January saw a house move and office move and my life disappeared into a black hole made up of cardboard boxes and…brace yourself…. no internet for nearly three weeks!!
I didn’t quite come out in a cold sweat and shudder uncontrollably in a darkened corner (although I think my 12 year old son probably did, being disconnected from all his gadgets for what seemed like a lifetime), however life becomes very “interesting” without a connection to the outside world. A friend and I were commenting that wifi probably now needs to become one of our basic life needs (along with food and shelter). And I don’t think we were necessarily joking.
The office is unpacked but I still haven’t unpacked all the boxes of my personal belongings. I keep looking at the two big boxes in my bedroom wondering what on earth is in them. Considering I have done without those mystery contents for nearly a month now, then I probably don’t need whatever is in them. And that seems to have been a general theme as I’ve been unpacking boxes, both home and office. As I’ve been taking stuff out, I’ve been asking myself if I really want or need it – and so a LOT has gone to keep our local recyclers in business.
To be fair, I’m still sifting through some office files, and I’ve got a kitchen cupboard to sort through, but having got rid of a load of goodness knows what, I feel a lot lighter and free-er. Very strange how a clear kitchen cupboard can do that do you, but it’s been very liberating. Instead of being dragged down by the stuff that I have collected over the years, all I see now is empty space, or clear, tidy cupboards and drawers. So all I need to focus my energies on now is what I want to: those things that fill my life with joy and happiness. It’s a strange kind of focus, but a focus it definitely is. The “stuff” no longer claims my attention, so my attention naturally goes to where it’s properly needed.
And that’s been the same with the lack of internet. Instead of having internet accessible all day, every day, I was using a friend’s kitchen table for a while. My time therefore became rather limited in when I could use the internet, and thus my work became incredibly focused in that limited time.
To be honest with you, I always thought I was pretty focused already, and always give my work my full attention. But there’s always room for improvement, and through having limited time, out went any of those time wasting activities, and in came deadline-enhanced thinking, planning, emailing and whatever else I was doing. That in itself was liberating too!
I know there’s much written about the benefits of decluttering, and I would definitely advocate having a good clear out, and with Pancake Day just around the corner (next Tuesday!) signalling the beginning of Lent, it would seem a good time of year to do just that.
However I would also suggest a clear out of other time wasting “stuff” that you don’t realise that you’re doing (it can’t just be me can it?!).
Social media, paying bills, “just sending a quick email to a friend” and all sorts of other non work activities seem to creep in to the day. Getting rid of these, or at least saving them for a time when you can give them your proper attention, frees up your time so you can focus fully on your work in hand. But more than that, when they’re not there nagging for our attention, because we can’t give them any of our attention, then our minds become clearer and free-er to concentrate on the job we actually have to do.
Over the next week then, yes have a good de-clutter of the physical stuff, but look at how you can also de-clutter your activities and just see how much more you can get done.
Dedicated to your success as ever,