Clearing the Clutter

I really don’t know how it happens. I spend several days, if not a full week, every year cleaning out my office, purse, bathroom, closet, kitchen drawers, bedside table, and I swear I’m going to keep it that way once and for all! But then, well… you know what’s coming. I look up one day and the piles are back, the drawers are crammed full, and I can’t stick one more shirt in my closet. Please. Someone tell me I’m not the only one.

For busy, detail-oriented people, clutter is our worst nightmare because we see shiny objects everywhere. There’s always something that needs our attention, and the end result is that the most important things often don’t get any.

To make matters worse… I’ve married someone just like me… maybe even worse. Uh-oh. We both looked at each other this weekend and said, “It’s got to change.” Really what we’re saying is we’ve got to change. We already know we can’t keep doing the same thing and expect a different result so … Tom bought a book called, The One Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller. He read a passage from it to me over breakfast this morning, and I knew instantly it would make all the difference if I could keep it at the forefront of my thinking.

We’ve all heard the saying, “Do the most important things first.” While it makes sense, understanding it never seemed to change anything for me. But today, Tom read a twist on that phrase that’s subtle but was a lightbulb moment for me. “What is the one thing I can do such that by doing it everything else will be easier or unnecessary?” The one thing that will make everything else easier. Ahhhh, now there’s a question that might just make me stop and really consider my choices.

For example, we’ve just returned from a two-week trip to England for work (and admittedly, some play), and you can imagine the stacks we have before us. Mail, laundry, housecleaning, yard work, emails, newspapers, bills, backlog of work and, of course, Netflix! … just to name a few. My norm would be to jump into the quickest, easiest things around the house before I sat down to my work. But if I ask this question first, the answer is that if I get out the four big and lucrative business proposals which I’ve been procrastinating and they are accepted, I’ll have enough money in my coffers to feel better about hiring some help for the other things.

What’s the one thing that would make everything else easier? Yep. I think I may have found my answer in a well-phrased question. And possibly a well-placed question as well. Old habits die hard so the author recommended leveraging the power of reminders by putting a sign on your desk that says, “Until my One Thing is done – everything else is a distraction.”

Done! Wish me luck.

This week, we recycled one of our most popular MMS’s from several years
ago. Our new subscribers will enjoy Katherine’s story and the lessons she took from the experience.
And to all of our MMS readers who have been loyal
subscribers from the beginning… you’ll remember why we love seeing the
world of business and life through the eyes of The Lioness.


“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind,
of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”   
~~ Albert Einstein