Don’t Let the Unhidden Clutter In Your Life Derail Your Success by Stephanie LH Calahan

I ran into Stephanie first on where she shares podcast tips for organization and productivity. After I listened to a few of her ideas and thought of the comments I’ve heard from authors I’ve worked with I contacted her and asked her to write a guest blog post that might help some of the writing schedule snafus authors run into.

MP900401408When you think of clutter, what do you think of?  Do you think of the piles of paper on your desk or on your floor?  Maybe you think of your inbox that is filled with emails you have not read.  If you do, you are not alone, however; did you know that you can clutter up your schedule and life choices too?

In fact, one of the biggest hidden forms of clutter in your life – clutter that will derail your success – is a cluttered schedule with limited priorities.

You may be cluttering up your time and priorities and not even know it!  Do you multi-task?  Do you say “I wish I had time for that”?  Do you sometimes feel that you are running and running, but getting nowhere?

We may not want to admit it, but sometimes we will create goals and to-do lists in a vacuum. 

If you have not taken time recently to determine priorities and what you should work on first, second or third, keep reading.

As you are determining your goals, start with identifying your priorities.  If your goals are not aligned with the things that are truly important to you, then, what is the point?  I realize that sounds simplistic, but for many it is an exercise that really helps.  It is also a step that people frequently skip because it seems too simple.

1.  Start by putting a blank sheet of paper and something to write with in front of you.
2.  Write out a listing of all of the areas of your life (people, things, etc.) that are important (in no particular order)  Just brainstorm.
3.  Rank the list — you can:

– number them from 1 to ?
– rank them as vital, important, nice to have
– pick your top 7 and ignore the rest

4.  Look at your ranking results and determine if you are appropriately allocating your time to the areas of your life that you have identified as the highest importance.

5.  Adjust your time and to-dos based on what you learn.

Many people find that they are setting goals based off of other people’s priorities!  Once they work through this simple 5 step process they have better clarity about where they should really be focusing their time and energy.

What do you do to keep your priorities in focus?  Have you tried the exercise above?  If so, how did it go?  I’d love to hear from you!

Stephanie LH Calahan is the founder of Calahan Solutions, Inc. and is your Get-It-Done advisor.  Her proven methods have helped 1000s reduce paper piles, decrease stress, eliminate errors, increase profits and live a more balanced and happy life.  If you are interested in learning more techniques to help you set priorities that make sure the important things in your life get done, check out her special report  The report includes the best tips and strategies from over 40 global experts –Priority Setting – Working on the Right Things.

Thank you for joining us today Stephanie and sharing some of your valuable suggestions,


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