We are all so very busy and stressed getting things done that land in front of us. Texting. Immediate email requests. Phone calls. Projects that have a due date. People who need us to respond or get on board with an idea.
Then there is the pile – at least mine is – of the things that probably can wait to be done. The TTPCW pile for most of my clients, is one of the tallest piles in their office or work area. Most of the items in the TTPCW category we have labeled not so immediate – they can wait, a bit longer, and a bit longer and then there is dust on the pile. This TTPCW is a stress inducer if ever there was one.
I do not know what is in your pile, but my clients say that these items can be found in their TTPCW:
- Insurance letter to change beneficiaries
- Change of address notices that require some adjustment to the wrongly captured address
- Filing of the: investors report; old car registration; school papers of the kids that cannot be tossed; sweet card from dear friend; recipes using that new lime idea; certificate of appreciation
- Pictures to be framed
- Letter from dear friend that needs to be answered
- Graduation card to be signed and sent
- Discount coupons
- Newspaper article you cut out and want to save
- Files that no longer need to be kept
- Tax receipts
- New designs scratched onto a napkin from the dinner last week
- Cat and dog info from the last visit to the vet
- Thank you ideas to boss and team
- Notes to look up whether there is a patent on_______________
- Certified letter info needed to change an old W-9
The pile contains not crisis information that needs handling, but certainly important information that needs to be saved, handled or at least filed somewhere. Yea, that somewhere place. Sounds like another pile to me.
Do not hear that I am against piles. In fact I am so for piles. I love the idea that I have put the important information I need in a pile rather than it being somewhere, anywhere, but in the pile. So I like piles, for a while.
My dear friend and clutter guru Vicky White tells us that we lose momentum and mental space when we have clutter and piles.
I consider the information to be acted on – TTPCW – in our piles to be clutter for the following reasons:
- Every time you look in the pile you re-remind yourself that all this stuff needs processing of some sort
- Your mental space it taken up with guilt and “get it done” criticism
- You spend a lot of time sorting through your piles looking for information and stuff
- If the processing of the TTPCW makes it to your “to do” list, it usually does not get done cause you have not made it a priority
- The TTPCW becomes a problem; an irritant; a reminder of what a slough you are
That is what clutter does to us.
A story: When I was cleaning my home office of 9 years getting it ready for my home to sell, I wanted to go through all my hundreds of business books and see what to keep and what to give away. I wandered around that project for months. The book shelves were in my sight every day. I accessed the bookshelves for research, quotes and reading every week and sometimes each day. The idea of taking time to sort through my beloved books became an total irritant. I criticized myself and the project became a big negative deal.
I finally got mad. I scheduled the sorting for a Friday. Cleared my schedule. Brewed a pot of my favorite green tea and began at the first 6 shelf bookcase. I had to get this project done because I had a contract on my home. I had decided months before that I was not going to take over 2,000 books with me.
Three piles and many hours of deep satisfaction later, I had books to share with colleagues, books that I would never part with and books to contribute to the town library for their annual book sale.
I felt terrific about the sorting process. I also had 10 books for my bedside table that I wanted to revisit.
I ended up with 300 books I could never part with. I loved the sorting and the contributing. I revisited some of the best business and self-development content ever written and the reading of them allowed the wisdom to ring true a second time for me.
We all have piles and priorities. When the piles begin to negatively nudge us, we want and need to make time to remove the negativity and get that totally awesome feeling of COMPLETION. Got it doneness!!!
A suggestion for your clutter and pile solutions:
- Find a time each week and do one thing
- Make it the same time each week
- Day or night, does not matter, but to you wine drinkers, probably evening is better
- Office or home, get yourself a snack and a warm drink, shut the door and spent your time clearing up and cleaning up that PILE.
Most of my clients have picked Fridays for their TTPCW.
I am pleased to report that commitment to the TTPCW has produced some very nice results for my clients.
- Completion of designs for new products
- Lovely thank you notes sent and received
- Feelings of completion and control returned
So, my blog friends, I urge you to go to your TTPCW and bless it. There is gold in that pile. There is the feeling of completion in that pile. Stress reduced and confidence boost.
Blessings and love,