With the change in seasons, I am in a spring cleaning mode. I have gone through some of the clothes in the closet. I have begun to go through the clutter (because that is what it is) in the basement and garage.
And, I am not alone. Fully 72% of Americans take part in a spring cleaning ritual every year. How about you?
While most of us who do spring cleaning may include activities like washing windows or pulling out the furniture to dust behind it, how many of us think about spring cleaning some of the clutter that affects our minds? Here are two specific examples – your in box and your calendar.
If you do not take time to clear your in box on a regular basis, it can totally get out of control. I shared a number of tips last month about how to regain control of your in box. You can read them here.
Your calendar can operate the same way. It starts to fill up with lots of appointments and activities, some important and some you look at and wonder why you even put it in the calendar in the first place. Since you are already in the spring cleaning mode, here are some tips to help you get it cleaner.
- First, get clear on where you place your priorities. Do the things in your calendar right now jibe with your values or do you say one thing and do another? Many people say they value time with their kids, only if you look in their calendars, you do not see that it is there. Same with family time, date night and self care. Or perhaps you have so much else in the calendar, you try to add that family activity that you say is important only you can’t figure out what to eliminate. If you don’t take your values and priorities into account when you schedule your calendar, you will always feel cluttered in this area.
- Start where you are in your calendar, consider your priorities and time block in those activities. This could include, for example, vacations or the school play that your child or grandchild has. It could include the major trade show you have committed to do. It could include self care or “you” time. You need to schedule what you say your priorities are.
- Go back and look at what is in your current calendar that can either by eliminated, delegated or rescheduled. Do this with your list of priorities and values at hand. If what you are trying to do is have your calendar reflect what you value in your life and business, you should be looking at that list.
- Learn to say no. You cannot take on everything. When you focus on what is important for your life and business, it should be easier to say no. If you need more tips saying no, check out this earlier blog article. Saying no will help keep the clutter out of your calendar.
Do you spring clean? And, do you spring clean your inbox or your calendar? Tell us about your techniques and how you plan it into your life’s schedule below or post your comment on our ICAP Facebook or Google+ pages.
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Morna McEver is the founder and CEO of the International Association of Creative Arts Professionals where creative arts entrepreneurs craft business success. Her weekly e-zine offers tips, techniques and inspiration to help you craft business success from your creative arts passion. You can sign up for a FREE subscription at http://www.creativeartsprofessional.com.
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