As I was preparing for two speeches to a local elementary school faculty, I was feeling nervous. I was comfortable with my topic, Using Feng Shui to Get More of What You Want in the Classroom, but I’ve worked in schools enough to know that some of those audiences can be filled with people who are pretty burned out and less than welcoming. I knew my topic would catch their interest because it never fails to do that. And it was still early in the school year, so teachers would surely still have some energy, but I was still nervous.
I keep my speech supplies in my office closet that also holds my dress clothes. When I went into my closet to pull out supplies for the teacher speeches, I was suddenly inspired to clear out clothes that I either had never worn or had not worn in over a year. You might be wondering if I was having an ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) moment. What on earth was I doing clearing my closet right before two important speeches? I knew better. Clearing clutter is one of the ways I reduce stress and “get clear.” I knew that clearing my closet, which I did in under five minutes, would help me think more clearly when I was in front of the teachers.
Next, I was pulling forms and supplies from a crate in my closet when I realized that some of door prizes I’d been hauling around for months weren’t the type people would choose. I took a minute or two at that point and went through the whole box of door prizes and cleared out a stack of things I knew I would never give away. I’d been meaning to do that for some time, but just hadn’t done it.
Later I found myself in a desk drawer looking for a project file folder to show the teachers. Feeling frustrated by the difficulty I had locating what I wanted, I took several minutes and restored order to that drawer, purging a few old catalogs as I worked.
And, so it went until I had cleared my way to being organized and grounded for my speech. When I ran into a clutter pocket in the closet and the desk drawer, I felt stressed by it. I knew it would take just moments to release unwanted items, but the benefit would be feeling lighter and more in control. The difference between what I was doing and true ADD is that I never lost sight of my most important task, getting ready for those speeches.
What can you clear to help clear a path to completing an important task? The clutter in your space is often one of the blocks to getting important tasks done.