Have you ever felt stuck?Like thereís something more, but you donít know what it is? You might feel tongue-tied, indecisive and paralyzed. When something stops working, we are pulled in two different directions: one is to hold onto and fix the broken and familiar, the other is to make a fresh start.
Weíve all been there one time or another.
Often this feeling of paralysis is spurred by a natural life transition (like graduation, marriage, a new baby or a new job), an unanticipated change (the sudden loss of a loved one, a divorce, a job loss or move), or simply an inner drive for self-fulfillment and a need to shake things up.
Most people regard piles of paper, an overstuffed closet and boxes in the attic as nothing more than your regular old run-of-the-mill junk. If these items inhabit your space, itís merely more evidence that you are indeed a packrat Ė a hopeless, helpless collector of stuff. But if youíve ever been on the receiving end of a clutter crusade, you know how hurtful (and intimidating) it can feel when people pressure you to trash it all.
In figuring out where to start, it's important to determine whether you are organizing (setting up systems so you can find what you need when you need it), or SHEDing (decluttering, which is a process that helps when you are in transition, and unsure of where you are going next).
What other people call junk, I call rafts.Stagnant, never used items are in your life for a reasonÖ.. providing clues to an attachment youíre struggling to release.They may represent an old belief system, obsolete need, or unexpressed part of you that needs to be discovered. A wedding dress can represent a happy time in your lifeóor the hopes you had for your marriage; a shelf piled with your grandparentís old dishes honors your family or the special love your granny had for you; a box of dusty, never opened action figures represents a dream you had of starting your own business.Uncovering the reasons why youíre clinging to certain possessions can help you release the attachmentóand find a better way to fulfill the goal conquer your clutter. Hereís how.
Iíve been an organizing and time management consultant
for nearly 20 years, helping individuals and companies to improve their spaces,
systems, schedules, working relationships and lives so that they can achieve
No matter where I go in the world, or who Iím working with,
everyone feels overwhelmed:we live in a
too much to do, not enough time, blackberry saddled, canít turn off, canít
quite squeeze it all in world.That
applies equally to the philanthropist in New York trying to change the world,
to the Midwest professor balancing work and kids, to the author (Fannie Flagg)
preparing for a move, to the entrepreneur in Stockholm trying to take control
over her business.
One of the problems I run into all the time is that while
people have a deep desire to make their lives better Ė they just donít always
know exactly what they need. When you feel overwhelmed, you want quick relief,
and reach out for solutions-- but it\'s often the WRONG thing....
habitual dependence on mindless escapes such as incessant TV watching, video
games, email checking, internet surfing, shopping, etc., takes a huge amount of
will, tolerance, and commitment. These mindless escaped are so insidious, and
you may be surprised how much they wiggle their way into your day. Thatís why
breaking your addiction can be a bit unnerving. When taking on a mindless
escape, youíve got to be brave, and the best approach is cold turkey.
Here are some mindless escape habit breakers:
more deeply. If you are feeling bored or anxious, challenge
yourself to stay put by engaging more deeply in your current activity. Boredom
kicks in when we go on ďautomatic pilot.Ē Listen more closely to the
conversation at hand, pay extra attention to the visual clues in your
We are living in such an interesting time, where everyone is
in the midst of some form of reinvention, in a world in which it seems all of
the rules have changed.In pursuit of
new ways of making a living, managing our finances, running our businesses and
operating in a more socially responsible way, it is easy to feel defeated. It
can seem that each time you come up with a solution, thereís a new obstacle in
your way. Like a fighter in the ring, how many times can a person get knocked
down?Yet, we know we have to have to
get back up, so letís take this opportunity to reflect on how to fortify our
powers of determination.
From a distance, you
recognize determined people by their achievements. But if you are lucky enough
to be close to a determined person, you know that each achievement is made up
of a million different tiny steps. Determined people....
As with all
other attachments, the key to uncovering the original value of your habit is to
begin by tracing it back to its roots and discovering when and why you first
acquired it. Take a few moments to ponder the point of time when your habit
following questions to get at the root of your bad habit: How long have I had this habit? What were the circumstances in my life
when I started this habit? Why did I acquire it? Why did it make sense then?
Are those circumstances the same in my life right now? Who else in my life
shares this habit?
While it is helpful to pinpoint when you started the habit
as you think about the past, donít worry if that particular point in time seems
a little vague. Sometimes habits start when we are so young, we arenít really....
Motherís Day is this weekend, and I thought it might be good
to do a little shoutout to the hardworking, time starved Momís out there.Of course, as a time management expert, I
feel strongly that Motherís Day should not be the only guilt-free day of the
year where you take time for yourself.Busy Moms need time for themselves daily and weekly, so that they have
the energy to keep on giving to others.
This Motherís Day, here are three techniques that will help
you find, and enjoy, YOU time on a regular basis.
Strategy 1-SHED YOUR
BACKLOG, so you can relax GUILT-FREE!
Many people feel that itís hard to relaxwhen thereísalways a 4 page to-do list of unfinished projects and good
If you are someone who doesnít write everything
down on your to-do list or schedule, you can quantify the time gain by
measuring the back-log of to-dos sitting on your desk or kitchen countertop.
Your backlog of to-dos is where physical clutter meets time clutter. Anything
is here! Time to SHED those winter blahs and lighten up! Are you getting ready
for some spring cleaning? If so, I want to challenge you this year to think
beyond the physical stuff that you might deep clean, dump or donate.
are actually three categories in your life where you can look for clutter to
SHED this spring: physical clutter, time clutter and habit clutter...
I was recently given a "Woman to Watch" award by Jewish Women International. The event was quite wonderful--especially to be in the company of the eight other dynamic honorees--including Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post, JJ Ramberg of MSNBC's Your Business, and the founder of Spanx! Yes, we were a varied group.
The turnout of supporters for the organization was so huge, and energizing--and I was soon to learn why: The work of JWI is quite amazing--helping women and girls live in safe homes. Check them out www.jwi.org
Before accepting our award, we were each asked to share a "Pearl of Wisdom"--mine was about the benefit of always including something in your schedule that is outside your comfort zone, to help give you the courage and self-confidence to tackle all sorts of challenges in your life.....
ago, spring cleaning may have meant beating the rugs, throwing open the
windows, and getting rid of the dust bunnies under the bed.But today--with our complex and challenging lives, itís time to take Spring Cleaning to a whole new level. It's time to clear the obsolete from our lives to generate the space and energy to move forward with vigor!
But.... where do you begin? Getting started is the hardest part for most people....so I've created a 2 part Spring Fling Challenge to jump-start your efforts....