Last week, I wrote a blog post in which I confessed that I hide my own business dreams and life dreams under stacks of paper.
Now I’m trying to dig through all those piles and figure out where the good stuff is, and what I can finally give myself permission to let go of.
It’s not easy.
I’ve always been an information hoarder, that’s my personal form of clutter. I suppose it’s better than buying gadgets I’ll never use, or shoes I’ll never wear, but it’s still clutter that weighs me down.
My clutter is not in my closets, it’s all over my desk. Which is sometimes worse, because it can make me feel overwhelmed as soon as I walk in my office!
I keep generating ideas for new marketing methods for my home staging business, or new products or course ideas for teaching home stagers, or ideas to add to one of my nine websites, and they get added to one of the piles.
I know if I took everything and put it into organized files, I would lose all the ideas that are hiding inside the piles. In fact, last year I organized all the paper on my desk into three folders:
- A Priority
- B Priority
- C Priority
Trouble was, I never looked inside them again!
All that stuff I told myself was “A Priority” either wasn’t, or I already had it in my mental inventory of items I really needed to do. So I got to those items and ideas anyway without even referring to all the paper hiding inside that red “urgent, pay attention to me right now” folder.
I’m a visual person. So while I crave order, when it comes to my ideas and work, I have to see everything I plan to act on. If it’s buried in a folder, it won’t get my attention anymore. But I’m realizing that hiding something inside a stack of paper has the same problem. It’s still no longer visible to me.
The other day, I had a realization. All the little “to do” items that are represented by the stacks on my desk are of my own making.
That’s probably obvious to you, but to me it was a bit of a revelation. My To Do’s are only To Do’s because I made them so! I can just as easily make them Don’t Do’s and sweep them all into the recycling bin. It’s not like “my boss” will come in and ask me why I haven’t gotten to any of it.
I have no boss and I have been self-employed since 1989. You’d think by now I would have mastered that negative little voice in my head that says, “why aren’t you doing this, that or the other thing?” To be honest, I used to have that under control most of the time, but these last 6 months it’s really got away from me. Hence the need for a massive “fresh start” clearing of my desk.
There will never be enough hours in a day to achieve all the things we hope to accomplish. It’s critical that we keep a vigilant eye on the things we put on our To Do List so they don’t crowd out the stuff that will really build our business or enrich our lives!
Home stagers, how do you deal with this? What methods have you found for keeping track of the ideas you REALLY want to act on without letting them get buried inside a pile of “should” items that drain you of energy and inspiration? Please share your ideas by adding to the comment section.
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Debra Gould knows how to make money as a home stager and she developed the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program to teach others how to earn a living doing something they love.