Yesterday I began watching the HBO Max special Atlas of the Heart with psychologist Brene’ Brown. She started out by reporting that most people can only accurately identify three emotions: happy, angry, and pissed off. Most of us don’t have a wide vocabulary when it comes to describing feelings. But two that do come up often are stress and anxiety, and they start as physical feelings long before we put a name to them. By the time we do, their effects can be overwhelming.
What if I told you that in as little as half an hour, you could both reduce stress and anxiety, and feel a sense of accomplishment in your life. Would your mental health be worth the 30-minute time investment? Sometimes we need a win, no matter how small it is, to get our mojo flowing once again. Next time you’re in a funk, take a little time to restore your balance with a small organizing project.
No matter if you’re at work or at home, there’s always something that needs to be organized: the silverware drawer, the office supplies cabinet, your desk and files, the space under the kitchen sink. Any small space will do for these purposes – pick something that corresponds to the amount of time you have available.
Then, start by emptying out everything from under the sink or in your office drawers and on the desktop. Put all that stuff on a table or counter and sort through the things that are useful, valuable, and bring a smile to your face. Discard unused, expired, and irrelevant things. Clean off the surfaces before you bring back the keepers, and you’ll feel energized once again.
I recently cleaned my desk, which had become buried in business planning materials, research, books, journals, containers of pens and pencils, and tchotchkes. I off-loaded everything and started sorting. I had 8 legal pads going at once (and not nearly as many projects). I ended up with an 8” pile of magazines and papers for recycling, and a smaller stack for shredding. I reshelved the books and journals I no longer needed and found one small vertical magazine-type holder for my current projects.
Then, I found one small container for the pens, pencil and ruler that I use daily. The rest of the containers went into a nearby rolling cart that holds office supplies, including some that were on my shelves. The drawers were full of detritus – old business cards, too many sticky notes, erasers, electronics cords, and USB drives. Most of that went, too. The only thing left was the small items that I had accumulated, a couple gifts, plants, photos, and a daylight lamp. I moved most of them to the display shelves. I was left with one photo and the lamp.
When I reappointed my desk after all that cleaning, I felt relaxed, clear minded and was able to focus on my tasks so much more easily. The only things on my desk now are the magazine holder, my laptop, a container for writing utensils, one book and one journal, and my daylight lamp. It was 30 of the most productive minutes of my day and it really gave me energy! Try it when you need a quick win, too!
I'd love to hear about your quick wins - post in the comments if you like!
Tidy with a purpose,
Mrg Simon is a South Dakota lawyer, Professional Organizer and KonMari® Certified Consultant.
The Reluctant Enthusiast LLC, doing business as Designed 2 Stick, is owned and operated by Mrg Simon, Glen Rose, TX. All images and content are copyrighted, and the property of Mrg Simon and The Reluctant Enthusiast LLC, unless otherwise stated. All header/banner photos are courtesy of Unsplash. The Reluctant Enthusiast claims no right in the registered marks of third parties, including KMI Media and Marie Kondo.. Mrg Simon and The Reluctant Enthusiast LLC are not acting or speaking on behalf of Marie Kondo, KonMari Media Inc., nor are they authorized to do so.
*Designed 2 Stick and Mrg Simon do not offer legal services. Mrs. Simon does not accept legal clients or provide legal advice.