Get rid of the clutter

I was going round the house and the shed over the festive break trying to understand why I have so much ‘stuff’. Drawers are filled, shelves filled, storage boxes are full to bursting point and I have even started making small stacks on the floor. Anyone who knows me well will know that I am no fashion icon but I still seem to amassed more shirts, fleeces and work suits than I need. Similarly, I found car magazines dated 2002, old paint in the shed for rooms that are no longer that colour and paperwork for appliances that we no longer have. Somehow throwing away these items always seems like discarding some part of our past; we worry that we might need it despite the fact that we haven’t used it in 5 years we link it with throwing away a bit of ourselves.

I believe all this clutter is similar to all the ‘stuff’ we store in our heads, from memories, to attitudes and beliefs. They were probably relevant or applicable 10 years ago but are they relevant today? Think about this for one minute, how similar is using something you learnt 10 years ago to guide your working day to wearing that old favourite jumper that you bought 10 years ago. You have a new jumper in the cupboard, you know it will look better, be more comfortable but you continue to wear the old one. Likewise, you know your workforce’s needs and wants have changed in the last 10 years but you are still using the same tried and tested methods to manage them because like the old jumper it feels comfortable.

This brings us the the crux of the clutter problem. To make room for any new items you need to clear out those drawers, shelves and storage baskets. Similarly, to make room for learning new ways of working, having new ideas and staying relevant you need to let go of these old beliefs, attitudes and ways of working that are no longer relevant. It is easy just look in the mirror and like your old clothes, it’s the ones that are no longer fashionable, fit for purpose or relevant to your working life.

So this New Year don’t just go round the house clearing out your old clutter, spend some time decluttering your mind and making space for all the new things you can learn, experience and enjoy in 2019.