A common theme came up for the members of the Power of 10 group; they felt a need to get organized and de-clutter their office. But they didn’t know how to get there. So at the July meeting I invited professional organizer extraordinaire and author of The Simple Sizing Break, Jane Carroo, to join us and provide some words of wisdom. We learned ways to help us move clutter out of our workspace a little bit at a time to make it more manageable. We learned ways to determine what is important and what is not important to keep. And we learned time management tools to help us make our days and weeks more productive.
The discussions gave me the inspiration to attack my own pile. On my desk was what I call the “I-know-this-is-important-and-I-want-to-record-it-or-act-upon-it-but-other-things-are-taking-precedence-right-now” pile. So Saturday morning I commandeered the living room. I went through the original pile paper by paper and created new stacks on the floor: business coaching resources, previous speech notes, products to research, and of course recycle. I filed what needed to be filed, trashed what needed to be trashed, and ended up with a small stack to be recorded. Ah. It felt so good to go through everything. The albatross was no longer around my neck. I felt freer, lighter, and most importantly, more motivated.
It is amazing how a looming stack of to-do’s can stifle us. There was such a weight on my shoulders of all the items I wanted to eventually go through, that I couldn’t concentrate on what was really important right now. My thought was to create a pile of future to-do’s so I could work on right now. But instead the pile because a constant reminder that I was behind, that there was so much more to do. However, when I went through the pile, shrunk it down, and discovered the true magnitude, or lack thereof, of the pile, I found my days being much more productive. My desk was cleaner, my focus sharper, and my motivation higher.
What is looming in the background for you? What is the big scary task that you are afraid to tackle? How is not addressing this issue, slowing down your productivity elsewhere? Now might be the right time to take a look and see if taking baby steps toward resolving it can help free up some mental focus and time for you.