Productive Environment Blog
One of the prime reasons that most of us have occasional or everlasting problems with clutter is that we do not have a clear picture of the ideal setting we want to create for ourselves, our family and our work. In the absence of that clear picture, specific to you, your life, your family, your dreams, goals, and taste, you may be too easily influenced by conflicting external ideas.
You look at a magazine, or a television decorating program and you think, "That might work for me." You see your friend's new home office, and say to yourself, "I'll bet I could get a lot done in that kind of setting." You glimpse an infomercial while you are exercising at the gym. The program demonstrates an amazing closet or garage makeover, and you picture the extra space and freedom you'd enjoy if only you bought their product. You absorb a host of seductive, sometimes contradictory images while bemoaning the mess that seems to regenerate around you every week.
Today is a perfect time to clear away all those images coming from outside yourself and to explore how you personally choose to live and work. Ask yourself, what is my ideal environment? What is the setting in which everything I am or wish to be, everything I do or need to do is supported by everything around me and nothing extra weighs me down? If you are starting a business, that setting includes the basic tools, in good working order, to do your work. If you are raising a family, that setting includes areas for quick and easy toy access and cleanup. If you are an aspiring Tango dancer, that setting includes a sound system and room to dance!
I like a room you can dance in the middle of! -Mariah Burton Nelson
Options for taking the first step:
Assess what your setting is like right now - On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 defined as "sabotages my dreams and directions" and 10 defined as, "supports and nourishes my success," what rating would you give your current environment?
Document your current condition - Take some "Before" pictures so you'll be able to track the improvements you make.
Define what you want your setting to be, exactly - Relax over a cup of tea and imagine the ideal setting. How would it look, feel, smell? How much space, light, air, sunshine, warmth, furniture, color would there be? What would NOT be there?
Connect to your life purpose - If your life made a single statement within your family, your firm, your community, what would that statement be, and does your setting reflect the message you bring to the world?
Document your desired future state - If others were willing to help you create this ideal setting, how would you show them and tell them what you are trying to achieve? How can you get the picture from inside your head into a form others can understand and help you achieve?
Set milestones, budget, and time frames - What strategies, resources and schedules can turn your design into a reality?
One person we worked with described her experience of following this process. "I was so tired of feeling frustrated. It's like I was part of the banquet of life and living stuck in the mashed potatoes -- all the stuff holding me down. Now I've defined an entirely different place at life's banquet table. I'm now feeling as bright as a bowl of fresh raspberries -- rich, tangy and colorful."
So what is the setting that thoroughly supports your most cherished dreams and directions? What is the first step you can take toward that setting in the next 24 hours?
Maybe you have a vision in mind, but you are not sure where to even start. Are you so overwhelmed with clutter that you can't think beyond just getting things put away? Perhaps things are filed away yet you still can't actually find what you need when you need it. Get your Productive Environment Score today!
If any of this sounds familiar, I would love to hear from you! You can comment directly on this post or even reach out to us for a more personalized solution.
In 1978, Barbara took out a $7 ad in a New York City newspaper to advertise her professional organizer business. For 20 years, she focused her business on organizing paper and physical clutter for home offices and organizations. Then the Internet Age came about, and she utilized her principles and expertise to help clients with digital clutter. Over the past 40+ years Barbara has helped 1000's of companies, and became an icon and top expert in the industry. She has been featured on national media platforms such as Good Morning America, The Today Show and CNN Nightly News. She has also been showcased in publications including USA Today, New York Times, Fast Company, Reader’s Digest, Real Simple and Guideposts. Barbara and her team teach business owners a 9-step system to go from overwhelmed to optimized. Step 1 is a free Assessment that can be found at www.ProductiveEnvironmentScore.com.
Use the Contact button on this page or Leave a Voicemail @