Decluttering – Eliminating the Distraction Monsters

Have you ever been working on a specific task and no matter what you do you constantly get sidetracked? Well, I am working on a massive project to declutter my electronic world. I know it will take some time but as I dive into it I keep getting overwhelmed and I know exactly why…I’m trying to do too many things at once related to the project and also continue working at the same time.

My electronic world is humongous and there is no way to do it all in one day or even at the same time so today I set the task of emptying my work inbox. You see I do not like to have more than 50 emails in my inbox…and even that to me is too many. In my perfect world I’d have just the emails from today in my inbox and by the end of the day they would all be gone or are only actionable items. Yeah well, I’m still working on getting to that reality. I’m not going to say it isn’t possible but I have to find that perfect system to make it happen.

On top of this, I am testing out a new methodology, personal Kanban, that I learned about recently. I shared a post a week or so ago Kanban for Chores about it and every since I started reading about it I have been intrigued and feel it truly matches the way I work. See even the most organized person has to step back and reevaluate their systems.

So today, my goal was to get through the over 400 emails in my inbox. Many I know are just junk or items I can just delete. I know there are some action items that really need to get done and some items that I emailed to myself just so I wouldn’t lose them (blogs or articles to read, notes I had taken and hadn’t saved, to do lists, etc.). I am determined to go through each one and create a card on my new electronic Kanban board (www.leankit.com) that detailed what needed to be done and delete the email out of my inbox. See my method used to be to leave it in my inbox if it needed action, but I found that as the day(s) went on those to do’s got lost and several items were flagged and I didn’t know which was a top priority. So, in going through this process I began clearing out and getting the items that needed action on my kanban board…and then it happened…I hit that to do that I said ohhh let me read this or let me go ahead and do this…thirty minutes later I remember oh yeah I’m not supposed to be working on these today I’m supposed to just be identifying the to do items.

So my lesson for today is not to get distracted/sidetracked by the little things you should have been doing before when you are going through and sorting your clutter. Remember your initial task is to sort and remove trash. It will go faster if you just focus on doing that and don’t allow yourself to get distracted by the shiny thing in the room. Focus…keep repeating to yourself Sort/Trash, Sort/Trash, Sort/Trash. If you have a big task like mine and know you can’t do it all at once. Dedicate a specific amount of time to it.

Now, back to the sorting…I know I can I know I can….

About Dana LaRieal Morales

Dana LaRieal Morales is the Founder of The Happiness Bucket where she coaches individuals and teams on having a better work-life balance. She is a Certified Project Manager, an Alum of the University of Tennessee Knoxville, where she earned her degree in sociology with a concentration in criminal justice and she is also an Alum of Tennessee State University where she earned her Masters in Public Administration, She uses her vast organization, project management and process improvement experiences to help those around her be their best selves.

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