It’s often at this time of year when our commitments start to pile up, our priorities slip off the radar while our winter boots fight to maintain their status on the floor.
Hello June! I don’t know a single person who isn’t craving a little more space and simplicity right about now. Which is why I’m going to share with you three powerful words to help you simplify.
When we finally make the decision to get organized and let go of the stuff that’s blocking our path, one of the greatest challenges is where to start?
It’s easy to take the all or nothing approach and feel like you have to start at the beginning of time. But here’s what happens…
We dive into YESTERDAY’s stuff without creating space for TODAY first and then TOMORROW arrives… things start to pile up and it’s easy to quickly feel overwhelmed.
Which is why I’m an advocate for an approach called:
TODAY – TOMORROW – YESTERDAY
The idea is to focus on clearing your path and organizing TODAY first so that you have a place for TOMORROW to land before diving into YESTERDAY.
I know it might sound counter-intuitive but it works.
Here are two examples:
Let’s take your inbox. Maybe you have 1000’s of emails in your inbox and you’re struggling to find what you need today but you are determined to once and for all sort out the mess. So, you start going through ALL the emails and meanwhile, more emails just keep coming in and you can’t keep up.
Instead you could:
- Create folders for relevant categories TODAY. (EG: Active Clients by name, Resources by subject, Projects and an Action Folder.) Search your inbox for those emails and move them into their folder. Take ALL the other emails in your inbox and move them to an Archive folder.
- Now you are ready for TOMORROW! Every single email that comes into your inbox has a place to live OR you can delete them or unsubscribe immediately.
- YESTERDAY is out of the way and you can search your Archive Folder when you need to find something and eventually you might just delete the whole thing.
Now for your clothes. Maybe your closet is spilling over and it’s hard to get dressed in the morning. Frustrated, you pull everything out of your closet to sort the mess but it takes longer than you expect. Overwhelmed with the dance of decisions and out of time, stuff everywhere and you still can’t find something to wear.
Instead you could:
- Get three boxes and place them just outside your closet TODAY. One GOODBYE BOX, one SEASONAL BOX and one MAYBE BOX. Then every time you go into your closet and see something that is not an absolute YES or is not for TODAY (this season), you place it in one of the boxes. Once a week you decide on the contents of the MAYBE BOX and take the GOODBYE BOX to the thrift store.
- This creates the space for TOMORROW – the clean laundry coming in or new, necessary items you purchase for this season.
- Once you have created the space you need then you can dive into YESTERDAY – the seasonal bins and the boxes in the garage.
Apply this approach to any area in your life or business and it will make the organizing journey a whole lot easier and more effective.
Here’s to making space!