Clearing Out the Clutter

Posted by on Sep 20, 2013 | No Comments


So I’m a pretty organized person in my work life.  I ran an events company for five years and now a leadership company, both requiring a lot of attention to detail and I usually hit the mark.  I’m organized in all but one place – my office.  My office is notoriously a wreck.  Since I office out of my home, when I’m not traveling or in the classroom, it’s a constant juggling act.  I find myself running from one to-do to the next, and rarely does organizing my office make it to the top of the list.  Love me anyway.

What finally gave me the push I needed to infuse a little organization into my office-life?  I’m embarrassed to admit…my parents coming for a visit.  How is it that I’m 45 years old and still want my parents’ approval?  Well..whatever works!

My office is now (mostly) clean.

And as I sit here, two things stand out for me:

1.  My office is much more conducive to focus now that the clutter is cleared.  Given that focus is a big deal for me, that’s a useful insight (why it took 45 years to figure it out is indeed a mystery).

2.  I unearthed some great memories in the process!  Since we moved a year ago and I hit the ground running, so many things were still living in boxes that I really had no idea of what I was holding on to.  Unpacking the boxes was a bit like unpacking my life – allowing me to question what to keep and what I no longer needed.  I found newspaper clippings, heartfelt letters from friends and clients (or clients who have become friends), piles of journals, and files, and notes to myself that I could no longer decipher.  I was amazed at the amount of “stuff” I had dragged across the country with me that I hadn’t been ready to let go.  So all day yesterday, as I was rendering videos from last week’s session, I sorted and filed and tossed.  I think I’m about 100 lbs lighter, in terms of clutter-removal, both literally and emotionally.

We all have our own version of clutter that weighs us down.  It may not come in such an obvious form, as mine does.  Sometimes it’s in the stories we hold on that don’t serve us well – that we re-live in the telling, over-and- over-and-over-again.  Sometimes it’s in our judgements about others.  Sometimes it’s in our out-moded ways of thinking and seeing the world.  Sometimes it’s friendships that we’ve outgrown.  And sometimes, it’s just like mine – chaos ignored.  We can pretend it doesn’t exist, or not recognize it when we see it, or (like me) carry on in spite of it, but I can assure you it’s there – weighing us down.

Maybe this weekend, you might consider tackling a little clutter of your own?  Who knows what you might uncover?


©OnStage Leadership, 2013

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