1. Start with your own stuff and don’t tell anyone what you are doing. Be a LeadHer by example.
2. If you don’t feel you can do it alone, invite a friend to join you. As my mother always said, “More hands make lighter work.” Offer to do the same for her. You may even have a child who is naturally organized, and would love the opportunity.
3. Decide whether it would easier for you to do a little at a time – or set aside a larger block of time for sorting. Either works!
4. Identify places that would appreciate having what you don’t need. Our county has a non-profit that helps victims of domestic violence.
5. Before you begin, get a trash bag, for those things no one needs, and paper and marking pens.
6. For every hour of organizing, allow ten minutes for “clean-up.” Set a timer as a reminder!
7. Go through the area you have identified and ask, “Does this ______ help me accomplish my work or enjoy my life?” If your answer is “Not really,” you have an opportunity for a blessing.
8. If you’re still not sure whether to keep something, ask “What’s the worst possible thing that would happen if I got rid of this, and I was wrong?” If you can live with your answer, let it go. If you’re still not sure, don’t stop – just go on to something else, and keep asking.
9. If you find something that belongs somewhere else, don’t go there – just put it in a pile to take when you are finished. Make a sign to indicate destination.
10. Before you go to your next activity, make a date with yourself to tackle the next cluttered area. Once you have gone through all the areas in your home, you can sustain your success by making it an annual event.
Drawing by Myers Taylor
Recently I was talking with a woman who made the difficult decision to leave her corporate job after 20+ years to begin a consulting business of her own. She was considering joining our training program to become a Certified Productive Environment Specialist (www.BecomeaSpecialist.com). As I was explaining how our program works, I mentioned that my personal passion is “helping leaders create Productive Environments — intentional settings in which everyone can accomplish their work and enjoy their lives.” I mentioned that in my experience many leaders (especially entrepreneurs!) have messy offices. As a result they communicate to their employees that organization is not important, and even worse, fail to empower those employees to implement the very systems that would increase profit, productivity, and peace of mind. She replied, “You’re absolutely right. My boss’s office was always a mess, and I often wondered how he could run a business if he couldn’t even organize his own desk!”
That’s the bad news. The good news! After 30+ years, I have scores of testimonials from clients who have discovered that if they are willing to invest eight hours of focused attention with one of our consultants to implement The 8-Hour Miracle™, not only can they be a role model for organization, but they can empower their employees to do the same.
What message is your office sending to your employees, your team, your family, the world? Does your office reflect the quality of products and services you provide?
If not, click on this link to schedule a 30-minute phone consultation to see how we can help: www.vcita.com/v/barbarahemphill
This evening, together with 15 other B’Nai Mitvah students, I will be completing a two-year course of study by helping to lead the services and will be called to read from the Torah portion for this week. I wish everyone much joy, as I feel, in being able to reach this point in my life and choosing to complete that which I began and interrupted when I was 12. At the age of 12, I didn’t have the life experience to appreciate what it means to connect to our spiritual roots and the joy that is visceral in singing the ancient hebrew text. I am not religious as a person, but I am spiritual and I am so happy to now have the calm to focus and enjoy this experience.
Beginning the process of releasing clutter has helped me to see clearly what is most important in my life. I wish each of you the same discoveries.
I’ve always said that I teach what I need to learn. From K-8 grades, I went to a one room school where I was bullied. Whenever it was recess and we were playing games, I was the last one to be “chosen.” When I graduated from college with honors, my diploma wasn’t signed because I hadn’t finished my physical education requirements.
Recently I started working privately with a physical therapist. Today I went to class with other patients. In the past I have been afraid to go to any class that involved physical activity because I was afraid that I would be the worst student. To my amazement, I wasn’t!
My emotional clutter has been thinking that I would look stupid if I tried to exercise with other people. The Bible says that the sin that God most hates is pride, and I realized that my pride has prevented me from moving forward. The truth is that I might look uncoordinated, but so what? I’m tired of being stuck in my own emotional clutter. What is yours?
Today’s task was clearing the back room of the studio. I have been here four years and it is time to make a move. As happens, the back room has accumulated all manner and assortment of leftovers and duplicates and fragments of projects completed yet needed for future possibilities. How to organize them? How to retain them in a useful manner for future reference and utility? Which ones can simply be tossed? It is so freeing making the decisions. The result, ClearView = releasing=more time for Life and opening to what is Next!
Join Barbara for a Productivity Power Up Webinar. Visit www.powerupwebinar.com for more information and to register now.
Now on to decluttering my schedule and focusing on the choices of how I spend my time, my energy and realize my intentions. It has taken a month of consistent focus an hour or two at a time to get through the top layer on my desk. I am grateful for the progress and the renewed energy and excitement for life I feel and now my camera has a clear home for its time in my life.
Here too, uncovered, are two books loaned to me by my dear friend and covey consultant Andrea Blum Edwards. I took their courses and a software partnership with Franklin Covey years ago. Now I am continuing along the path of assisting others to realize their leadership goals. It is time for me to apply myself to help improve what matters for our world to thrive.
My girlfriend is attending to her parents’ inherited clutter. A big trunk full of letters and gems. She is slowly wending her way through this treasure, enjoying her parents’ stories along the way. It is a kind of literary treasure and she doesn’t want to just throw it away. Look at the left side of her table where she is putting things into the files – for the three key decisions: File Act or Toss.
The director of a non-profit organization told me that one of her challenges is that donations given to the center are carefully stored by her staff for just the “right” recipient – which creates a storage problem, and eliminates the opportunity for other donors to “fill the vacuum” which results when there is a real need.
In my first marriage, my in-laws has beautiful gold-rimmed china given to my father-in-law in exchange for legal services. I was told the only other set like it was in the White House. The china was carefully tucked away in a cupboard and never used, because it was too “precious” – but my mother-in-law never purchased any “good” china for special occasions, because “we already have some.”
What are you keeping – but not enjoying?