Tag: productivity

Ready to get lean? To minimize the stuff that keeps you stuck? To return to the clarity, peace and freedom you were born with?

Then you’re ready for Step 7 of The Declutter Code. (But first, have you read and practiced Step 6 yet?)

Step 7: Simplify

To simplify is to remove the clutter that complicates and stains our lives. When we simplify our lives, and chip away at clutter, we return to peace.

Simplicity is when life comes into balance and things relate more harmoniously. Life is easy. The minute we shift our thoughts to believe that, life rises to meet our faith. We start to see life get more manageable and we get more flexible—everything gets less chaotic.

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What’s holding you back from having all that you want? What obstacle stands between you and your goals?

Whatever it is, it feels like being stuck in a rut, unable to go where you want to go; uninspired and hopeless. It makes success feel out of reach, and failure inevitable. It feels like discouragement and lack of confidence. If feels like disappointment before you’ve even begun.

It hinders creativity and courage. It chokes you up on job interviews and presentations. And it depletes your energy and ability to focus.

You would think there’d be some physicality to such a constraint that can literally hold you captive.

Nope. It is all mental.

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Running around nonstop all over the place. Speed racing through traffic to get to your next appointment on time. Losing your cool because yet another person asks you for a favor. Cutting people off mid-sentence because you have other things to do. Multi-tasking as many things as there are minutes in the day.

This is no way to live. And if this is how you’re living, you need to declutter your busy.

In other words, declutter how you spend your time by limiting what’s on your plate—doing less—with the aim of having more downtime to connect with the you underneath the busyness. The you underneath all the To Do lists.

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On any given day, we have a million things we want to do and only a finite amount of time to get them done.

Do we ever get to all of the tasks we set out for ourselves? Rarely. Why? Because we usually set our sights on doing too much. More than any one person can handle.

When we can’t get to all of it, we feel the pressure of pending deadlines.

I start to feel overwhelm creep in when I allow too many tasks to pile on my plate. Fortunately, before I panic, I have a few tricks to free myself from being suffocated by it. Tricks that help make my agenda more manageable—so I can get it all done.

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Clearing space in the mind is how the successful remain nimble and stealthy. It is how they have the room for new information, new ideas and new insight. These mental pockets of nothingness open us up to the creative stream of consciousness.

Thinking clearly equates to thinking creatively. When we hit writer’s block on an article or feel uninspired about our work, it’s because we haven’t given ourselves time away from it. We need that emptiness to usher in the new and refine the old.

And if we never take time away from the hustle and grind of our careers, all else in our lives suffers. Our relationships, our health, our energy and our happiness.

Yet, all too often, we business owners scramble from client to client, wearing too many hats, overloading our calendars with too many appointments, and getting pulled in too many directions. At this pace, our minds don’t shut off and our feet don’t stop pushing 100 miles per hour.

Clutter is that chaos.

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I’m always reading books about clearing clutter and creating space. It’s good research.

I recently finished the book, Unstuff Your Life: Kick the Clutter Habit and Completely Organize Your Life for Good, by Andrew J. Mellen and it left me with lots of action steps to clear clutter. (Read my review of the book on Goodreads.) But in this case, I’m focused on the part about clearing digital clutter. And for good reason.

Mellen writes,

“In the United States alone, more than $650 billion a year in productivity is lost because of unnecessary interruptions, predominantly mundane matters, according to Basex, a leading knowledge economy research and advisory firm. The firm states that a large part of that $650 is the result of time lost recovering from interruptions and trying to refocus on work.”

Not only is it messy, digital clutter is a huge distraction.

Imagine running around the house looking for your keys when you’re already late for work. That’s you, too, when scrambling to find documents, spreadsheets and other files before you can get down to business.

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