Today is Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Keep it clean

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In the past few weeks, we've covered many different areas. Some I've practiced for years, others I'm trying to improve upon. But whether you're a seasoned pro or a practicing rookie, the core values we've covered can all provide immediate benefit.

This week we're going to look at something that could be considered a value, as well as a habit. The art of staying organized.

Why is it important to stay organized? Well, let's start by looking at the opposite: clutter. When we allow things to become cluttered we open the door for frustration and procrastination.

Think about it. First it's just a day or two of the mail strewn across the desk. Then, a few more days' worth gets piled on top because you'll, "Take care of it later." Soon, you can't find the receipt for that bill you know you paid. And where the heck is the paperwork you were supposed to fill out and return? Mmmm, stress.

When things pile up, even if we don't consciously devote much thought to it, we still are forced to pay an amount of emotional energy. Even with a passing, "I'll deal with it this weekend," we still allow a small bit of stress to seep in through the cracks of clutter.

Consider this. When was the last time you did a major spring cleaning? While it may have been an exhaustive process, I bet you actually felt physically and emotionally lighter afterwards. Funny how that happens, huh?

I know many of us come across articles, websites, TV shows and blogs which we save for later. We live in an age of information, after all. We are constantly being bombarded by it.

So much so, that our brains are actually changing and evolving to deal with the information overload. We're improving at multi-tasking and getting worse at focusing... but I digress.

We stow the information away for later perusal, like squirrels getting ready for an info-winter. But be honest, how often do you actually review what you've stored? Does life seem to get in the way before you can crack open the shell and enjoy your treasure?

Instead of saving a stockpile for later, try a different route. If you can read it, fill it out, watch it or listen to it immediately, then do it. If you must put it off for later, then do so with the understanding that you'll clear the decks each weekend. Do so by either consuming your saved info or by deleting it or throwing it out. This way, you'll free yourself of any informational baggage you may carry into the new week.

I practice what I preach in this area. I will routinely save up to 10 or 11 websites and articles, download five or six podcasts, and put three or four YouTube videos on my Watch Later list each week. As the week progresses, I'll find myself opting for more important tasks that actually fulfill me. So that come Sunday, I enjoy deleting everything I was so intent on consuming but haven't. It's quite freeing to break the hold the internet seems to enjoy putting on us.

Do yourself a favor and try it out for the next week. Any lingering piles of mail, papers, bookmarked websites, downloaded episodes -- any of it -- delete it. Take a deep breath and enjoy the freedom you've just given yourself. Don't let clutter consume you. Take charge of your to-do's and fight back against your distractions. Your life will thank you.

If you've enjoyed this week's article, visit and click on "How being organized can save your life." I'll expand on the topic and offer some ideas on how to properly organize your distractions and cut down the stockpile of "sometime later."

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Get Fresh with Andy Frisch
Andy Frisch, column, exercise, fitness, Get Fresh, health, nutrition, personal, time management, tips, wellness
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