Guest Post by: Tumi Frazier, founder of Tumi Frazier International
Clutter is both physical and mental. Having an excess of things in your surroundings can have a negative impact on your ability to process information and to focus. This goes for your workspace, your office, or even your closet at home. In fact, having a cluttered desktop can become an administrative nightmare in your business.
Neuroscientists at Princeton University discovered that physical clutter in your surroundings competes for your attention, resulting in decreased performance and increased stress. Some people may argue, however, that certain people need a bit of a mess in their surroundings to feel inspired and get the work done.
I have met a few people who call clutter their “organized chaos” which means only they can function and make sense of it. Therefore, it stands to reason that everyone’s tolerance for clutter is different. However, it is extremely frustrating for many people to waste time looking for things that are not where they are supposed to be. Imagine you have an important client presentation and papers are flying out of your file and you can’t find the important document you need to refer to. The client watches in dismay waiting for you to pull yourself together and get on with the presentation. Meanwhile she or he is silently wondering what your office, car and home look like, and most importantly whether or not to entrust their business with someone who seems completely disorganized.
“If a cluttered desk is the sign of a cluttered mind, what is the significance of a clean desk?”
– Laurence J. Peter
So, here are four approaches to clearing the clutter on your desk and in your life. The author, motivational speaker and entrepreneur, Jack Canfield, refers to them as the Four D’s of completion.
1. When you pick up a piece of paper; decide straight away whether you’ll ever do anything with it. If not, Dump it.
2. If you can take care of it in 10 minutes, Do it immediately.
3. If you still want to take care of it yourself but know it will take longer, Delay it by filing it in a folder of things to do later.
4. If you can’t do it yourself, Delegate it to someone you trust to accomplish the task.
Similarly, while you may not have control of what triggers your mind to do certain things at certain times, you do control what occupies it constantly. You have 30 seconds to deal with a thoughtm because if you do not dismiss a negative thought, it will be accompanied by a feeling which will lead to a mood.
Ultimately, the only way to create space for something new is to get rid of things that no longer serve you and the clutter that takes up that precious space. On a personal level, why not get rid of clothes in your closet that you have kept for years hoping one day they will fit you again. Or perhaps say goodbye to the unhealthy relationships and situations that occupy your mind and affect you negatively. It is all about clearing the physical and mental clutter in our lives in order to make room for the positive things.
Tumi Frazier is a South African entrepreneur, professional speaker, author, TV personality, consultant, and founder of Tumi Frazier International, Tumi Leadership Academy, and Tumi Foundation. Tumi is an internationally acclaimed Leadership and Change Management expert who has worked with high profile clients and organizations across Africa, United States and Europe. Tumi has authored 4 books: Courageous Stories of Inspiration; In the Midst of the Storm; Stepping Stones to Success; and Your Moment. Follow Tumi Twitter | LinkedIn
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