A jammed email in-box, over booked calendar and cluttered desktop will make even the most energetic person feel overwhelmed and frustrated.
This happens when you try do more and be more than is realistically possible. I have been trying to conquer that habit for years. I have good news, though, even if you’re like me and tend to take on too much, you can still pause and re-start at any time. Here is what I do when things begin to feel overwhelming in my work space:
Clear The Clutter. If I need to, I can be creative with my laptop on top of a pile of dirty dishes and unpaid bills, but that is not my preferred way of working. The best thing I ever did for myself was to begin cleaning off my desk about 30 minutes before leaving my workspace every day. Occasionally, things can still get chaotic. When this happens, here is how I gain control quickly:
I begin with old-fashioned in-boxes. The paper on my desk is not clutter. It’s a pile of action items. So, I’ll sort these into to do, to read, to call, etc.
And then I schedule time on my calendar to process all of these papers
Next, I clean up the space. Take a few minutes every day to dust, de-clutter and straighten your space.
My most important tip for you today is to Set Boundaries for yourself.
The reason we feel overwhelmed and chaotic is because we overbook ourselves or because we let others intrude on our time. I get it, this is easier to say than it is to implement. Remember that distractions and drama can be a clever way to sabotage yourself from doing your most important work.
Even if you have been distracted or procrastinating for years, the best thing you can do right now is to make a decision that you’re going to put your work as a priority. Then—respect your decision. Don’t allow yourself to be tempted by distractions or interruptions. If you find yourself off track, get right back on. This isn’t something that you’ll master immediately, it’s a process, but once you create this habit of setting personal and professional boundaries, the people around you will begin to respect your need to work, and they may begin to model your behavior as well.
Remember—how you are in life and business is a model for others, so stay out of overwhelm and keep being influential.