When we think of clutter, we tend to think of things. Our mind wanders to the stacks of boxes in the garage, messy desk drawers, or an unorganized closet. Possessions can definitely bring clutter to our lives, but our actions can also be a source of clutter. Our habits and behavioral responses can distract from what is important leading us to not be the successful, purposeful person we would like to be.
Habits can create disorder and detract from what is truly important. For example grabbing a daily frappo-whipped carmel half-calf coffee drink before heading to the office may actually be a time drainer and cause a sugary caloric overload that leads you crashing mid-day. Considering our actions and daily routines is the first part, but then we need to decide if these habits are important and truly necessary. What do our habits contribute? How much time do they take? Do they impact us in negative or positive ways, possibly even later in the day?
Behavioral responses are another way that actions pop up throughout the day. Typically, emotions drive these responses. I found that boredom and stress at work were the key emotions to which I developed coping mechanisms. Feeling bored? Then you may find that you keep clicking GET MAIL or filling up your water bottle at the cooler. Feeling stressed? Your response may be to go online to check in with friends on Facebook or text a “howdy” to a family member on your phone. Social media, available 24/7 and everywhere, offers a quick escape and way to cope with emotional overload. These types of behavioral responses are just clutter. Again, we must ask are our responses important and necessary? Do they allow me to be successful, feel less stressed, and achieve a high level of productivity?
Actions that are simply clutter become a self-fulfilling prophecy in that the very stress and boredom that drove our behavioral responses, then create more stress and feelings of detachment from our work and true potential. This clutter wastes the time and energy that should be used toward working on what WE DECIDE is important.