… ‘and the rest will follow’, sang En Vogue. Do you agree? I think I do – but in a different context to the song. When we’re handed something we’re just not sure what to do with, we have a tendency to stick it in our bags or our pockets and think ‘I’ll deal with that later’. We do that mentally too and eventually we’ll get overloaded with stuff to deal with, sort out, or remember.
Every now and then, you have to empty out your bag or your pockets and see exactly what’s in there. Some of it is useful and important, some of it’s sentimental and just as important, some of it provokes a ‘what on earth is that and why am I carrying it around?’ reaction.
I have a form which I use to help clients to do that with mental clutter too. It’s basically a big table with ‘clear your clutter!’ at the top. If you’d like a copy, do email me and I’ll happily send it to you: however, it’s unbelievably basic so feel free to create one yourself if you’d rather. Then simply list everything that’s on your mind right now – you may not be able to/want to deal with all of it today but writing it out will raise your awareness of all that’s burbling round in your head and help you notice what’s weighing you down.
My coaching clients who’ve used this form have reported that once all that clutter’s out of their minds and on a list, they find they naturally begin to deal with and resolve each point. The items can be practical stuff like posting a birthday present or picking up your dry-cleaning; personal issues like lack of exercise or updating your work wardrobe; career development points like signing up for a course or arranging to shadow a colleague; or maybe emotional/relationship matters like catching up with your best friend or tackling how to handle the logistics of your family reunion.
Adapt the format of your ‘clear your clutter!’ list to best suit you: will you stick it on the fridge? In your diary? Use it electronically on your PDA? Want lots of lines? Only a few?Make it work for you.
As I write this, I realise I haven’t cleared my own clutter for a while and recognise that I need to so it’s time to go and make a cuppa and work on that list myself.
Today’s pebble for you: What will you do to clear your clutter this week?
Let me know,
Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching.
If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?