Nope, I'm not one who is perfectly organized. I still have clutter on my desk and in certain areas of my home. But lately I have been particularly paying attention to the clutter in my life that does not come from stuff. There's plenty of websites out there that deal with the stuff.
We normally think of clutter as physical objects, but there are many types of clutter that aren’t. Cluttering our mind with too much information, cluttering our body with too much food we know isn't good for us and cluttering our schedule with too many commitments are examples of other types of clutter. If there is no space in our schedule, then we have no space to to focus our attention to healing,
When I start working with a client, "clearing the clutter" is often one of the exercises that I'll do in the beginning. Working on specific healing protocols, changing one's diet or lifestyle habits usually means that something new is going to start and some old habits are going to end. But I've found the best success when clients also clear out any kind of clutter to make way for the new. Its easier to move physical clutter out of our lives, but what about time clutter? When was the last time you looked at how you spend your day and evaluate if each activity in your day was supporting your healing goals?
Not sure the last time you moved homes, but I'm sure most of us can relate to moving to a new space. We think our old furniture will fit in the new space. But then you get it in there and it's just all wrong! That's sort of how it is when you start new health or healing habits. Often times you can't just shove in new habits into the same space that the old habits were in. You have to make space for the new habits that fit appropriately.
Sure, we know what it takes to prepare food and eat it. But what if you are used to heating up something from a box and now your are face with learning to cook from scratch? There's extra thought and care that goes into it that usually takes more time in the beginning. Or, if you're adding meditation to your day, where do you put it in? Before or after you walk the dog in the morning? Or after you brush your teeth?
Often times we like to just add, pile on and take on even more. When it comes to healing, often less is more. Doing less in the day is automatically gives you some "downtime" built in. Taking a good look at your schedule and clearing out those times in the day that don't support your healing path is sometimes more important. With the new time, you can insert new healing habits in their new place, or heck just give yourself the luxury of having time for yourself. Here are my best tips for how to clear the time clutter so you can focus on optimal vitality.
5 Time Clutter Busting Tips
- Schedule the in-between time. Scheduling travel time, bio-break time (restroom, drink of water, etc) between appointments on your schedule is a huge benefit. Yes, it seems silly to schedule some of those things in there, but we must make time for them. We can't magically arrive at an appointment in another building or town instantaneously (tele-porters are not yet invented the last time I looked). If you give your time to do these things, you can do them with less stress and pressure. Two things we don't need more of these days!
- Batching. Group similar tasks together. If you know you need to study, do research or do some reading - group all those activities together so you can get uninterrupted time to focus on them. Another good one is batching your self-care. Do your meditation first and then, then take a walk for example. Schedule meetings as close together (heeding #1 above) in a certain part of the day. For example, I run my own business, but I can often get scattered and distracted if I have a few meetings in the morning and a few in the afternoon. Instead, I try to schedule all my meetings for either morning or afternoon, and then devote the rest of the day to business development tasks.
- Prioritize. This one is tough, because *everything is priority* these days. But taking a few moments to get really clear on what your desired outcome is makes this step very effective. Once you know what your top priority is with health and wellness, evaluate your activities and be sure they are all supporting your health goals. Only allow yourself to schedule those things that directly support that desired outcome. Anything else just represents clutter and must go.
- Schedule sleep. Yes, I know this is a "non-activity"; we are asleep! But its super important to prioritize and schedule in your sleep. And when I say schedule sleep, this could be as simple as a reminder at 8pm that tells you its time to start the "going to bed" routine. If you are doing the other steps, this means that you are clearing out the time clutter in other areas so you are able to get to those top priorities *and* still get good rest. Too often we sacrifice sleep just to finish a packed to-do list. But with a well prioritized to-do list from #3 above, you'll have plenty of time to get to bed early and get that much needed rest.
- Simplify. When I focus on simplifying areas of my life, then I don't have to work too hard to get a workable schedule that allows for maximum self-care. When it comes to our time, I will often simplify my activities so that I am not running from one hobby to the next, or getting myself committed to too many things at once. I don't know about you, but I love learning new things, new sports, new hobbies, new games, whatever. But its easy for me to pack in way too much. Simplifying my present focus with my interests to just one or two, helps keep my schedule clutter free.