What we focus on expands, and perhaps that is why as a facilitator and user of the Effective EDGE® system, I “see” the system and its vast applications everywhere, including in my home. With the additional time spent at home during the pandemic, like many of us, I dedicated more time to organizing and experienced an uptick in my streaming, including shows like “Get Organized with The Home Edit,” which takes principles like those in the Effective EDGE system and applies them to pantries, closets, and garage spaces to beautify them while increasing the form and function of the space.
It is a combination of those suggestions that led me to a few ah-ha’s in this season of Spring Cleaning:
Use the 4D’s (Delete, Drag, Do It, Defer) at home.
The 4D’s provide a framework to help you focus on decision making and defeat “analysis paralysis.” Each step has ample opportunities for practice at home and can help combat overwhelm. Let’s explore:
We may not have actual Delete buttons at home, but the principle of getting rid of things that we do not need still applies. Letting things go is important and frees up our energy and focus. In the show “Get Organized with The Home Edit,” this is called the “Edit” step. Marie Kondo would have asked, “Does this item spark joy?” Deleting could look like donating items, throwing them away or even selling them. What can you “delete” at home to free up more physical (and mental) space?
In the context of processing e-mail, we drag e-mails into Reference folders that we do not need to act on nor anticipate needing access to in the future. These e-mails are essentially “in storage” for that day we may need to retrieve them. At home, this means storing items that you may need in the future, but do not have use for right now. Perhaps in Spring Cleaning season this is boxing up your winter clothes until next season, packing up outgrown baby clothes that you would like to save, or perhaps it’s time to finally file away all that miscellaneous paperwork that you need to hold onto. What might you “drag” into storage at home?
There are many opportunities to act on things at home that you can do in 2-minutes or less. I think of this rule every time I consider tossing a shirt up on a nearby chair (where it will inevitably remain for a week, while the pile grows larger and larger) as opposed to just taking the 20 seconds to put the shirt back on a hanger. The same thing applies to processing your physical mail, putting dishes in the dishwasher rather than leaving them in the sink, returning an item to its place rather than leaving it out, and so on. This is a prime example of “Small things done consistently in strategic places creating major impact.” What could you start “doing” in 2-minutes or less at home to prevent pile-up?
For things that require action and are not fast or on fire, we add to our lists to do later. In the season of Spring Cleaning, this may look like dusting the fan blades, scrubbing baseboards, washing windows inside and out, and more. Deferring can also look like delegating tasks to family members and/or roommates at a future date. What can you “Defer” at home for later?
Spring Clean Your Brain!
When was the last time you did a Mind Sweep? This is a simple daily practice we recommend capturing and release all your “mental clutter” allowing you to better focus, connect, clarify, prioritize, and more. If it has been a while, it’s probably time to eliminate those mental cobwebs by getting all your to-do’s out of your head whether they are personal or professional—consider it a “deep clean.” Feel free to do this on a piece of paper, in the memo-pad of your phone, or even in your Effective Edge Task List. We recommend that you give this practice all the time that it needs, especially if it has been a while. How do you anticipate feeling after freeing your brain from the clutter?
Spring Clean Your Task List!
We already know we will never get it all done, so what items on your Task List can you eliminate? What is a “nice to do” rather than a “need to do?” What can move to the Someday/Maybe category, or perhaps be delegated to another person? If you’ve been looking at the same item for weeks and have not yet made a decision, why not? What is getting in the way? Is there a lack of clarity on your next step, or is it not important? Take time to check in with your Task List and ensure that it reflects your current reality. Going forward, make a goal of doing this on a weekly basis as part of your Weekly Recharge. How much do you think you can “clean up” off your list?
I hope these Effective Edge system tips and applications help you increase your focus in this season of Spring Cleaning. For continued support, please be sure to sign up for free Mastery webinars and Effective Edge Recharge webinars on our Learning eXperience Platform.
Author – Sarah Furrier
Facilitator + Relationship Lead, InteraWorks
InteraWorks is a global learning company on a mission to elevate the human experience at work. Specializing in professional development and performance enablement, we offer top-rated learning programs based on four defined conditions that must exist for individuals, teams including Effective Edge, Best Year Yet, and the Essentials series. Our integrated learning framework and online tools generate immediate and sustainable breakthroughs in performance. Through decades of working at all levels in enterprise companies across many industries, we’ve built a reputation for helping people and organizations harness their focus, mindset, talent and energy to produce results that matter most.
We’ve defined four conditions that must exist for an individual, team or organization to be effective within the arena of performance and development; Accountability, Focus, Alignment, and Integrity. We’ll continue to explore these and more in our blog and look forward to your engagement and interaction with us. Stay tuned as we engage the edges.