Ever notice how some days you feel like you’re weighed down with the amount of ‘stuff’ that’s in your head…and your heart? Most of us experience times in our lives when we feel like shouting “Enough is enough! I’ve had it!”. We reach the point of being stretched to our limits and the option of hiding in bed under the covers is very tempting indeed. Yep, I’ve definitely been there (and more than once…).
There are any number of situations which can bring about this overload crisis and yet often it is the culmination of lots of little things rather than one big issue which tips us over the edge.
It’s the ever-building pile of minutia that wears you down and saps all your energy – the incomplete to do lists, the calls that need to be made, the washing machine that needs to be fixed, the car that needs to be serviced, the carpets that need steam cleaning, the spare room which needs to be sorted out, the 15kgs that need to be miraculously ‘lost’, the dog that needs to be wormed…and that’s without getting to the ‘big stuff’ that you have been tolerating for way too long.
I have good news for you…a simple approach to taking back the reins and letting go of some of the stuff that is weighing you down. I have seen my clients make some amazing shifts in their lives by following this technique and they are blown away by how easy it is to make significant changes for the better.
Clear the clutter & off-load the baggage
OK, so it would be easy to assume that getting organised and de-cluttering your life was really just a matter of filing away some bills in a cabinet and making a to-do list. That’s a start…but there’s so much more you can do to free up some of the head space currently crammed with all the things you need to do, should have done, must buy, should have called, can’t find, must put away and can’t even remember!
Very many people carry around with them a lot of baggage or clutter in their minds.
In some cases this relates to people who are still holding onto things that they say they should do but don’t, for others it may relate to unresolved conflicts or conversations with someone else, resulting in carrying the burden of not speaking to each other. For most of us, it can be the baggage or clutter of the coulds and shoulds in our lives that hold us back – we know we need to let go, but we don’t.
Those of us who have experienced this (or who are still living with it…), carry around clutter and emotional weight, which can often be simply off-loaded; freeing us to focus instead on things so much more productive! Does this sound like you?
If it does, you’re in the right place to tackle this right now…
“Out of clutter, find simplicity”
Let’s get started!
To make changes in your life, the first step is to create the time and space for the changes to occur. Think of your life in terms of a bucket filled to the brim with water. It is close to overflowing…absolutely full. Before you can add anything else to your life (like a cup of water), you need to take at least one cup of water out. If not, your bucket will overflow and you risk losing some of the really important ‘water’ in your bucket.
One of the strategies many people adopt to avoid making changes is to focus on the busyness of their life. By telling yourself you will get around to dealing with the clutter and disorganisation when you get more time, you simply procrastinate and add more emotional pain to the situation.
Disorganisation is the perfect story, justification or excuse for why we can’t get things done. So, how well-practised are you at using this strategy?
Before you start to create an action plan for changing the things you want to change in your life, you need to identify what some (or all!) of those things are.
Let’s take a look at your life so you can clearly identify and eliminate the issues. To do this, ask yourself a series of questions and complete the following exercise. What you’ll achieve by doing this, is making certain tasks complete, drawing a line under them and moving on. Another term for this is psychological completion.
You may not want to do anything about them right now, but just writing them out will raise your awareness and you’ll naturally start handling, fixing and resolving them. So, make a list of what you’re putting up with at work and at home to determine what might be cluttering your mind and slowing you down!
Examples could be: Incomplete tasks, frustrations, problems, other people’s or your own behaviour, clutter, shoulds, unmet needs, crossed boundaries, overdue library books/DVDs, outdated wardrobe, unresolved issues or guilt, lack of exercise, eating habits, being indecisive, procrastinating, lack of sleep etc…
Over time and as you think of more items, add them to your list.
What are you putting up with?
- Make a list of 10 things that you are putting up with at home
- Make a list of 10 things that you are putting up with at work
- Make a list of 10 things that you are putting up with in any other area of your life
Now…look at your lists and decide what you can (will!) delegate, outsource, postpone or ditch completely – start crossing off the things which DO NOT NEED TO BE THERE…simple.
Everything else becomes your current priority list. And it already seems much more do-able, doesn’t it?
So, go on, take a deep breath and start now!