I’ve been on a bit of a personal quest to find ways to increase my energy and focus this year. I’ve gotten on a better track with exercising and eating healthier foods. I’ve started taking yoga classes at least once a week. I’ve tried to be more intentional about scheduling some downtime so I could recharge. And, I’ve been reading some great books like Micro-Resilience, by Bonnie St. John and Allen P. Haines. And then as a follow-up, hosted a virtual book club to engage with several of you in a conversation about how the book’s numerous strategies could be put into practice in our everyday life. All of these strategies combined have really served to elevate my personal energy and focus!
Recently, I spent the better part of a weekend decluttering my home. And, unexpectedly realized that the decluttering process itself also brought with it a huge focus and energy boost for me. My home isn’t messy but it seems that when I get busy, my house sometimes looks like it could use a little organization love. And the change of the seasons always feels like an especially good time to figure out what needs to go and what needs to stay in closets and drawers, etc. As I got more organized, my focus and energy also increased, making me feel happier overall. Releasing that clutter, even though it was not an overwhelming amount, really brought such a sense of peacefulness to my life. I am no longer trying to get something done while also being distracted by a pile of paperwork on the side of a desk, wondering what all is in there! I bet some of you may be able to relate to that feeling of being distracted by uncompleted projects sabotaging the things you really need to focus on right now.
As I decluttered, I thought about how this process of decluttering can be applied to my whole life, not just my physical surroundings. Perhaps I could “declutter” my thoughts, my words, my relationships, my schedule – you get the idea! I like to look at my life as as a design project, the same way an interior designer views a renovation project with a client. And, just as it’s usually not practical to renovate your entire home at one time, it’s also not reasonable to think we could declutter our whole life overnight. Here are a few observations I made about decluttering my physical surroundings. I believe that the same thoughts can be applied to decluttering one’s whole life.
Make sure that you are ready to dive into the process so you can give it the time and energy it needs.
Decluttering takes time, but it always feels worth it to me when I see the end result.
Start decluttering with clear intention.
Before I started decluttering in my home, I walked around from room to room and decided where my focus was needed. I set clear intentions of what I was going to tackle first, and when, and then gave that my full attention to that, even though other areas were also crying out for some help as well.
Be willing to make some tough choices.
I probably have a few things in my home, whether it’s clothing or something else, that probably does not really serve me well any longer. And, yet, year after year, I continue to hold onto it. Sometimes keeping it is just a habit. Many of those things, I decided to donate, so someone else could benefit from them more.
Celebrate the small successes rather than focus on all that still needs to be done.
I told myself I was going to celebrate each small step of progress in each room, rather than allow myself to get distracted or frustrated by the work that still needed to be done.
Put some new practices in place to support the newly organized space.
Once I felt satisfied with the decluttering process, I decided I needed to revise some of my day-to-day habits to ensure that I could keep those areas decluttered with minimal upkeep.
If you are also in the fall clean out mode, perhaps you may want to give some thought to whether there could be areas of your life, other than your physical surroundings, that could benefit from some decluttering. Here’s to more focus, energy, and the true sense of calm that comes from the process!
Today’s blog was written by WWR Partner Coach, Donna Kettell. Donna is a certified professional coach (CPC) and a master practitioner in energy leadership (ELI-MP). Her certifications were earned through The Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC), which is accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF).