It’s a New Year; A new you must be in there somewhere, right? Along with the top three New Year's Resolutions women make for Positive Change (eating healthy, getting in shape and saving money) maybe you’ve added the popular: Get Organized!
Clearing the clutter in your workspace is a great place to start! It is an empowering first step to getting organized. But if you’re anything like me, just the thought of starting that process sets off the “overwhelm” alarms. It just seems to makes the stress worse!
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Stuff always seems to find its way to my desk, including around and beneath it! Stuff I just can’t seem to let go of, like notes about important ideas, cool leafs and rocks (gifts from my grandsons), hard copies of articles, receipts, the vacuum cleaner manual, headphones, cameras, reading glasses, business cards and lots of Multi-Passionista projects!
One fine day, I did something really bold and scary for a perfectly messy woman: I took everything (I mean EVERYTHING!) off my desk and put it into a big, clear, plastic box. … the separation anxiety was profound.
But something miraculous happened: the top of my desk showed up. Along with my peace of mind! Best of all, the positive change was astounding! So I made a resolution to keep it that way and at the time, it wasn't even New Years Eve!
Wanna try it? You’ll need a timer and a box with a lid. Just 4 beginning steps and 1 maintenance step, each taking a maximum (by the timer) of 30 minutes a day ..... once you've been doing it for a week or so, it only takes about 10 minutes a day.
The first thing to do to clear work space is to gather all the "to-do" type lists, sticky notes, and notes-to-self. Compile them into a single "To-Do List.” Write them down. Be sure there is a trash can nearby so that each note-to-self can be tossed as it is written on the list.
It may end up being a really long list but don't panic because you aren't going to do anything with it until you create your To-Don't List! That’s where the real fun begins! More on that in Step 4.
Once you’ve created your to-do list, grab all the stacks and piles of paper in bulk ~ by the armful if necessary ~ and put them in a box with a lid; or several boxes, depending on the size of your clutteration masterpiece!
DO NOT try to sort it out! DO NOT prioritize it yet! DO NOT worry that you are just going to be hiding it away and never get to it.
I promise you'll get to it! In fact, things will be less hidden away with this system than when they were piled all over your workspace.
Now grab all the other 'stuff' like staplers, hair brushes, paperclips, headphones, etc and put into another box. If you happen to have a lot of books stacked all around (like me) get one more box for them. Make sure all your boxes have lids!
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Open up the space and make it beautiful and calm. Only necessary items like your
computer, lamp, telephone, a coaster for beverages, a keepsake or a flowering plant get to stay .... a clean, clear, calm workspace is what you’re going for here. Position your desk in front of a window, if possible.
Now Stop!, sit at the space and enjoy it. Even if that took less than 30 minutes! Relax for the rest of the day (or move on to another project of task); wait for tomorrow's 30 minute time-slot to start on sorting through your stuff. (Steps 3-5 on page 2)