OK, you may be thinking that I've lost my mind in telling you that paper holds emotion. Maybe I have! However, I also know that when I'm working with my clients, letting go is extremely hard for most.
So why is it so hard? There is emotion to it!
As you are looking to simplify and move your business to the next level, be prepared to face a sense of loss as you let go of certain possessions. The sense of relief you feel afterwards will compensate for the feeling of loss.
Today, I'll share some techniques that have worked with my clients when in the “letting go” phase of setting up systems.
Develop a Positive Attitude!
When you send your brain the “I can” message, vs. the “I can’t,” possibilities unfold and enable you to accomplish so much more. A good attitude is the first step in moving past your frustration and towards your goals.
10 Minutes is All You Need
Set a timer for 10 minutes and spend the time focusing on one room or area. When the bell rings…you have permission to stop. Do this daily or more often in each room or area to keep clutter to a minimum.
Keep It Close
In general, things should be stored as close as possible to where you're most likely to use them. Keep your desk well stocked with everyday supplies such as pencils, pens, paper and stamps; keep the TV. Remote near the TV, etc.
Let it Expire
If you're not using something, get rid of it. Put an expiry date on items when you can't decide to keep them or not. Get rid of them when the expiry date arrives.
Imagine that you are holding a flashlight and shining it on one spot. Concentrate on this spot until it is organized.The flashlight focus will help to eliminate overwhelm.
Let Go Learn to Let Go
Ask yourself, Do I REALLY need this? When was the last time I used this? Could someone else benefit from this more than me? Why am I keeping this? Be honest with yourself and you'll see that letting go is not so hard. Beautiful, Useful or Loved? Ask yourself if each item you pick up is “beautiful, useful, or loved” — if not, get rid of it.
Use the TRASH Method
Several methods are used by professional organizers, such as the “TRASH” system for processing paper: Throw it away or recycle it. Refer it to someone else Act on it. Save it in the place where it belongs. Halt it, in the case of junk mail or subscriptions you don't read.
Is it Bubble Wrap Worthy?
While we often talk about rules and guidelines for getting rid of things, let's address the world of stuff from a different direction. Is it worth keeping? For every item, ask yourself an important question: “Is it bubble wrap worthy?” Oh the extra time and effort it takes to bubble wrap. Make sure the item is truly that important.
Ask Yourself The Hard Questions
When was the last time you used it? When will you (realistically) need it again? Why would you need it again? Who might ask for it? What would you need it for? Is it easily replaceable? What's the worst thing that would happen if you got rid of it? Is it beautiful, useful, or loved? Let Go of These Excuses “It was expensive and I can't stand to see it go to waste.” if you don't use it, it's still being wasted — even if you keep it. “I might be need it someday.” if you haven't used it in a year, will you use it in the next? “It was a gift.” Once you receive a gift, it's yours to do with as you see fit.
It is About Simplification
Think about your values and write down those that really matter to you. What is most important? Spending time with family? Accumulating great wealth? Achieving powerful influence? Acquiring possessions? Expressing yourself? Learning new ideas? Experiencing adventure and travel? Maintaining excellent health? Socializing with friends? Contributing to the community? You can't do them all. Cut out activities that aren't consistent with your core values.
Understand When to Let Go
Start by going through your old files and doing some purging. You could always work off of the philosophy that “if you don’t have a good reason for keeping it, get rid of it” — but what counts as a good reason? A lot of folks are afraid to ever throw document away because they might need it again someday. Ask yourself some questions to help you guide yourself through this process: – Is the information relevant to my life, personal interests, or job? – Has this information become outdated? Can I find a more current document? – How easy would it be to replace this if I needed the information later? – What is the worst thing that could happen if I got rid of it? You may have some unusual or extenuating circumstance in your life — and you should check with your accountant or attorney before pitching out any important legal, business, or financial paperwork.
Pick one and try it out. 🙂