Monica J. Griffith

I have a love-hate relationship with Spring. I love the fresh air and the newly budding trees. I love the flowers as their fragrance wafts along the breeze. I love getting my spring clothes out of storage. I love pulling out my spring and summer yard decorations.

What I don’t like about Spring is the cleaning and purging that seems to come with a real clean-up! Oh, I love it when it is done and actually beginning it is not so bad; however, about half-way through, I’m done!

I’ve begun to take on the task of Spring cleaning. And I always begin with clearing away the clutter. It is magazines that I’ve received and will find time to read one-of-these days. It is mounds of business cards from various networking events of people I can’t recall where I met or with whom I have in fact reconnected. It may be small piles of clothes that either need mending or tossed. And sticky-notes of reminders that I’ve long forgotten! Do you have that same problem or is it just me?

It is my semi-annual ‘cleaning of the sludge’! That stuff that gets in my way of doing what I really love to do. I don’t know why I continue to create little piles of stuff. Why not just handle it and be done? Is it so difficult to make a decision and do what needs to be done right then and there? Is this familiar to you?

Clutter is no more than postponed decisions. That saying is so true for me. Granted, there are times when I cannot address the concern at that exact moment; nevertheless, there must be a way to handle the magazines or clothes or business cards in a more timely way! What is it about putting things off that is so enticing that I continue to do it? What is it that I fear about making the decision and taking action in the moment?

Where else, besides my house, might I find clutter – or decisions and actions postponed? Could this same clutter be getting in the way of other clean-up and actions that need to be addressed for my business – for my life?

The interesting thing about clutter or sludge is that when things become stock-piled, the energy it takes to clear things up sometimes seems overwhelming. Going through the accumulated business cards when I get home from a networking event takes about 5 minutes. Going through them after 3 months of collection could take an hour or more. And that task can be very frustrating! Scheduling time to make follow-up calls (and making them) is just a few minutes in my routine; putting them off for ‘another time’ sometimes doubles the time and energy to do the work. Writing one section of a business plan every day or so is a small step to a big accomplishment – and much less energy that trying to do it all in one day.

Here is what I am seeing: taking a small sweet step is much more inviting than trying to clean it all up at once. It’s much like house cleaning – doing one room a day is a lot less work that spending all weekend cleaning the entire house! In bite-size pieces I get the same result, with a lot less effort, energy and frustration!

So, let’s make a pact! Let’s make it small and sweet! I promise to keep one room clear of clutter for the next 21 days. Just one room! And, at the end of 21 days, I’ll celebrate that success and I will continue the ‘no clutter’ action with that room and move to another. And so on…

I’m excited about this – are you? Are you with me on this? Let me hear from you in 21 days and then we’ll celebrate our success together!