiration. BUT unless you act on your ideas it’s just blocking your path.

So what do you do…?

Take a look at the ideas and information that you have and recognize that while all of it may be “good” or “interesting” not all of it is serving your purpose.

Understand that by letting go of some of the ideas you will give yourself permission and space to carry through on others.

Take a look at the pile of books or other information that you are planning to get around to reading one day. Take a stab at estimating how long that pile will take you to get through…is that how you want to spend that time? Ask yourself…if you had 3 free hours to read and consume some of the information which information would you choose to consume.

In a world where information is cheap and easy to come by recognize that unless you act on the information it is worthless. Choose to act or let it go.

Author's Bio: 

Carrie Greene is an expert at helping you go from overwhelm to excited and ready to go. Work with Carrie to help you take your life and business from overwhelm to opportunity. Visit Carrie's website, http://www.CarrieThru.com for free resources, including Carrie's 4-part ecourse to help you calm the overwhelm, create space and reclaim your freedom.