Book: Reflections

Reflections - bringing attention to your daily life by Désirée Steinmann

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Reflections of the Week

Overloaded with Trivia

2010-02-25 15:50 (comments: 1)

Once again the point has arrived. I feel totally overloaded and distracted by trivia which strain my life. Do you also know that feeling? Paper all over my desk, post-it notes everywhere in strategically good spots (which, admittedly, don't attract attention as they are sticking there for a long time or because there are simply too many), my outlook inbox is overflowing, and in various corners of my office lie different projects that I would like to attend to ... all of this leads to me working in an un-concentrated way, being distracted and completely overwhelmed by all the disarray around, and within me. It is time to create space to work more concentrated, create space in order to feel free and agile so as to dispose of the unimportant, in order to better take care of the really important items.

Do you know the 80/20 rule? With 20% of the effort/customers one achieves 80% of the success/sales, and 80% of the effort is really not that important because it delivers only 20% of the success. So when you have reached the point where time is scarce, the information flood becomes too much, or you simply feel overloaded, you can achieve a lot more by OMITTING, DISPOSING or POSTPONING.

Take a red pen to your "to do list" and cross out things that are not important and only distract you from the 20% important items. Clear your desk completely and then sort all items into three piles: important and urgent, for later follow up or filing, or to throw away. It is quite interesting how we make important decisions without a problem but then sort a few e-mails, newspaper clippings or other papers from one side to the other side of our desk.

Most of the time we think it will take too long to sort the chaos so we don't even start and procrastinate ... how much time do you have right now: 5, 10 or 30 minutes? Great! Get a kitchen bell or alarm clock and free yourself in these minutes of the ballast ... you will be surprised how far you get and perhaps you will quickly even like to continue! Enjoy creating order and free space, and reward yourself for success! 


If a cluttered desk signs a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?


Albert Einstein


Arranging a bowl of flowers in the morning can give a sense of quiet in a crowded day - like writing a poem, or saying a prayer.


Anne Morrow Lindbergh


The great thing about a computer notebook is that no matter how much you stuff into it, it doesn't get bigger or heavier.


Bill Gates 

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Comment by Marjan | 2010-03-02

Hi Desiree, thanks again for an inspiring newsletter! Since I received it 2 days ago I have taken action and have already cleaned out 5 places in my house where 'junk' seems to collect: my desk, a corner in the kitchen, a corner at the top of the stairs, a table on the upstairs landing and some drawers in my closet. What a relief! Feels like a big old-fashioned spring cleaning. Next project will be the garage! Thanks for the tips!