Does Your Life Need a Spring Clean?
We might put off important tasks because they seem too huge to handle
Kat Byles offers tips to help you spring clean your life and work, and make space for positive change
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If you want to see real change in your life, a spring clean needs to involve more than merely moving furniture for a thorough vacuuming session. You need to remove things that are cluttering your life: things around you, and things within you.
Let’s dive in.
Clear out your mind
Cut out the external noise in your environment causing irritation, overstimulation and stress to your mind.
Turn off social media, unfollow any people and groups you respond negatively to. Unsubscribe from expert newsletters letting you know daily the five mistakes you are making in your work. Petitions and campaign updates – turn them off. Turn off the news sometimes too.
Turn off phone notifications beeping, interrupting your focus and flow, pulling your attention away from what is truly important into time-wasting apps. Delete all the apps and games from your phone that distract you, and remove yourself from any WhatsApp groups draining your creativity and energy.
This doesn’t have to be forever. For now, turn down the volume (right down) on external stimuli so you can hear your own heart’s wisdom and inspiration leading and creating this fresh chapter.
Get out into nature. Go to the water—rivers, lakes, oceans and seas—and clear your mind. For as Wallace J Nichols, author of Blue Mind explains: “All the information your mind has to process in an office – computers whirring, conversations chattering, comings and goings, technology beeping – all this background noise falls away leaving only the sound of the waves and the views of the horizon. Now with less background noise for our minds to process we have much more bandwidth for inspiration.”
Clear out your body
If you notice you have any unhealthy habits, why not try cutting back or cutting out? This might mean reducing caffeine or sugar, which might give you false energy bursts and can amplify and exacerbate unwanted thoughts. Or it might mean cutting out alcohol, or increasing the amount of unprocessed, healthy foods you eat.
If you can’t cut out unhealthy groups completely, reduce them a little each day and notice the difference.
Clear out your diary
Take a look at your diary for the coming week and month. What's scheduled out of habit or obligation? Which meetings are time wasting? Are there meetings that can be delegated? What can be cancelled if you make and communicate a decision now?
Now schedule in your priority time in nature to listen to your heart's wisdom and receive the inspiration that will guide the next evolution of your work. Make space for this fresh, new creative emergence.
Clear out your email
Do you have 1000 unopened emails in your inbox? Take two minutes and scan for the one or two that are truly vital and important. Create an action mailbox folder and move these one or two into that. Delete the rest. Double delete by emptying the deleted or bin folder.
How does that feel?
Clear out your work
Time for some honest career reflection. What about your work is no longer working for you? Which areas need a clear out, a reboot and refresh to welcome in new life and creative energy?
Perhaps staying hidden away in the background needs to go as you listen to a calling to step up and be the creative, vibrant leader and spokesperson for industry?
If chasing financial goals or financial survival during the pandemic has left you burnt out, let it go and reconnect with your heart’s wisdom, purpose and reason for being. Be brave. Clear it out to make space to welcome in the fresh, new creative energy and success for you and your career to evolve and grow.
Clear out your office
Even if you are happy with your career and how it is going, the chances are that you can still make improvements. Take a look around your office. How does it make you feel? Are you inspired or irritated? Do you feel clear and expansive or hemmed in and cluttered? What needs to go and be recycled, thrown out or given away? What needs to be organised more beautifully?
Go through your entire office. Start with the desk draws and cupboards and clear them all out. Organise any piles of filing, old receipts, contracts and agreements. Recycle, throw away and give away anything that no longer serves your work.
Find some lovely storage boxes to tidy up, straighten out, organise and brighten up a space that you love being in, a space that inspires you when you walk into it, a space that says you are ready for the new.
I once spent the day helping my neighbour, a spa designer and yoga teacher, clear out her office. She threw away 20 years of paperwork, courses and meditation CDs she’d forgotten she’d created, health and beauty products she’d represented, old contracts and agreements, mood boards from past spa projects.
Over 20 bin bags later, she’d been reminded of her career success, skills and dedication, filling her with confidence. The following week she was offered a new position harnessing all these skills to design and develop a world-leading spa for a 5-Star hotel in India. Clearing out the old, made space and invited in the new.
The spring clean and declutter program offered here are suggestions and reminders that you can go through one by one for a deep letting go and rebirth with spring; or if you find that overwhelming, pick one of two for a gentler approach. You never know you might find you love it and want to continue. If you are irritated by any of the suggestions or want to dismiss any, these are the ones you will benefit from the most.
Kat Byles is the Founder of the True Business School