These words are so common in my first conversations with clients that I could write them down before they start speaking. Is this you? Step one is taking a deep breath. No, seriously…I’ll wait. Ok, most people do the first one halfheartedly, so relax your body, breathe in deeply and let it all out slowly. Now we are ready to talk about your overwhelm.
How you got to this place of frustration is only important from the perspective of what you’ve tried in the past. Even that conversation is a shorter one in my evaluations. I’m most interested in where you are going. To move you from frustration to freedom, our work together focuses around four pillars:
Clarity, Consistency, Confidence, and Mindset. We follow a proven pathway to get you there, but today let’s focus on the pillars.
Clarity: To live an organized and productive life, you need clarity on what that looks like. I teach an office blueprint as well as organizing basics for the home. All clients start off week 1 with an assignment to “flex” their organizing muscles and feel some immediate success: create one “No Clutter Zone.” Pick one area that is bothering you and makes you feel fantastic when it is neat and clean. That may be your desk, kitchen island, countertops, email inbox, entryway, or any other spot. Commit to moving all the
mess there now to where it belongs, (hello trash!) or temporary storage if you’re not sure yet, and keeping it clutter free. This exercise gives that great feeling of looking at and experiencing an uncluttered area and sets the stage for momentum. Don’t forget to tell the people you live or work with that this is now a no-dump zone. Eventually there will be no more dump zones, and everything will have a place.
Consistency: Organization is like fitness, doing the work and getting to a desired result is great, but consistency over time is what keeps you there. This pillar is where time management, maintenance strategies and new habits come into play. What is one behavior you can implement to stay consistent? Perhaps a 10-minute tidy at the end of the day, clearing out your email inbox before leaving work, drinking more water to keep your energy levels up, or a weekly review of goals and to-do items.
Confidence: Believing in yourself as well as your systems is crucial. Stress management techniques are an important part of this pillar, because when we are anxious things feel harder and more overwhelming. Making your goals and action steps small and concrete also helps with confidence. Stop right now and focus on one area of organization where you excel. Do you remember everyone’s birthday? Is your refrigerator always clean and stocked? Do you have a will and up to date important documents? Do you actually fold your workout shirts (and not throw them in a basket like me?) Everyone is great at something and we use your strengths to build upon.
Mindset: This is the secret sauce that pulls everything together. The good news is that decluttering assists in clearing away self-doubt and working on mindset assists in the process of decluttering. It’s a win-win! My clients learn the neuroscience behind getting our thoughts and feelings to work FOR us.
Today start with this: you are in control. You control your thoughts. Your decisions are yours. That is a beautiful thing!
Spend a few minutes brainstorming how to use these pillars in your life and work. Let me know if you want to learn more!