“Clutter is stuck energy. The word ‘clutter’ derives from the Middle English word ‘clotter,’ which means to coagulate -and that's about as stuck as you can get."
About this time of year, an annual tradition begins. The signs sprout up everywhere…yard sales. Yard sales are where you can go and buy your neighbor’s junk for pennies on the dollar and then sell it at your yard sale next year.
The need for yard sales springs from the sudden realization that we just have too much stuff. Clearing it out is our way of re-establishing boundaries – of setting apart a garage, for instance, for the purpose of actually parking a vehicle in it!
There was a book published several years ago that continues to resonate as a best seller. It is called, very simply, Boundaries.
Short title…BIG message.
Healthy boundaries are like yard sales. They allow us to clear away the clutter so we can actually use the space. I don’t know about you, but if I have to send out a search party for a tool in order to fix something, the chances of that something getting fixed are pretty slim.
Life, by default, gets pretty cluttered. Every day, we absorb thoughts (both good and negative), ideas, tasks, demands from others, and hundreds of bits of information. What do we do with it all?
It may be time for a mental “declutter.”
Define Your Boundaries
Pull out all those things that are weighing on your mind - write them down on index cards. The number of cards will no doubt surprise you. When you clear the baggage from your mind and actually see it all in front of you, you begin to understand the basis for the stress you have been experiencing.
Sort your cards according to what fits your overall vision and goals. Negative thought cards – either deal with them or toss them. You have no space to store them. Keep the thoughts, ideas, information, and tasks that fit, and get rid of the rest. As you begin to sort your cards, you will begin to get clarity.
Design Your Plan
Once your mind is cleared of clutter, you can then begin to design better use of the space. Review your big picture goals and design a plan for making them happen.
Now here’s the good part. Once you have cleared away the clutter and designed a plan, you can actually DO something! Don’t miss this part. The whole idea of getting organized and designing a plan is to accomplish something.
As leaders, we have so many things that are coming at us on a daily basis. Many of these things are simply clutter that we are letting pile up in our garage...our mental stress closet. How does this affect you as a leader? How does it affect the way you lead your team and how you communicate with your team?
I frequently see leaders who have so much clutter that they are stuck and angry, and they take it out on the people who could help them the most...their teams.
I want to challenge you to declutter your stress closet and follow this simple plan.
Live and lead fully ignited!!
What is one thing you will sell-off and not take back as you follow this plan?