How to declutter in business | BCBusiness

How to declutter in business | BCBusiness
Most of the clutter in our working lives is self created and simplifying means letting go of bad habits.

Running any kind of business is hard today. Despite the increase in devices that are supposed to simplify our lives, most of us find that we face more clutter than ever. Here are some ways to declutter your working life.

What with all the media and communication that we have to deal with today, it’s impossible to run a business or work without a lot of clutter piling up. Unanswered or badly stored emails and other communications, dealing with employees or fellow workers, multiple to-do lists that are never completed, reports that are behind schedule, stuff you hate doing but they want you to do anyway. You get the idea.  

This clutter is usually mental and, according to the gurus, can be handled by some discipline and any one of several programs that help you get things done (I don’t know about you, but whenever I try these programs, and I have several times, they become just another thing to do). But it can also be physical in that you’re in a constant state of anxiety, which wears you out.

Clutter limits your productivity and causes undue stress.

So when an email from an American coach and therapist Diane Lang about decluttering your life landed in my desktop, I paid attention. Here her tips adapted for business:

  1. Take some time to just be. We’re often so frantically busy in our work, we don’t know when to quit. No one can concentrate forever. So take 10 to 15 minutes or so every hour and just let it all ooze out. Breath deeply, meditate, take a walk, be mindful, whatever. Relax.
  2. Live in the now. Don’t think about what you should have said to X or where you filed Y. It’s in the past, so let it go. Start over again and live with what’s in front of you.
  3. Don’t try so hard to organize. It’s the very rare person who can multi-task successfully. So instead of flipping from one thing to another and cluttering up your mind with half-finished tasks, allot a time to do them in sequence. Start with the easiest and continue until your allotted time is up. Then stop thinking about it.
  4. Change old habits. Most of our clutter comes as a result of bad habits and negative thoughts that have built up over time. Instead of focusing on the things you didn’t do, think about the tasks you did complete. That will energize you to do another, and another. Eventually, your bad habits and negative thoughts will fade away.
  5. Free yourself from task slavery. Really, do all these things have to be done, or are they make-work (by you or someone else) projects with no real purpose other than they have always been done? What would happen if you disappeared tomorrow? Would the fact that they are undone be so tragic, or would everybody survive? You’re not superman or superwoman, so why try? Gain a sense of freedom by determining what really matters and ignore the rest.