A friend of mine asked me if I can help declutter her life and I was this is a post I want to write. So, I have a few questions for you. Does your life seem like a blur to you? Or perhaps you say, “My life is such a blur that I don’t know where the days went by, and I did nothing.” In the sense that you question yourself, “what did I do yesterday? And now, what am I going to do tomorrow?” Or you say, “I don’t know what am I doing.”
Well, if any of the above resonate with you now or could have resonated with you in the past, then this post is for you. And if you’re the lucky one who doesn’t ever feel this way, still read on… you never know what you might gain out of this, to declutter your life and get some structure. About two years back, when I was working in my full-time job, I felt that my environment was cluttered, disorganized, unstructured, and lacked clarity. While that was true, it wasn’t really because of the environment as such but because of my reflection of the environment.
Let me explain. About two years back, when I was working in my full-time job, I headed the media department for an educational group, which was then a new thing for many institutions. The employees of the group at that time didn’t really comprehend what I did, my role wasn’t clear to me either, and like any other place, crab mentality was at its peak. To make things crazy for myself, I got admission into an esteemed doctoral program, which was quite exhaustive.
I felt that my environment was cluttered, disorganized, unstructured, and lacked clarity. While that was true, it wasn’t really because of the environment as such but because of my reflection of the environment. I felt like I was all over the place. I didn’t know which projects to say yes to, which ones to say no and where to draw the line. So, even if there were “opportunities” coming my way, I couldn’t truly jump on to it. Of course, everything is a two-way street and it was the case here as well. And I understand that now! Especially because I am running my own business.
Over the two years, I’ve consciously made changes in my life and transformed some of my habits, to declutter, get structured and organize myself. I’m not perfect but I am loving the process of self-improvement. Through experience, I’ve understood that even though it takes two to tango, we cannot change the other person or the environment, what we can do is change our behavior and take charge of the situation. Here’s how:
- Write down all the things that stress you out: Literally, write all of them down. Every single thing that stresses you out, you must put it down on paper. Once you’ve done that you’ll be in a better position to face similar stressful situations in the future since you’d already have solutions for specific triggers and stressors. It isn’t easy, and of course, it takes time and my resource this week, sent to your email, will definitely help with that.
- Seek clarity through effective & efficient communications: If any of those stressors are related to your personal or professional environment, chances are high that they are related to specific people. It is best to first approach the problem through effective, and well thought-out communications. I could have done the same, with my life then and made things different. Not that I regret my decision of leaving the job, I love it. But all I am saying is life wouldn’t have been bad either if I could have communicated issues and negotiated differently.
- Get clear on goals to set your focus right: This is super-duper important! I’ve realized I was a hot mess or sometimes still am if & when I don’t clearly articulate what I want. Whether it is getting clear about my day, my week, my year, my business, my specific personal or professional goals, it helps set the stage for success. These specific goals help (not only) me (but also most people) get clear regarding what works and what doesn’t work. When we do realize what doesn’t work, we can easily eliminate it from our system and get rid of tasks, or routines, or habits that just don’t work. Totally declutter.
- Communicate your expectations: When you truly are aware of your patterns, your goals, and your triggers, you can easily communicate these to another person, in an environment where you know, you need to get organized (even if the other party may not be).
- Sneak in regular exercise: I know this may sound a little off from the steps that I am proposing above, but trust me I cannot emphasize hard enough. Exercises help reduce brain fog: a weird feeling that your brain cannot recall things, get confused, feel anxious, or lack focus. There are several studies that suggest that when we exercise we improve our performance, we bring about positive changes in the way we think, act and behave. It also helps us rewire our brain to form better habits.
- Structure your habits through test runs: If you truly want to declutter your life, whether personal or professional, you need to ensure you form better habits. These habits can only be sustained through a scheduled pattern, which has been tested before. Let’s face it, you cannot form habits in a jiffy, you need time to test run it and it is possible to do it. Schedule your tasks in such a way that you ensure you’re eliminating distractions (physical or mental) and giving yourself enough leeway to ensure you’re setting yourself up for success.
- Stop saying the negative to yourself, just take action: When you truly want to declutter your life and eliminate all the distractions or unwanted drama from life, it is important to stop telling negative things to yourself, first. This is such a crucial thing. When we complain, whether in our heads or with others, it drains our energies. It affects not only our work but also our relationships and the way we look at situations. Give this a try and see how the clutter is removed, especially from your head.
What do you think? I want to hear from you: mention in the comments is there a special way by which you eliminate clutter from life? Do mention your special tactics below. I look forward to read.
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