By Melanie Benson Strick, Success Connections
Do you ever get that sinking feeling that creeps up on you in the middle of the day? That feeling of overwhelm, or maybe it's anxiety, that you have SO much on your plate and you just don't know what to do next.
A couple of weeks ago one of my clients mentioned that he had a desk full of papers but he couldn't slow down to clean them up. I realized that it was kind of like the feeling I was having about technology. I had recently invested in a new computer which in theory is awesome. But now I had spent over fifteen hours between transferring files, loading new programs and trying to get all of my fancy "systems" to work. To top it all off, I've got this fancy Pocket PC phone that I can never seem to get working properly and a full-time affair with their technical support team is blossoming.
Clutter comes in lots of forms. On a call today, one of my clients mentioned the clutter from her friends - friends who always need her advice and ask for crazy favors. This clutter was literally causing her to feel overwhelmed and stressed, simply because of the emotional boundaries that are being pushed.
When we feel distracted by this type of clutter, we are 30 - 50% less effective on what matters most - completing our goals and making money. I've personally noticed that clutter in more than one area can take me down faster than a nasty strain of bird flu!
That's where Clean Sweep Day comes to the rescue. Clean Sweep Day is based on a coaching tool I received when I was in my coach training program. It's a great little assessment that points out the areas in which you may be causing clutter in your life with incomplete tasks, energy drains, and the overwhelming "shoulds."
A Clean Sweep Day is when you block out a day (or even four hours will do) where you have absolutely no commitments or distractions and you power through all the projects, incomplete tasks and nagging to-do's that are preventing you from performing at 100%.
Back to my technology breakdown. Of course, being a coach, I recognize the early warning signs of an overwhelm melt-down and decided to face this challenge head on! So I scheduled an entire WEEK to being a Clean Sweep Week. Yes, I had clients and meetings. But I scheduled 3 big blocks of time in my calendar, got out my trusty to-do list, prioritized everything that had to get done, and I powered through it.
The most exciting part of all wasn't even that I got so much done; it was how much better I felt at the end of the week. I felt like a super-star!!! My mind was clear, I had so much energy and my mood was ten times better. By simply getting some things wrapped up, I created more energy to get the bigger tasks done.
Now it's your turn. I invite you to join my clients in a Clean Sweep Challenge Day. Here is what you need to do. First, take a quick inventory of what needs to be done. Look for things like this:
* Paper, filing or "stuff" clutter in your office
* Projects or deliverables that you remember at 4:30 am
* Half completed ideas that you ruminate about
* Email, phone calls or letters that you have been putting off
* Bills or situations that you need to spend time resolving
* Family, friends or business situations that need a "discussion" to clear something up
* Technology challenges that cause you from being able to work properly
* Broken items that bother you when you notice them
Then, make a list of everything that needs to be addressed and prioritize it. I recommend prioritizing based on what is most critical in the next 90 days (for additional information on high-payoff prioritization see the ULTIMATE Wealth & Success Circle High Payoff Activities audio program.)
Then on your scheduled Clean Sweep Day just start powering through! The trick is to stay focused and not answer the phone or get side-tracked with emails. You can even tell everyone in your life what you are doing - I bet they will want to join you for Clean Sweep Day too!
Now here is the best part. Imagine it's the end of your Clean Sweep Day. You have powered through a mountain of projects and you feel like a million bucks. Just see yourself sitting at your desk, smiling, knowing that everything you just accomplished has helped you clear space for more money, more focus and more time to do what's important. You feel excited and energized and ready to take on your bigger game of success!
Want to do your Clean Sweep Challenge with even more power and momentum? Join us for Clean Sweep Challenge Day. I've designated September 1 as Clean Sweep day. It's free to participate and I provide all the tools to help you through the day!
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