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Clearing Out the Clutter

Posted by David Greer in Performance | 0 comments


Clutter is a fact in all of our lives. We recently had to say good bye to our long-time Honda Odyssey Van whose second transmission gave up. We scrapped the van, but its summer tires have been sitting along the side of our house since January. I finally made the commitment to get them out, photograph them, and put them for sale on Craigslist.

The problem with clutter is that it drags at us draining away some of our limited energy. As entrepreneurs, the more drains and distractions we have, the worse our performance and that of our business. Regularly clearing out the clutter frees us to pursue more of the key strategic initiatives that will push us and our businesses ahead the fastest and furthest.

Physical Clutter. Whether in sight or out of mind, physical clutter as an impact by either impinging on our physical space or acting as a mental distraction. My personal challenge is to keep the clutter in my office to a minimum. I am fantastic at starting and finishing projects, while being terrible at the final clean up. I’m too busy creating and tackling the next projects. Over time files, books, equipment, you-name-it accumulate on my office desk and floor. It eventually gets so bad that I’m distracted every time I enter my office. I then have to force myself to stop and clean it all up.

Clutter can invade your home, car, and your business. When was the last time you had a major clean-up of your manufacturing, warehousing, or office facilities? Clutter slows people down as well as making it harder to find space for your most critical projects. It also creates a poor impression for any partners, customers, or prospects who visit your facilities.

Mental Cluttter.  Is something taking up all of your mental space? We can let clutter into our thought processes that take away from the most important things that we should be thinking about. Being human means that we all have busy brains. The challenge is to get our busy brain to focus on what is most important, not what is loudest.

A strong strategic planning process for you and your business, provides clarity on what needs to be done. Instead of having hundreds of ideas spinning out of control, you have less than a handful of clear goals that you and your team are focused on. In Plan Your Day I show how starting your day (or ending your previous day) with a clear review of your tasks against your strategic goals keeps you focused on what is most important while reducing the amount of mental clutter.

People Clutter.  If you asked each of your first reports the name of one person in your organization who is not pulling their weight, they would likely come up with a consensus on one or two people. Create plans with clear goals, set clear accountability for employees, and then hold them and you accountable to those goals. If you do this over time, you will discover who are the A-players lifting the whole organization and who are those that are cluttering your business rather than adding to it.

People who do not fit your corporate culture or who are underperforming not only pull down the business, they pull down the people around them. Be kind and clean up your people clutter by letting the ones who don’t fit or perform well go so that they can find the right place for their skills and personality.

Remove clutter from your business and life so that you can focus on those opportunities that let you reach the goals and live the life you want. What clutter will you clean up today?


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