Things build up day after day, week after week, and month after month. A new year offers hope for a clean slate, but we sometimes forget about the opportunity of a new day. Why do we have to wait for January 1st for a fresh start?
This morning when I opened my computer, I was overwhelmed with the documents and photos I recently saved to my desktop. I’m usually pretty good about putting digital items where they belong, but in the midst of working on several projects over the past few months, I let things go. It was easier to “save to desktop” than to think about streamlining my work flow. Creating a clean slate is going to take a little time, but once it’s done, it will only take a few minutes each day to maintain.
If you’ve ever gone the dentist after not flossing for a while, you know what I mean. All of the extra scraping and cleaning up could have been avoided by flossing consistently and creating a clean slate each day.
What areas of your life are in need of a clean slate?
Is it your …
- inbox or desktop?
- kitchen table that holds more paperwork than meals?
- calendar or to-do list that is on a perpetual roll over plan?
- diet that you plan to whip into shape tomorrow or the day after that?
- household clutter that never has a place of its own?
I’ve struggled with each of those things from time to time, and find the most clarity and freedom when I clean the slates one at a time.
Make a list of the slates you’d like to clean and start with one. Once you’ve reset to zero in that one area, spend 5 – 10 minutes a day maintaining a clean slate. After a week or two, start on a new area of your life that deserves a clean slate.
If you are tempted to let things build up because you don’t have the time or energy/focus to maintain a clean slate, remind yourself that eventually you will spend the time … at the dentist, or moving files, or putting stuff away. A clean slate practice today will save you the agony tomorrow.
You don’t have to turn your life upside down, or wait for a new year to enjoy the benefits of a clean slate. Give each day the opportunity for a fresh start without the overflow and excess from days and years that came before.
Create the promise of a new day with a clean slate.