Find Time by Clearing Clutter

ClutterFinding time can sometimes feel like clearing brush (to borrow a metaphor from our outgoing President).  Managing our time and our space (both mental and physical) so that we can get to the things that are priorities in our lives can sometimes feels like it requires a bush hog or maybe in this season, a snow blower!

Challenging as it can be, clearing spaces for yourself is a vital key to accessing your full creative potential and productivity.

Physical and Mental Clutter

On New Year’s Day Paula Harvey wrote a very helpful blog post titled Warning Signs of Clutter:  How to Create Space that explores this topic and offers some tips for clearing (and maintaining) de-cluttered space in your life.  She notes the connection between physical and mental clutter, and offers a great starting point for getting in touch with your clutter quotient:

Notice the area around where you are sitting right now. Is there some area of the room that is cluttered? Perhaps there are stacks of magazines, newspapers, or unread mail. Take a look at it and notice how your body feels when you look at it. How long have you been saying you are going to go through those piles and get rid of what you don’t need? Where do you feel it in your body? What goes through your mind when you look at the clutter? What do you say to yourself?

Physical and mental clutter often go hand-in-hand.  While it’s debatable whether one causes the other, what I find to be irrefutable (and very empowering) is that working and making inroads on one area of clutter has a domino effect, clearing space in areas of your life that you hadn’t even touched. It’s not that it’s magical, mind you.  But there is definitely a synchronicity!

Whatever clutter you clear counts!

Working on whatever clutters your mental space and keeps you stuck will free up energy and focus.  Next thing you know, you’ll have gone through that pile of mail that’s been accumulating for weeks!  Likewise, as Paula Harvey points out so nicely in her post, working to simplify and organize your physical space will free your mind from the energy-draining effects of that clutter.

Wherever you choose to start, the key is to start!  I would suggest that you begin with small bites so as not to overwhelm yourself into inaction.  Use our “Think 15” mantra and spend at least 15-minutes at a time, working on decluttering either your physical or your mental space.  Start with whatever is right there to work on, and gradually go deeper.

It’s always a good idea to ease into it.  The principal is the same as with exercising.  If you attempt to much, you’ll end up feeling tired, overwhelmed, and discouraged – and you won’t want to go back and work on your clutter again.  On the other hand, if you start small you’ll feel the rewards quickly.  Your confidence and stamina will grow and you’ll find your own natural rhythm for this work.

Are there ways that clutter saps your energy and keeps you from focusing on your priorities?  How do you manage that?  I’d love to hear!

What if you could find another hour every day? You can! For more Time Finding resources, you are invited to sign up and download The New Finding Time Boundary Template. It’s FREE, and when you sign up you will also receive (if you don’t already) my FREE, weekly Finding Time Tips and my FREE, monthly Award-Winning Finding Time E-zine!

Let’s explore time together …

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