I had the recent pleasure of reading Clutter Busting Your Life, Clearing Physical and Emotional Clutter to Reconnect with Yourself and Others by Brooks Palmer. Palmer uses not only compassion, but also humor when detailing his more than a decade’s work helping clients clutter bust their lives. His first book, Clutter Busting, Letting Go of What’s Holding You Back is more focused on physical clutter. In this new book, Palmer delves deeply into emotional clutter busting, how our physical clutter often both affects our relationships, and how it can reveal what we really feel about our relationships.
In his own words:
This book illuminates what happens when we become emotionally involved in relationship clutter and lose sight of the connection and joy that come from the relationship itself.
Often, this relationship can be the relationship we have with ourselves – putting on false armor, as he puts it, to protect ourselves and keep others out. The more clutter a person has, the more emotional protective armor he or she is putting on. I have definitely found this to be true in my experience working with organizing clients.
Palmer also speaks time and again about the importance of being gentle with ourselves throughout this process. His attitude in sessions are “tears don’t cost extra” because clutter busting really can stir up a lot of emotions. This is something I’ve seen with my own clients, as well as with myself. We need to be sensitive in a positive way to our process. As Palmer says, “Being sensitive means being aware of ourselves and our environment. We know what we feel. We sense when something feels good, and we know when something hurts.”
Some people shut off their ability to experience certain emotions in order to protect themselves from getting hurt. Palmer acknowledges this and gives numerous exercises that readers can do to move forward with the clutter busting process. Some people also manifest clutter as a result of a deeper problem in a relationship. It could be one partner trying to control the other; it could be a long-held grudge about a particular incident, or any number of other things. Palmer gives several examples from work with his own clients about how what seemed like just physical stuff turned out to be (emotional) relationship clutter. Once it was determined that the clutter was just a symptom of the deeper problem, clients were able to come to a resolution and move forward.
Palmer also spends time talking about how past and present relationships themselves can be clutter. Even if a person is no longer with us, whether by divorce, death, or other means of separation, he suggests that we look at the physical items we may be holding onto from those relationships, and to feel (not think) whether it serves us to hang onto items that remind us of these bad relationships. In the present, he also says that we should evaluate if our relationships are really serving us, to not feel bad about firmly setting our boundaries, and to say goodbye to the relationships that are no longer serving us.
Overall this is a very enjoyable read and I would recommend it to people wanting to explore the deeper emotional side that clutter might be playing in their relationships and their lives.
“Although we might all like to imagine that we can work happily through the night, once again the data’s all against us. Lose just one night’s sleep and your cognitive capacity is roughly the same as being over the alcohol limit.”
The Truth About Sleep & Productivity | Inc.com | 1.26.12
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When you’re trying to find more time in each day to get things done, it helps to put your plans on paper (or in your smart phone or tablet) so that you have a good view of everything you want/need to do.
…which means you’ll also get to see if you really have enough time to tackle everything all at once. Sometimes we pack our plates with so many things (some of which belong to other people) that we get stuffed and end up feeling not only very unsatisfied, but also very uncomfortable.
So, consider the following:
1. How important is each task or project to you? What will the impact be on your time with your family? The other work you’ve committed to doing?
2. Can you postpone or delay some projects? What would be the consequences of doing that? Can you get help from others?
3. Come up with a reasonable schedule for tackling and completing your projects. Would focusing on one project per quarter work for you? How much time can you realistically devote to working on all the tasks leading up to project completion?
The answers may not come to you immediately, but give it some thought to see how you can reclaim some time and re-focus your efforts in a more determined and purposeful way. Removing, at least temporarily, some things from your project list, will help you get a better handle on your time.
For those with ADD, there is always a lot of energy and anxiety about time. There is never enough time to get things done, too much to do, and a high level of perfectionism. You can feel overwhelmed and discouraged by not accomplishing everything you set out to do. To get a handle on this, start by changing perspectives and looking at the big picture about time management and productivity.
- Set Limits. So much to do and so little time is often the mantra with ADD. By having oodles of choices and not limiting any choice, the number of projects, tasks, and commitments can grow exponentially. Try choosing a reasonable number as a natural limit to the amount of tasks you need to get done. It can range from 3- 10, but having a number means you are setting a boundary.
- Use a Timer. Being late for a very important date can be a crushing realization for someone trying to cope with ADD. Having time awareness starts with external ways that can alert you of important deadlines. Setting an alarm for the time you want to leave for an appointment, setting a timer for the amount of time you want to work on your computer, or using your alarm on your smart phone to let you know to make a phone call are all ways to start improving your timeliness.
- Get an Accountability Partner. It can be a struggle to start or finish a project. Choose a partner to help you with beginning or ending a project. The energy and skills a partner brings to assist can be a compelling way to make a difference.
Are you making progress with your ADD challenges? I would love to know the strategies and solutions that work for you, so please share in the comments.
Image Credit: Clock Shoppes.com
“According to one survey reported last year, 93 percent of co-workers said that the practice had increased their social circle and 88 percent said it had reduced their feelings of isolation. An incredible 76 percent of co-workers though also said that joining a co-working space actually improved their work output.”
