So, we have all heard about Spring Cleaning. It happens once per year when we are ready to open up our windows and our homes to the fresh air and SPACE.
But, what happens after the whirlwind of the summer? When schedules go back to “normal”, kids are back in school, and vacations come to a near (if not full) halt? Do your biz, home, work, and headspace have that same clarity that was generated in the Springtime?
My guess – especially if you are still reading – is that this isn’t the case! STUFF accumulates, and that clarity and focus have no room to exist in your life! Even if you feel like everything around you is crystal clear, it’s time for a Fall Cleaning, or at least a Fall Evaluation.
Below are my 5 Fall Cleaning MUSTS. Steal them from me!
1. Clear your workspace – First thing is first: your workspace needs cleared! Even if you feel like your desk is organized and everything is filed away perfectly, guess what? You have items lurking that are no longer necessary, regardless of how “in order” they are. I charge you to first clear off your desk. Put your writing utensils in a stand up organizer (a fun mug from your kitchen will do!), hang the photo or print you have been meaning to for the last 2.5 months, shred the mail you no longer need, stack what you do, and dust it ALL off.
Then, go through each drawer and shelf 1 by 1. Still have that empty notebook you have been holding on to for at least a year? If you aren’t using it by now, give it away. Too many pens? Test them each on a scrap piece of paper. Those that don’t work, toss. Those that do, consider whether you need it or not. If you have too many (25-100 is WAY TOO MANY), donate them to a school, supply drive, or to your local Goodwill! The same goes with unused notebooks, planners, paper collections, etc. If you haven’t used it in a year, there is no reason to hoard it! All of your items need a purpose!
2. Clear your inbox – I am totally preaching something that I do not yet practice with this one! It’s time to go through any and all unread email messages and respond to those that need a response, toss those that don’t. If you joined an email list but haven’t been opening those from that list for the last 3 months or more, it’s time to unsubscribe! If you find you need those later, you can resubscribe later! They are just serving to clutter your inbox AND mind right now if you keep them!
3. Clear your files (backup first, then clear!!) – I keep the majority of my files on a cloud-based system, as well as a backup hard drive. If I don’t? I lose memory, which is a HUGE deal when I am a content-creator. Videos, photos, and programs can REALLY take up a huge chunk of space. So, as I create, I back things up onto a hard drive, and upload them to a cloud (I use Amazon’s which is about $50 per year). Then, I can access my files from ANYWHERE, as well as carry them with me for when internet access isn’t grand. There is NO REASON to store all projects – especially past projects and those that are not the current focus – directly on your computer. They risk taking up space, getting accidentally deleted or lost with a hard drive crash. Protect yourself and your space, and block off one afternoon to get this done!!
4. Clear your SYSTEMS – Did you sign up for a bunch of FREE versions of systems? Are they not all serving you fully? It’s time to take a look at what you are subscribed to/using, and re-evaluate! For example, I am subscribed to 2 different scheduling platforms, both are only serving me partially. I intend to find a subscription service that offers the most that I need at a reasonable price, and unsubscribing from the rest! It’s time for my systems to serve me, instead of me juggling them! And, honestly, sometimes free isn’t always the best. Once you know what you NEED when it comes to scheduling, billing, accounting, social media, etc., then it’s time to STREAMLINE!
5. Clear your headspace – This can be done with a massage, a long bath, a sweat session, meditation…really, it’s up to you! When I feel like there is WAY TOO MUCH going on in my head, I take out a pen and paper and BRAIN DUMP! I don’t worry about categorizing anything immediately, but instead just write everything out to go back and organize later. Some of these things serve my biz, some serve my life, and some serve to just force me to brain dump! Those thoughts that DON’T serve me are crossed out, and that is an accomplishment in itself! The rest is organized and given a home. Because my brain is not a home for clutter, only fresh, AMAZING ideas! And the same goes for yours!
Why am I challenging you to do a little Fall Cleaning??
Because I have realized over time that with clear space comes more room for new ideas. If your life and biz are cluttered, everything will continue to squirrel. You have nothing to lose, but FOCUS and CLARITY to gain. And, selfishly, because I need a reminder myself!
So, take these tips on the order that you wish, and get CLEAR so that you can move into the Fall AND Fourth Quarter of the calendar year refreshed, focused, and ready to CONQUER!
Thanks for reading! I’m Erin Zimmerman, a Social Media Strategist + Matchmaker with my company, Elephant Social, short filmmaker, photographer, and host of ChatConnect. Let’s connect! Drop a comment below, or join my free Facebook Group, a community where you will meet new people, learn, and practice social media techniques that will get you starting conversations with your audience and spending less time on social media!