Clutter is something we all deal with on one level or another, whether it’s the visual clutter of a messy room, the mental clutter of inner chatter over past disappointments and pending dead lines; or the physical clutter of carrying too much body fat, which often goes unnoticed until, one day, you find yourself staring in the mirror at someone you no longer recognize.
As a life fitness coach, I warn my clients that clutter saps energy, adds to your stress, robs you of time and focus, and keeps you from moving forward, toward your true dreams and desires. Often, these effects worsen when you choose to ignore, rather than deal with the mess. In fact, pretending that mental, visual, and physical clutter doesn’t matter is the leading cause of procrastination, emotional stagnation, and lack of motivation.
So, if you’ve been struggling to figure out why you can’t seem to get started on your goals, whether it’s to lose weight, look for a better job, or tackle that over-stuffed garage, here is a simple and surprisingly powerful method that has helped thousands of my clients break free from the motivation-sapping grips of clutter and mental chaos.
The Download Pad Method™
1. Start with a paper notebook you can comfortably carry wherever you go. I prefer a secretarial type steno pad, but any spiral notebook will do. Avoid using any digital product such as an iPad or computer tablet for this exercise.
2. For 7-10 days, carry your Download Pad everywhere you go and commit to writing down any thoughts, desires, tasks, reminders or chores that come to mind. Anything and everything that draws your attention should go on your Download Pad, whether it’s the plant on your patio that needs trimming, or the novel you’ve been meaning to start.
3. Keep this running, random list going as you move through your day. When thoughts come to you while falling asleep or when you are getting ready in the morning, keep a pen handy to jot down everything that makes you say to yourself, “I’ve got to get to that.”
4. At the end of the week (Sundays work best for me) set aside 30-40 minutes of quiet time, and do what my favorite teacher, Esther Hicks, suggests:
The Placemat Method
As a way to sort out all of the happenings of the day, Esther Hicks, who travels the country speaking at over 60 Abraham-Hicks events each year, describes a method she established while having breakfast at a morning diner – hence the placemat reference.
You can simply use a plain 8/12 x 11 sheet of paper and draw a horizontal and vertical line through the center of the page to create four equal blocks. At the top of each block, assign the following labels:
• Do Now (in the upper left-hand block) – Use this area for items from your Download Pad that you need or want to do in the immediate-to-near future.
• Do Someday (in the lower left-hand block) – Use this area for items from your Download Pad that you need or want to do sometime in the future, whether it’s two weeks or two years from now.
• Delegate (in the upper right-hand block) – Use this area for items from your Download Pad that you would rather not do yourself, or that you would love to hand over to a family member, friend or contractor if it were possible.
• Don’t Worry About It (in the lower right-hand block) - The big picture idea behind this block is to place any item from your Download Pad that you feel you either have no control over, or that you have no clue how to resolve This block provides an area, as Esther explains, to just “put it out there.” You might look at it as a way of handing it over to The Universal Manager, or God, or Karma, or whatever higher spiritual power from which you draw your strength and faith.
As you move items from your Download Pad to the Place Mat, you will begin to see how much time you spend fretting over tasks and thoughts that do not serve you. The key is not to over-think things, but simply become aware of how you are spending your time, energy and focus
Practice this simple method for the next 30 days and see if you don’t begin to feel lighter, more organized, clear-minded, calmer, and inherently drawn to the inspired action that will lead you in the direction of your dreams. Not a bad trade off for carrying a little paper and pen with you everywhere you go!
Dianne Orwig is a success coach, motivational speaker, personal trainer, and founder of LivingFit Online™, a program that has helped thousands of men and women not only transform their bodies, but live more balanced, focused lives though her pioneering, less-works-better approach to fitness. For more information visit www.lovelivingfit.com or send an email to Dianne@lovelivingfit.com.