We all know that we work better in a clean and clear space. Clutter in your environment distracts you from the task at hand and keeps you from concentrating and doing your best. This is why I like to clean off my work space at least once a week and my home office is typically a clean and clear space. But what about clutter in our personal lives, our habits or thoughts? Have you given much thought to these areas?
Do you have people in your life who are negative? Are you in unhealthy relationships — with family or friends? Those people are clutter! Now, we can’t always remove them from our lives, but we can set boundaries and control how much time we spend with them.
What about your habits and thoughts? Are you working to de-clutter these areas? Do you smoke too much or drink too much alcohol? Are you a negative thinker of full of self-doubt? Let’s work to change these areas!
1) Identify Your Priorities
When you identify your priorities you take the opportunity to remind yourself what is important. If you say your family is a priority– yet you seem to always let the “clutter” of work get in the way of spending enough time with your family, you need to declutter. If you say your faith is a priority, yet your “too busy” life does not allow for bible reading time, then you need to declutter. Identify your priorities and then ask yourself are you spending enough time with your priority.
2) Keep a Well Organized Schedule
When we declutter our brains, we are better able to focus on the task at hand. Once you create a schedule, you can easily see what is planned and avoid being overwhelmed because you have had time to prepare yourself for them. But the benefits don’t stop at just preparing! You can also be reflective with your schedule, and look back on how you spent your time. The way we choose to spend our time is a direct reflection of our priorities. What do you want your days too look like?
3) Keep a To-Do List
Just like knowing your priorities helps you to declutter your life, an organized to-do list provides you with a daily VISUAL of your tasks. A to-do list can easily become an “OVERWHELMING” list if you don’t use caution. Stick to no more than 5-6 tasks a day and identify your most important priority. It helps if you can “rank order” all of your tasks. I’m sure I’m not the only person who could create a to-do list with a gazillion items on it — but that’s just not realistic! (SMART goals, remember!!) You can keep a pen and paper list or use apps like Awesome Note 2. I’ve been using Awesome Note 2 for several years and it allows me to keep my to-do list handy at all times AND it links with my calendar to help me to stay organized. WINNING!!!!
There are a ton of digital list makers and keepers! The trick is to find what works for you and to take ACTION!
4) Create Effective Routines
I’ve shared so many times about how I love, love, LOOOOOOVE routines! Routines allow us to feel like we have control over our day. Patterns allow us to feel secure and comforted – just like things are going smoothly as planned. I love to use routines for meal planning: Meatless Monday, Try New Tuesday, Wild Wednesday, LOVEtovers Thursday, Family Food Friday, etc…. Once a routine gets old, switch it up! This is one of the strategies I teach in the Stress-Free Jumpstart to Meal Planning Success!
Routines also help your children to know what to expect, what they need to do and helps them to feel secure.
5) Establish Proper Boundaries
Look, people are either making deposits into your account or they are draining your account. Life is much to short to allow people to suck your positive energy. Choose to spend time with those who lift you up, make you feel good and add value to your life. If you must be around someone who drains your “energy bank” work to limit that time. We all have people in our life who we can’t necessarily avoid being around (family, co-workers, team mates, etc…) Work to establish boundaries and know when its okay to say “no” or to say that you can’t do something. Last year, I spent a lot of time learning about healthy boundaries, that are also grounded in scripture. Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No-To Take Control of Your Life is an excellent book in this area! (I’m not an affiliate! This is just a wonderful book!
Which are do you have the most clutter and what are you doing about it?