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Make Decluttering Your 2019 Mission

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Make Decluttering Your 2019 Mission

Declutter your mission for 2019? Surely, Tamara, you can think of something more exciting than that is maybe what you thought when you read this headline.

But let me share with you why such a boring idea is so critical for your business and personal success.

Decluttering is often one of those things we say we’re going to do when ‘we have the time’, but we never get around to it.

Why? Because it’s boring and we don’t view it as important.

When I coach business owners, one of the first things they tell me when I ask them how things are going, is “I’m frustrated, confused and overwhelmed with everything.”

When you’re feeling like this, usually one of three things happen:

1. You do nothing because you don’t know what to do next.

2. You do lots of little tasks, thinking that busyness will solve the problem, which it doesn’t.

3. Or you ignore the problem and don’t get help to figure out what’s really going on with you and your business; which also results in one of the above outcomes.

When we don’t have clarity about what to do next, how to solve a problem, etc., we get stuck.

When we don’t have a clear mind, workspace or virtual space, everything just seems too hard because things take so much longer to do. When we look at the mess, it usually brings ourselves and our team down because the task (decluttering) to get it back on track seems insurmountable.

Yet, when we have clarity, when we have mental focus, when we have a tidy workspace (desk, office and filing cabinet), and when we have an organised virtual space (electronic files), then guess what?

Momentum and happiness follow because things are so much easier, and it enables your physical and mental space to flow with inspiration and creativity instead of negativity and lethargy.

Doesn’t that sound great? Isn’t it then worth the effort to declutter so this can be your outcome every single day rather than feeling frustrated, overwhelmed and always behind in everything?

Still not convinced?

Ok, well, when was the last time you truly decluttered?

For example, your Email so that:

  • Your Inbox had nothing in it because you had followed the 4D Principles of Do It, Diarise It, Delegate It, Delete It? By delegating it, this may mean to a person or to one of your Inbox Folders to action at the appropriate time.
  • All emails you needed to keep were filed in the relevant Inbox folders or electronic filing system rather than remaining in your Inbox?
  • Your Folders and Sub Folders were all sorted so you could find any email you needed in less than 10 seconds?
  • Your Sent Mail was empty because you had moved all the emails you needed to keep into either your Inbox Folders/Sub Folders or into your electronic filing system?

For most of us including me, I’m guessing the answer is, “Not for a while.”

So it’s choice time.

Start decluttering or spend the year floundering and whingeing about why you don’t have time to do what’s needed to build a profitable business because you’re spending unnecessary hours looking for things because nothing’s easy to find in the mess.

You might think I’m talking just to you, but I’m also giving myself some much needed tough love to get this sorted, once and for all.

Imagine when it’s done, how much better you will feel and what a great physical and virtual environment you will have created for you, your team and your clients. And because this is a task which may take the year to complete, chunk it down into manageable bits and reward yourself and your team once each little bit is done.

I encourage you to make it your 2019 mission to:

1. Declutter your mind by:

  • Filling it with positive thoughts and focused priorities for the year (which includes a documented Annual Business Plan).

2. Declutter your workspace by:

  • Cleaning your desk and organising it with the tools you need to start each day afresh.
  • Going through the filing cabinet to determine what really needs to be kept, archived or shredded.
  • Cleaning shelves and labelling them so everyone knows where items should be stored.

3. Declutter your virtual space by reviewing your electronic filing system:

  • To determine if it still makes sense. Is it logical and does everyone interpret it the same way? If not, change it to a simple structure which everyone understands.
  • Then move files into the new structure.
  • Start with the first folder and review each item to see whether it needs to be kept, archived or deleted.
  • Then rinse and repeat until every folder has been completed.

If you’re like me and the task is quite huge because you’ve let it go for way too long, then all you need to do is commit to 15 minutes a day. Now I know that doesn’t sound like a lot, but by the end of the week, that’s 1¼ hours more than what you were doing last week.

Once you’ve chipped away throughout the year and cleared the deck, it’s imperative to keep up the 15 minutes a day habit to maintain the momentum you’ve just created. Otherwise, all your good work and intentions will be for nothing, and I’d hate to have to repost this article in January 2020 because nothing has changed.

Because if nothing changes, nothing changes.

So, go and put on your favourite tunes or audiobook, grab your cleaning products, garbage bags, labeller and electronic files and declutter your heart out.

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