WASHINGTON, March 22, 2014 – With snow and wintry weather still threatening to get in the forecast, it is hard to imagine that it’s just turned Spring. Baseball training camps are underway, tulips and cherry blossoms will be blooming (we hope), kids are looking forward to Spring break (at least those who are still getting one), and it’s a great time to begin that annual and much needed ritual of Spring Cleaning.
It’s also a good time to introduce our latest Commander Tip:
Have nothing in your houses or offices that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.
William Morris’s Golden Rule
With all the delays of plans that bad weather has caused across the country, I finally decided, “Why wait for Spring to do Spring Cleaning.” After having my most recent plans for a mini get-a-way weekend cancelled by the airlines, I thought about my options. What was I going to do with my freed up time?
This may not sound enticing to you, but if you could look at the big picture it may. The project I wanted to tackle was to do an early Spring Cleaning, both physically and mentally. Since I had the time blocked out anyway, I decided to put it to good use. I asked myself, “What would help me in the future that I can do now with this uninterrupted time?”
I mean, seriously, when is the last time you had uninterrupted time?
I also did not want to be idle and look back on the time and say to myself, “Why didn’t I do this or that?”…and then feel upset with myself.
I soon came up with a short, do-able list. Get my files ready for taxes, read my book club book, see a couple of the Oscar nominated movies, watch “House of Cards” and “Breaking Bad” on Netflix, and look ahead to do my Spring Cleaning and de-cluttering.
Even though I keep my areas pretty uncluttered, given the amount of information we all get on a daily basis, family and business obligations and commitments, appointments, the unexpected situations life always surprises us with, and so on, we all have some clutter that still gets in our way.
Before I go any further, here is my definition of clutter:
Clutter is anything that takes you in the opposite direction you would like to go. It takes you away from the goals you have set.
Clutter has a heavy, burdened feeling to it, both physically and psychologically. It sits like a dead weight on our shoulders. Or it whirls about, like those myriad ideas floating around in our heads that sometimes make us feel like our heads are spinning out of control. Clutter is a negative energy that blocks your physical and mental space from what you really want to do in your life.
In order to free up that space, time and energy, clean up the clutter.
That’s why I focused on the benefits of de-cluttering. I know that when I am clutter-free, I am able to think more clearly and focus on key tasks. I am more efficient and effective and I just feel lighter. The sense of accomplishment feels great and puts you in the mood to get things done.
For example, I had some magazines I hadn’t looked through in the past several months. I caught up on a couple of them and cancelled one subscription because other priorities always seemed to come ahead of reading that periodical. If I weren’t going to read it in a timely fashion, then that magazine was clutter and it—both past issues and the subscription—had to go.
I also wrote down some business ideas I’d been considering but not acting on so that I could start to take action steps and bring those ideas into reality. Once out of my head and written down, they became more real. I made phone calls, did some research and got the ball rolling…and boy, did that feel good!
Here are a few tips that may help you with your own Spring cleaning and de-cluttering:
- If you don’t find some uninterrupted time for getting it done, make some time. Schedule it on your calendar, just like you would an actual business appointment, and begin your Spring cleaning on time.
- De-clutter your physical surroundings (piles of paper, emails, you know the routine) and your mental clutter (negative self-talk or negative chatter).
- Think from the end. In other words, if you want a clean space and clear mind, plan out the steps do you need to take to get there (as in get rid of piles of paper, throw out anything that no longer has value).
- Order yourself a decaf cappuccino, a chocolate croissant, sit back and relax.
Susan Commander Samakow, PCC, CPCC
Certified Business, Life & Leadership Coach
Expertise in Life and Career Transition, Business/Leadership, Confidence/Resilience Strategist
WUSA9 TV Community Content Producer
301-706-7226 & 703-574-0039