A few weeks ago, we launched a “Clear Space” challenge inside our free LearnDoBecome Community Facebook group. (Links are at the bottom of this page if you want to learn more!)
It has been amazing to see the results, so today we’re celebrating together and highlighting some principles that can help all of us to clear space, create order, and make room for the things that truly matter most in our lives.
At the end of this post, I’m also sharing the words of one of our recent Finishers who participated in our September 2022 session of Four Weeks to Finished. We hope that you’ll feel inspired and supported as you listen to the podcast (click “play” up above) or read the post below!
This first one is from Robin (and that link will take you right to her post inside our free Facebook group!):
Along with her photos, she wrote, “Baby Steps … so much more to do but I can see progress!” The comments she received were enthusiastic and congratulatory, but all of us could see that this was more than just baby steps.
Yes, sometimes when we look at everything we need to do, clearing off one little desk (or one corner of our kitchen or the trunk of our car) doesn’t seem like a big deal. But it’s that momentum and progress that has more power in our lives than we sometimes believe.
Another comment said, “I cleaned up my command center this weekend. It needed an annual reset. I feel so much less stress! Thank you, community, for sharing encouragement.”
That’s another thing I love–seeing the ripple effect of this community. One little thing to you might be exactly what another person needs in order to get moving.
She said, “Took quite a bit longer than 10 minutes but I am so happy with the results. I still need to do the top 2 shelves, but that is for another day.”
A couple quick things to point out about this one:
- Yes, sometimes it does take longer than 10 minutes to work on a project, clean a room, move something important forward, but often, when we get started with a 10-minute time commitment, we’ll want to work longer because we’re on a roll.
- And I LOVED when she said that the top 2 shelves are for another day. The beauty of working in microbursts (and having a Command Central in place!) is that you can put “bookmarks” in your projects. You can add tasks to your Context-Based Next Actions List and know you’ll get back to them when the time is right. That takes a tremendous amount of pressure off our shoulders!
She said, “Definitely NOT a 10 minute microburst (even though it probably looks like it shouldn’t have taken long), but I finally cleaned my office cabinet and added some more decor for fun.”
(Again, yes, these clean-up projects can end up taking longer than 10 minutes…)
She then added, “Forgot to mention that I also put aside a pile of stuff to give away to my Buy Nothing group from cleaning out the shelves!”
And when I posted my congratulations, she said, “Thank you! I was glad to reclaim my cabinet (that I also painted myself!) And my space looks so much better when I walk in.”
This seriously makes me so happy. I love thinking of the boost Stephanie will feel whenever she walks into this space, and I am thrilled that she’s donating items to others and enjoying the benefits of her creativity.
She wrote, “Thank you April and this wonderful community for the inspiration to clean out our hall closet. I dreaded it for so long but today was the day. I showed my husband and daughter before and after pictures you all have posted here and they got inspired too! I set the timer and together we did this in 58 minutes. As I am posting this, my husband is vacuuming the house – he’s on a roll!”
Have you ever had a spot in your home–or a project in your mind–or a task on your list that you “dreaded”? I think we all probably have…. The magic comes when we take small steps, make some progress, assess how things are going, and move forward in ways that make sense. Yes, some tasks are more pleasant than others, but when you know you can do what’s needed–and make time for things you enjoy–life feels so much happier!
She set her timer for 10 minutes after she posted her “before” photo in the group. She later posted that it took 18 minutes, but then she shared this:
“A tidy end to 2022. We spent Christmas in CA with the in-laws. Got caught up in the Southwest debacle and couldn’t fly out of Palm Springs. Flight canceled, no flights available until Tuesday. Rented a car to drive to Phoenix and had flights scheduled to arrive midnight tonight in Austin. On Wed hubby tested positive for COVID. We canceled our flight and extended our rental car, driving 1261 miles to arrive home late last night. I’m sitting here in my clean living room breathing a little easier and feeling peaceful.”
It’s beautiful to see that after a busy vacation, where several things didn’t go as planned, she’s able to breathe easier and feel peace in her home.
