Positive filters for a tidy mindset
On Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global blog, I was attracted to the post “10 Mindful Habits That Will Make You More Successful at Work.” The author asked members of the Thrive Global community to put forward suggestions for staying mindful when being pulled in different directions. This one came from Sue Cooper, Lazy Dog Adventures, FL: “A key mindset shift, and an overall gamechanger, is saying ‘I get to’ instead of ‘I have to’. "
It got me thinkin’ about how this applies to de-cluttering and productivity…
Have you ever caught yourself saying “I have to… clear the house of stuff, just as soon as I figure out what I’m going to get rid of,” or “I have to… file those papers, but there are so many!” or “I have to… finish this project but I’m swamped”.
Not everyone is overwhelmed by physical or mental clutter, although it’s highly likely you’ve been overwhelmed at one time or another. And then you tidy your home, or organize your desk, papers and projects, and you’re able to move forward again.
Being overwhelmed stops some folks in their tracks, though, and they get stuck there. You wouldn’t wish it on your best friend, but it can happen and you may not be aware that they’re in a stuck place.
How you can use positive filters
Whatever it is, and whatever the reason, anyone who has ever felt stuck wants to avoid feeling stuck again. What if, instead, we use positive filters to “train” ourselves out of being overwhelmed by clutter and indecision? Let’s help each other out of that stuck-ness and overwhelm:
· Instead of seeing a space that looks cluttered, visualize what it will look like after it’s been de-cluttered. Try it now – close your eyes and picture yourself walking through your front door, into your home office, your bedroom, whatever space is causing you angst. Imagine how nice it looks! How airy and bright it is! How it’s now a sanctuary or place of inspiration. As a result, you’ll be saying “I get to work in my nice office” rather than “I have to work on my office”.
· Think about the goals you have for yourself, your career, your family – how would a tidy home or desk contribute to achieving those goals? I’d bet anything that it would free up more of your time to focus on what’s important because the clutter wouldn’t always be grabbing at your sleeve looking for attention. Your mind would focus better without the distraction of visual clutter, you’d be able to breathe more easily, and you’d be more likely to achieve your goals. You’d say, “I get to work on my art project,” or “I get to work on this task, which will increase my learning on this subject.”
· Do you have a daily gratitude practice? Thank your home and/or your office for being there to support you and keep you safe. Five seconds, and your done – yet in those five seconds you have set the tone for the rest of the day in your space. If your home supports you, doesn’t it make sense for you to support your home so it can do an even better job of supporting you and your loved ones?
What other filters can you think of? I’d love to hear them and share them in a future update.
Are you feeling stuck?
If you or someone you know is experiencing this king of stuck-ness and indecision, point them my way. I specialize in helping people set relevant and motivating goals, and develop the systems that will get them there.
I’m Ellia Harris, a Mindful Organizing and Productivity Coach. I work with professionals who are stressed by their messy home, scattered brain, or project deadlines. I'll help you intentionally clear the clutter from your home and your head so you have more time, peace, and results in your life.
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