Work-Life Balance, Part II: Eliminating Clutter
last month’s newsletter, I addressed the challenge of work-life
balance by outlining strategies for establishing
month, we’ll explore the second of five principles for integrating
meaningful work with meaningful life.
Principles for Achieving Work-Life Balance:
Clutter and Tolerations
a Reserve in All Areas
and Developing Your Unique Gift
that God will Illuminate the Next Step
Clutter Creates an Energy Log-Jam
am about to share with you a success secret so amazing and yet so
simple that you won’t believe me when I say it will have significant
impact in your life and business.
Are you ready?
it is: GET
before you skim ahead or close this email, I want to share my own
experience with de-cluttering. I am not a naturally neat and organized
person. Because I have so
many ideas in the “in-progress” stage, I tend to keep multiple
unfinished pet projects in various documents, post-in-notes and
opened-books on my desk, on my book shelves, and in my computer files.
In order to keep the idea and project “active” I want it
visible. Hence, I have a
lot of “stuff” all over the place.
Because I hate detailed work, I also procrastinate on my
filing, and won’t let my assistant touch my files because it would
create work for me to help her out.
two years ago my state of constant creativity and clutter began to
choke me. Not only were
the files and books an eye-sore, but the ideas and projects that I
refused to let go of were creating a serious energy log-jam. In my
reluctance to let go of “stuff”, I realized I was diluting my
creative energy and therefore short-changing the key projects that I
had a real passion for.
solution was a serious de-junking of the paper and a re-prioritizing
of my focus. It amazed me
to see that I chose to keep only those “things” and activities
that truly reflected my passion and where I wanted to go with my
professional and personal life. And
the result was not only a cleaner office . . . .
but an immediate and significant
boost in my business!
I had help with my paper and organizational challenges from an expert:
an organization and productivity consultant who I met through my
professional coach training. Kathy
has kindly agreed to share some of her de-cluttering secrets with
Daring Doctors in this month’s issue, and is also offering a FREE tele-class
for Daring Doctors subscribers on
(see Tele-classes next topic).
of Kathy’s areas of expertise is in working with medical
professionals. As the spouse of a physician and the daughter of a
dentist and a nurse, Kathy has a personal understanding of some of the
unique challenges facing medical professionals on a daily basis. She
also works with professionals from a variety of non-medical fields,
including educational, legal, high tech, research, manufacturing,
advertising, marketing & public relations, pharmaceutical,
financial planning, non-profit, and a variety of small businesses.
is an excerpt from one of Kathy Paauw’s
most requested articles on de-cluttering offices, homes and minds:
Go: De-cluttering Your
Coaching Associate, Kathy Paauw
full article can be found at: http://www.orgcoach.net/newsletter/feb2002.html
my definition of clutter: anything you own,
possess, or do that does not enhance your life on a regular
basis. If you agree with my definition, then you acknowledge that
clutter goes far beyond things in our physical environment. Although
the focus of this article is on physical clutter, remember that
clutter can also include activities, thoughts, or even people in your
present life…something to think about!
an organizing and productivity consultant, I frequently get calls from
individuals who are drowning in clutter. They have no idea where
to begin or how to “dig out.” I begin by asking some
questions to clarify what is most important to them. Although my
clients recognize that clutter creates a huge drain on their time,
energy, and budget, the de-cluttering process still looms as a
formidable task. There are two parts to de-cluttering: letting go of
the clutter, and containing what’s left so you can find what you
need when you need it.
the de-cluttering process is all the emotional baggage attached to a
person’s “stuff.” I’ve found some common causes of
emotional baggage in working with serious packrats:
individual is old enough to have lived
through the Great Depression. Having experienced
a time when they had to make do with very little, many learned not
to throw anything
away. Although keeping everything may have served them well
many years ago, their circumstances have changed and the mindset
of “let’s keep it all
in case I need it” no longer serves them.
individual has experienced a
severe loss in his/her life, and their possessions are
filing a hole in their heart. Once they begin to see this
correlation and work through the pain of that loss, they are
better able to let go of some things in their environment.
This type of packrat is more able to let go of something if they
can give it to someone who needs it more than they do.
individual is a highly creative
and energetic person. All of their stuff
represents an opportunity. What makes them very successful
at what they do (creative, right-brained activities) also makes
them very lousy at organizing their surroundings (analytical,
left-brained activity). Their internal dialogue often says,
“I better not throw that away, because I might
do something with it someday.” Of course, if
they cannot lay their hands on it, it will never be of use to
them, anyway. This type of individual needs to partner with
someone who has the organizing skills that they lack, so they can
let go of what they truly don’t need and have a system in place
so they can find what they need when they need it.
individual has struggled with
depression or physical illness/injury. Sometimes
these struggles can derail people and they lose the desire to care
for themselves and their environment. Their internal
dialogue says, “What does it matter? So what, who
you identify with any of these types of emotional baggage, and if you
are tired of the clutter, contact me at email@example.com.
We can schedule a complimentary coaching session to discuss your path
to a less cluttered life. Be sure to mention you are a Daring
you question the value of investing the time and resources necessary
to de-clutter your life? Consider the costs of not
much time and money are you spending NOW to maintain what you
you spending money to store things you never or rarely use?
Have you moved into a larger home or office, only to fill the
extra space with more stuff, thus requiring a move to yet a larger
space? Imagine what it costs in time and money to do this!
Is it worth the investment?
much does your clutter cost in peace of mind or missed
Imagine what it would be like to reduce your stress level.
Imagine what you could do with the time, energy, and space your
clutter is currently taking up!
your home or office burned to the ground, what contents would you
want to replace?
If you would not miss it, perhaps it’s not worth keeping in the
says you have to
keep all those things?
Is it something that enhances your life? Do you like it?
Does it bring you joy? Is it useful to you now? Note
that what is useful may change as your life circumstances change.
For example, if you’ve moved from a home to a condo, all of that
lawn & garden equipment may no longer be useful to you.
you want to be remembered for the possessions in your life, or for
who you are?
You can’t take it with you! Those who will someday inherit
your possessions will thank you for de-cluttering your environment
rather than passing it on for them to deal with after you die.
look forward to meeting many of you in January at my FREE Tele-class!
Details of the class are outlined below.
Paauw helps busy executives,
professionals, and entrepreneurs de-clutter their schedules, spaces
and minds so they can focus on what’s most important. She is an
organizing & productivity consultant, certified business &
personal coach, and speaker. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org
and learn how you can find anything you file or
store in 5 seconds…guaranteed!
Be sure to mention you are a Daring Doctors subscriber.