Several people commented on her post–feeling encouraged and also offering her encouragement. One person said, “I so feel this. I spent ten minutes tonight working on my own similar area and now things feel a lot less chaotic.”
She also posted her success clearing her dresser and shared this: “My mind has been blown every time I walk into my room because it is so clean I don’t think it belongs in my house. And it’s somehow clean even though I feel like I didn’t clean it. 4 short mini bursts over 3 days and I feel like no work at all turned it from a mess to gorgeous.”
So happy, right? That’s how I want you to feel. I want you to be utterly shocked by how calm and clear your space feels and how calm and clear your mind feels. It’s a little weird. You’ll almost think there’s something wrong. But it’s totally possible–and sustainable!
She wrote, “I created a command central Monday. (I didn’t think to take a before picture…just think of piles of papers and random stuff…like a drop zone for all the things…haha!)”
If you’re not sure what a STEP Command Central is, we have a link at the bottom of this post to our STEP Information Page. Basically, it’s a system that helps you give everything in your brain/office/house/etc. a “place.” That means you don’t have anything floating around in piles. For example, you can see her cubbies set up on the left–which are designed to hold current project support materials. 🙂
A STEP Command Central also helps you create focus for your life. If you’re working on 50 projects simultaneously, you probably won’t get any of them finished. But if you are working on 8 or fewer, and if you have your Next Actions and your routine “project time” in place, it’s really simple to move forward on the things you’ve identified as mattering most. (If you zoom in, you can see that Nikki has her projects outlined on the board behind her computer…. Go Nikki!)
She shared, “Might be ‘cheating,’ but my planned 10-minute blasts turned into a 3-hour tour with assistance from my Bestie and also the cleaning lady. I’m so thankful too, as by the time we finished, I thought my injured leg would detach itself and whap me over the head for letting all this clutter come into my life and business in the first place. Feeling fabulous and exhausted all at the same time. Making time to have more time!! Thank you LearnDoBecome for popping up on my FB feed and saving my sanity.”
Ahhh, so many things I love about this:
- She got help. I love that.
- She understands that “fabulous and exhausted all at the same time” feeling. This is usually how it feels at the beginning, but as you learn to maintain your spaces, the exhaustion goes way down and the “fabulous” goes way up!
- She knows that she is creating space in her life so she has time to do what she’s excited about. Sometimes people actually don’t want to get organized because they know they’ll have time. And then what? More pressure? More responsibility? An obligation to deal with hard things? I prefer to think of it as more time to create the life you can’t wait to wake up and live.
This is so, so exciting!!
I’d also like to feature Mique.
She started Four Weeks to Finished when she was working at a non-profit organization in the healthcare industry that was going through a lot of rapid growth. She had been looking for additional tools to help her manage her day, as her responsibilities had increased, but because she’d dealt with some learning disabilities, she had some anxiety around how she would handle so many different projects and roles. By learning the STEP system, she discovered that there IS a system that can help her manage all the details of her job. She’d been successful in college, and she knew she was capable of accomplishing great things, but STEP helped her tailor a system that met the needs of her very demanding job.
Getting the calendar back on track, creating landing spots, assigning an inbox, and having places to put things gave her a boost. She could see that there was light at the end of the tunnel.
That is what I want you to know.
If you have piles of papers, thousands of emails, a ton of tasks swirling over your head, projects you’re procrastinating, a cluttered house, a lot of people who depend on you, etc., there is definitely light available to you–not just at the END of the tunnel, but INSIDE the tunnel, as well.
The links below will give you more information about our programs, but honestly, we hope you’ll at least take one step. Come and immerse yourself in the LearnDoBecome Community, watch the videos, subscribe to the podcast, check out our Directory and all the free resources we have for you. A little at a time, you’re going to notice a CALM coming over you that you probably didn’t know was possible!
Sending so much love!
Four Weeks to Finished Group Coaching Program (starting February 2, 2023!)
Steps to Everyday Productivity – Our Signature Program to Help You Finally Stop Drowning in Piles