We feel we have so much mental, physical, and technological clutter in our lives. We want to help you de-clutter one area of your life that will help us be more intentional and productive professionals. When you are free of the clutter and chaos, you can fill your cup, and then show up stronger.
Simplifying The Clutter Day 1:
We are challenging ourselves AND YOU to declutter your social media this week. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
This can mean different things for different people. We are not shutting down our social media because we believe it is a powerful tool for small businesses to communicate with others. We are controlling what we can control by setting time limits, planning ahead of time, engaging with positive accounts. Here are some things you can do:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
1. Unfollow accounts that create stress, comparison, or frustration.⠀⠀
2. Consider which social media platforms you really enjoy. You don't have to be on all of them. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
3. Set app time limits in the settings on your phone or only allow yourself on social media at specific times of day to reduce distraction.⠀⠀⠀
4. Decide what value social media brings you and use it for that purpose only.
Simplifying The Clutter Day 2:
Visual and physical clutter can distract, stress, and hinder focus and creativity. Whether you work from home, in an office, or both...take a look at the space that you work in.
Is it set-up so that you can be productive?
Is it organized so you find items quickly and easily?
Is it inspiring and positive?
We are challenging ourselves AND YOU to declutter the space in which you work.
1. If you don't have a dedicated space to work, that is step one. Set yourself up for success with a place to work. A place separate from the distractions of life that is dedicated to work.⠀⠀⠀
2. Remove and organize the items that create clutter around your working space or desk. Organize papers, put away files or books, create a space for office supplies. Throw away the items you don't need anymore.
3. Less clutter allows for more thought and creativity. Create negative/empty space around you. You don't have to have every surface covered in items or reminders. Create space for yourself to think.
Simplifying The Clutter Day 3:
Clutter slows us down and wastes time. File clutter can definitely slow a computer down. We are challenging ourselves AND YOU to declutter your computer so that you can find files and work more efficiently.
1. Start with your desktop and clean up all the files. Delete them or place them in the correct folders.
2. Clean out your downloads folder. This can use a lot of space on your computer.
3. Consider using a cloud based file system. We use Google Drive. Organize your files into folders on Google Drive. You can even sync your google drive to your computer so that you are always saving to the cloud and you won't lose files.
4. Close programs that are running and shut your computer off tonight. Let it rest!
Simplifying The Clutter Day 4:
What You Wear
When life is busy, we have a lot of decisions to make. When there are too many options and too many decisions to make, we can suffer from decision fatigue. I am a BIG believer in this. I have been working to identify areas of my life that require little decisions each day that end up frustrating me or wasting time. Getting dressed is one of them.
We are challenging ourselves AND YOU to declutter our closets and take an inventory of what you have for your professional wardrobe.
1. Remove the clothing that you have not worn in 1+ years so that you can see what you really have to wear.
2. Organize your closet in a way that helps you find and choose work outfits easily. I have organized my closet many ways. Sometimes I will move all off-season clothing to the back and only have what I can wear in this season in the front. This way I am not focusing on all the things I can't wear. Only the items I can wear today.
3. Identify the basic items you need to make multiple outfits. Layering allows you to make many different outfits with few pieces. Cardigans, sweaters, vests, and blazers are my go tos to create professional but comfortable outfits each day.
Simplifying The Clutter Day 5:
My inbox dominates my day sometimes. Those days feel the most unproductive. My inbox is distracting and can create stress. So how do we create structure so that it does not clutter our minds and distract us from the work we need to do? We are challenging ourselves AND YOU to declutter and create structure for your inbox.
1. Organize emails into folders according to clients or projects. You can also set up parameters so that specific types of emails go to specific inboxes. That way you are not distracted with daily offers or blog posts when you need to be focusing on clients or a deadline. You can set up a time once or twice a week to check those emails.
2. Schedule times for email. Now, we know this may not work for all positions and industries, but not constantly having your inbox open and only opting to check it once an hour can help eliminate the distraction that causes you to lose focus when working on projects.
3. Set expectations. When possible, only respond to emails during business hours. If you're working late, schedule that email response to send first time in the morning. Creating these boundaries can free you from the weight of constantly checking and rechecking your email at all hours of the morning and night. We know that in some cases there are exceptions, but also know that this does not make you any less committed to the content or client that the email is from.
4. Don't be afraid to unsubscribe. January is a good time to filter through your inbox and unsubscribe from the mailing lists that are bogging it down. Whether it's the list you subscribed to in order to receive a coupon or the site you recently purchased a Christmas gift from that you have no personal interest in- if it's from a sender your constantly deleting emails from without opening go ahead and take the time to unsubscribe. There are apps to help speed up this process for you. Check out, unroll.me!
Simplifying The Clutter Day 6:
Today is the last day of the Personal Brand decluttering challenge.
We want you to look back over the last 7 days and write down how you used your time each day. Write down everything you did, even what time you woke up and went to bed. Be honest about it.
Once you have written it out, review it. What do you see that is working? What do you want to change? How can you use your time better? What can you reduce? What do you need to find time for? What is wasting your time? What small changes can you make to reduce the rushing or stress during the week?
Is it waking up 30 minutes earlier or getting your lunch, coffee, and bag packed the night before?
Is it reducing your nightly obligations or saying no on the weekends?
Our world and society are constantly pressuring us to move quicker and do more. I am challenging myself AND YOU to declutter our schedules. 2020 helped us see that less is sometimes better. We were forced to slow down. What can we learn from slowing down and doing less?
Don't let this decluttering challenge overwhelm you. Do it at your pace. Let it inspire you and motivate you.
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