Co-Working’s New Trend Emphasizes Productivity, Training and Co-operation | Geekpreneur.com | 2.22.12
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Please welcome new guest blogger, Gwen Stewart, who has tips on how to jack up your productivity.
Do you thrive on routine or do you run away from it? Most people have morning routine when they come into work—grab a coffee, check your emails, make a few calls. If you are struggling to accomplish everything you need to each day, then you may need to tweak your routine.
Here are four ways you can tweak your routine to boost your productivity.
1. Eliminate Your 5 Top Time Wasters
The first thing you need to do is to list the five things that you do each day that waste your time. The list may include things like checking your email, using Twitter, checking Reddit, a coffee break, or phone calls chatting with friends. Not all of these activities are bad to do when you are stuck, but you may be surprised at how much time they are eating up throughout your day. Start listing how much time you spend on each activity throughout the day. If you can eliminate or limit the time you spend on these activities you can boost your productivity.
2. Condense Your Like Tasks Into Groups
You can save time by condensing your tasks, so that you take care of similar things at the same time. It can also save you time if you do not do one task multiple times during the day. For example, if you check your email first thing in the morning, and then again at the end of the day, you will save yourself time during the day.
You can also schedule meetings and make phone calls at the same time you do this, and you will free up more time to focus on larger projects. Similarly, you may want to schedule all of your writing tasks for the same time or same day and all of your accounting tasks for a specific day of the week. This will allow you to focus on the task, and eliminate mistakes you may make when you are multi-tasking.
3. Look at Your Best Time to Schedule Difficult Tasks
You can boost your productivity by taking the time to schedule tasks around the times you have the most energy. Some people have more energy in the morning and tend to struggle to pay attention in the afternoon, while other people are sluggish in the morning and have most of their energy in the afternoon. Schedule your menial tasks to take place during your downtime, so that you can focus your energy on the tasks that need it the most. This simple step can help you focus and accomplish a lot more each day. If you are under a tight deadline, you may not have this luxury, and you can reward yourself by breaking your larger tasks into smaller chunks and giving yourself a break after you finish each of the smaller sets of tasks.
4. Shut Out Distractions
Another important aspect of tweaking your to-do list is to eliminate your distractions during the day. It does not matter how much time you allot yourself for a task, if people continuously interrupt you while you are trying to get it done. This may mean turning off the phone, and sending all calls straight to voicemail. You may also want to turn off the notifications you get whenever an email comes in. If you work from home, you may need to train your family to leave you alone if your office door is shut. You may need to do the same thing if you are working in an office. There are programs you can install on your computer that will prevent you from accessing the Internet during times that you set, which can help you eliminate distractions.
About the Author
Gwen Stewart is a business development professional and writer for Outbounding.com. Her line of work often requires she have a great solution for large file transfers and meeting tight deadlines. Any spare time she can scrape together finds her hiking, reading and enjoying the company of great friends.
It’s time for a new 5 Minute Organizing Challenge! What can you do in 5 minutes to gain a little order in your life? You can put a few things back in place or gather your important items. Here’s a new set of five things for you to consider adding to your routine this month. Try them on for size and feel free to suggest a few of your own.
Hobbies are great because they help take you away for the craziness of life. But, they also come gear and stuff you need to maintain and keep organized. And, for you scrapbookers, there’s a lot to keep in order. Here are five ways you can keep them in check:
1. If you don’t have a designated space to do your scrapping, take five minutes to look around to see if there’s an area you can use on a regular basis.
2. Find three things (hole punches, paper, or other supplies) you can give to someone who will use them.
3. Pick one set of items (stickers, stamps, adhesives, etc.) and gather them together. Repeat with another set of supplies during your next five minute session.
4. Find five things that you use all the time and put them in one location that’s easily accessible (and then go back to #1 if you need to or have more time).
5. Discard (or give away) five half-finished projects that you will know you won’t complete.
Welcome to our regular Transformers feature (click link and scroll down to see them all). A transformer is a thing that started out as one thing, has been rehabbed, and now functions as another thing. A transformer can also be a thing that is really another thing all at the same time. Check out our latest find…
Who knew that a water bottle could be transformed into a pen? The folks at Pilot, that’s who. They’ve come up with a way to recycle those bottles and give them a new lease on life.
Check it out:
…and here’s the Pilot Petball Ballpoint Pen. Like the B2P pen, it’s retractable, refillable, and made from recycled plastic bottles. They even look like a water bottles, don’t they?
“Indeed, more than two-third of employees claim high stress levels, and 29 percent are too stressed to be effective at work on five or more days per year, reports the annual StressPulse (SM) survey by ComPsych Corporation, the world’s largest provider of employee assistance programs. As the economy continues to sputter, organizations are still doing more with less — and that can take a toll on workers. Employees are reaching a point of unprecedented burnout.”
Stressed Out? You’re Not Alone | Entrepreneur.com | 10.9.12
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