I’m flying high today because I finally completed the last large project of my coach training. I’d had to take an extension for the first time in my life because my plate was just too full, and family had to come first. That project had really been weighing on me!
Once a tough task is done it’s amazing to watch the burst of energy that comes from the completion. After I sent that project into cyberspace yesterday afternoon I no trouble clearing off my desk that just the day before had seemed like an insurmountable task. I got all kinds of little jobs that had been bugging me for some time knocked out. Those tasks had been hanging out because the big project had to take precedence. Once the energy block of the project was removed, everything seemed so much easier to do.
And, the benefits of that big completion are continuing! For example, I’m writing this blog at least a day earlier than I normally would. And, I was able to make myself write a coaching summary and send it off my client within an hour of our session. That rarely happens despite my best intentions! I can get right on tasks I normally might put off doing because I’m not distracted by that monster project.
Another benefit of that important completion is that I was able to be more present when I visited Mom for lunch today. There was more joy in the room because I had lightened my load by finishing that project. We were able to spend time enjoying each other and putting the final touches on her Christmas decorations.
What’s standing between you and the joy of this special season? What can you do today to lighten your load and give yourself the gifts of energy and pleasure?
Some people assume that since I’m a professional organizer I have many sophisticated systems for keeping my life in order. As I observed myself capturing “to do” items yesterday I smiled to myself and thought, “Oh, if they could see me now!”
My current system for making note of action items that I want to be sure not to lose sight of is anything but sophisticated! I always carry a small pad around with me. When I promise to do something for someone or a task I need to do pops into my head, I jot it down on a page in that pad. I then rip out the page and stuff it in my purse. Because loose papers in my purse almost always catch my eye and bug me, they get removed from my purse when I get into my car. The items that will be done from the car stay in a section of my console where I put reminder notes. The others are put in my lunch bag that gets emptied out every night. From the kitchen counter my notes are then transported to my desk where I take action on them.
Now, this system would not work if I had a purse full of all kinds of loose paper. Those reminder notes would just join the sea of paper and be lost. It would also not work if I weren’t pretty systematic about regularly clearing papers from my purse on a daily basis. It also helps that I am visually hypersensitive, meaning I see EVERYTHING, particularly things that are out of place! Those loose papers really bug me which spurs me to move them along to where they can be acted on.
The systems you use to keep track of the multitude of tasks you must do to keep your life running smoothly don’t have to cost much nor do they have to be sophisticated. What’s most important is that they work! For now my floating reminder system works. How do you keep track of the action items that come at you as you move through your day?
When I recently reflected back on the 11+ years that I have been working full-time as a professional organizer and the two to three years that I have been writing regularly about my organizing experiences and lessons I’ve learned, I realized that there are two areas of the organizing process that I enjoy most: clutter clearing and helping people get things done. I am both very sensitive to energy and visually oriented, therefore I am very affected by the negative effects of clutter. And, I’m a task-oriented person. I like to get things done, finished, settled, decided. So, it makes sense that clutter clearing and getting things done would be my primary areas of interest.
After I pinpointed my primary organizing interests I began to think about the connection between clutter clearing and getting things done. Here are some of my thoughts:
- Clutter is a physical block to getting things done. The negative energy of clutter blocks both the thinking and the inclination to get things done.
- Clearing clutter makes it possible to see what needs to be done and frees energy to make taking action possible.
- When clutter has been cleared it is easier to plan what needs to be done and to problem-solve how to get things done.
- Some clutter is the physical evidence of tasks that have not been done. For example you might leave the paint can and brush out in a room to remind you to touch up a painted surface.
- Unfinished projects can have the same negative energy as clutter.
- Getting things done reduces clutter.
Clearly clearing clutter and getting things done are intertwined! Go clear some clutter today and make it easier to get things done!
- If people made a commitment to keeping their spaces clutter free, they would be more productive.
- If people were more productive, there would be less clutter.