Hello SOTGC community,
Distraction and procrastination are the main threats to getting your work done, while organization and well-created space can bring focus and achievement.
Our lives can get busy and messy if we don’t have the right systems in place or don’t regularly follow those systems that remind us what needs to get done and help us do it. In our SOTGC community, we are women seeking to be our very best selves – to find a way to “have it all.” There are many things that are asked of us and offered to us, but do we say yes to only those things that bring us closer to our personal priorities, and are we set up to perform at our peek potential?
For most of my life I’ve been what some of my sweet friends have called “OCD” in my level of organization and cleanliness. It’s true, think Monica from the TV show Friends. I do have a special relationship with my label maker and filing cabinet. The systems I learned to put in place and follow helped me get through my very busy days with a clear, unconfused mind while not forgetting an appointment, a gift, an important note about a client, and always knowing where my keys and statement jewelry pieces were when I needed to rush out the door.
Over the past few years of more “life” than I care to recount, these systems became clogged by “I’ll have to get to that later” and finally fell apart. In my current quest to bust all “ruts” I decided I needed to again evaluate what else was holding me back from reaching my next level of success. I intentionally observed and noted my daily activities and associated emotions. It took me a few days but I finally realized: what kept me stuck was that I had lost my ease of movement, my peace, my space that allowed mental clarity. I so enjoy beautiful, open spaces, and, sadly, my office and files had become so “overgrown” with unnecessary paperwork that I felt like I was drowning every time I set foot inside to reach out to my clients, to write, to follow up and finish projects, to study, to do anything. Few things were in their rightful places, and I spent a great deal of time turning circles to get all “like items” in one place in order to find what I needed to complete the project at hand.
I knew it was time to take control again, and it was going to take concerted effort to do so. You see, part of my OCD helps eliminate my most disliked portion of owning a business – paperwork. I strongly dislike data entry and filing paper, and I would much rather be face to face with a woman helping her reach new levels of success while feeling her best. So the idea of tackling the piles that haunted me sent me running for cover. The mess that surrounded me caused me to hold back because it didn’t match my integrity and beliefs. I began to feel like a fraud and that my own systems were no longer functioning. How could I possibly help someone else and gain her trust, regardless of my knowledge and past success, when my own current success had stalled because I was “stuck” in a mire of disorganization? So, I called in the troops – my awesome husband and a few dedicated friends – to quickly determine a plan for where to start. I also chose a friend who would help me stay focused and on track and to whom I could report daily progress.
I set aside two weeks where I unplugged from the world, checked email once a day, and called priority clients who were on my follow-up list. I didn’t set any new appointments, and I treated the time like I was on vacation and unavailable for new tasks. If I didn’t get it all done now, I wouldn’t be able to reach any of my short-term goals by their appointed times.
I get it, you may not be able to set aside two whole “vacation” weeks, but a plan, such as one weekend and an hour a night after work and family commitments are met, can accomplish this same thing for you. I was at my breaking point and couldn’t take it any longer and because I had the freedom to do so, I knocked it out. The strangest, most unexpected part of this process were the tears that washed over my face after each day of progress. With every reminder of past hurts and missed goals I shredded, I was once more baggage-free to live wholly in the present. And with notes of praise, ribbons of accomplishments, and thank you letters from the President of the United States that I carefully placed in a memory book, I was encouraged to do more of what I do best and what I did right. I deserved to feel great and free again and so do you.
Now I can hire a new fabulous assistant to handle the paperwork and office tasks that I don’t enjoy because I can train her on my functioning systems. I’ve been able to hold more appointments and see more women than ever, which energizes me! I won’t give in to the “I’ll have to do that later” thoughts again when I know that less than 10 minutes a night in my office, no matter how tired I may be, will keep my systems well oiled and the pain of being stuck will be permanently uprooted from my life. By the way, the pain affected my innermost circle of friends and family, not just me.
Celebrate along the way as you accomplish each filing drawer, pile of paper, stack of receipts: Sip a glass of wine, turn on your favorite music and dance for 10 minutes (I HIGHLY recommend my theme song), paint your nails in the happiest, hottest spring shades of Lemon Parfait and Carefree Coral, and pick out a new paint color for your newly reclaimed space. Just do it and enjoy the rewards.
So whether you need family support, a few friends to help hold you accountable, or need to bring in a professional to help you figure out where to start and to rebuild your space, seek out the right resources and get it done. The freedom and breathing space that comes with this conquered project are powerful! Go on lovelies, get organized, and create a space you can’t wait to get into. Whaow, I feel good…! (Hear James Brown here.)
- If your cosmetic bag, drawer, cabinet, room 😀 needs an overhaul, I can help. Drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
- For a recording on the power of Mental Spring-Cleaning, Deb Erickson will get you educated on Bust Your Ruts Radio.
- For inspiration and truly simple and effective tips, check out my new favorite blog Living Well, Spending Less where Ruth helps us learn how to be Clutter-Free-Forever.
- For outside professional help in your area, find a local certified organizer.
- Not sure you want to bring in a professional just yet and want to give it a whirl on your own, try the Clutter Diet.
Inspired by the message and tips in this post? Did you know you can sign up for Tips For Success? head to the top of the page, enter your details, and get inside tips from our Founder herself.
Coiffed and Clutter-Free with New Success in my Sight,