In this era of overwhelming Internet contact and its evil cousin SPAM, we’ve all become familiar with the concept of ‘opting out’ and ‘unsubscribing’. You know, that little hot-link button at the bottom of email offers and electronic advertisements.
One click and whoosh, gone forever. (At least in theory…)
So here’s the deal. Why not adopt the same practice in our cluttered daily business and personal behaviors?
Here are a few examples to consider.
- Look at your work space. What piles of documents and file folders have sat untouched for six months or more? I just went through every shelf and drawer in my home office with that benchmark in mind. Have I touched this document in the last six months? Do I really need to keep it? I took just one hour and gave every document and file a quick once over. With each, I made a quick decision to either keep or toss it right then. Result: a two-foot stack of paper, magazines, professional journals and other documents straight into the recycle bin.
- Look at your home. That’s the place where clutter takes root and grows until one day you seem to wake up and notice it for the first time. Doubt me on this? Next time you go away for a few days or a week, as you open the door on your return pretend you’re entering someone else’s home and seeing things for the first time. What do you really see? And should some of it be taken out before you get too used to it again.
- Most important of all, look hard at your daily work and personal habits. We all have them. Those routines of how we start our day. The time and direction we drive to work. How we spend that first hour when we get there. Whether we focus our best energy on what’s most important today, or squander it doing minor busy-work tasks just so we can feel like we’ve accomplished something to cross off our list. What work habits should you ‘opt-out’ of right now? And what’s holding you back from doing it?
- For those very brave souls among you who want to go really deep, what relationships are draining your energy and holding you back? I’m not suggesting tossing them out, just giving each a few minutes of thought about why and how maintaining those relationships could be handled. And to be completely honest, as we grow we may encounter others who simply want to hold us back. They prefer the old you; not the newer more-authentic version you’ve worked so hard to become. Opting-out of relationships can be painful. Be careful, but firm if necessary.
Better! Results Challenge
At a recent conference on personal results, the keynote speaker included the instructions,
“Surround yourself with what you want –the people, conditions, thoughts and actions
that drive you forward toward the goals you’ve set.”
Start with the little things. The safe things. Work and living space. Daily inefficient habits.
Opt-out where appropriate to make room for Better! Results.