10 Minutes That Changed My Day
I wish I had taken a before picture.
For the past two weeks the first thing on my to-do list has been “Clear Desk”. I know what a crowded desk does to me. When there are piles of things around me I can’t think, I avoid, I worry. I wonder just what scary things lurk in the piles? What do I need to deal with that I’m forgetting? Every time I start working on something I’m forced to push things out of my way and get annoyed with myself.
I have a lot to do and this wasn’t working. It was time to make it happen.
I remembered a conversation I had with one of my clients earlier this week. She needed to go through some boxes that she had in storage. We talked about the things that she was likely to uncover while going through them. We came up with a few questions she could ask herself to help guide her decision making. Even though she was going through things and I was essentially going through a pile of ideas (and tasks) I gathered everything up into one pile and used exactly the same questions to help guide my decision-making.
- If I came across this in a store, would I buy it today?
- If I didn’t have it would I want it and would I actively seek it?
- Are there other things I could use instead of this?
- Does this need to be a part of my life?
- Would I miss it if I didn’t have it?
It took me about ten minutes to go through what had accumulated over the past few weeks. Most of the things on my desk were notes that I had scribbled down about things that I had already taken care of. When I was done I was left with a clear understanding of what I needed to do. There was a pile of insurance claim forms to be followed up on and a launch plan for a program that is going to be coming up early next year. These are the two things that need my attention and focus at the moment.
Of course I’m forced to wonder what kept me from doing this sooner but most important…after ten minutes I could breathe again.
My challenge to you…take a look around you, what can you clear off to give you the space you need to think, breathe and create?
What will your next step be? Won’t you share it with me?