Clutter isn’t just the stuff that sits on a bookshelf or busies your counter-tops. In fact, once the clutter-stuff is gone, you really start to notice the invisible clutter in your day. It’s the invisible clutter that interrupts train of thought and peace of mind.
- Meetings. I am a firm believer that weekly meetings waste time unless there is a very specific reason to meet. Meet individually as needed and trust that people are doing what they are supposed to do. If they aren’t, don’t work with them.
- Email. An early morning email check is sure to clutter up your day. Before you know it, you’ve spent hours reacting to work that is important to everyone else instead of doing what matters most to you. Don’t sign in until after 10 am and save the morning hours for your work or play.
- Worry. If you’ve ever obsessed over “what ifs” or worried about things that have yet to happen, you know how distracted you can become. Worry won’t change a thing. Instead take action where you can and get back to your life.
- Alerts. Ding! Tweet! You have mail! Take part in social media, email and other forms of communication on your time, not when your phone or computer tells you to. Turn off all alerts and schedule a set period of time to respond and engage.
- Illness. Feeling sick and rundown demands all of your attention and energy. Serious illness requires even more. Take care of yourself. Listen to your body. Sleep well, eat healthy and move everyday. Give yourself every opportunity to be healthy.
- Gossip. Talking about other people for the sake of entertainment is the easiest way to clutter up your day. Don’t you have enough to handle in your own life? When you catch yourself in a gossipy situation, walk away or change the subject. Free your mind of petty thoughts and behavior.
By reducing or eliminating invisible clutter, you will open up time and space each day to do meaningful work and live a life that makes you genuinely happy. You will be more giving and loving and will be surprised at the opportunities that present themselves. Be open to clutterless adventures.