Ok, I’m going to admit a secret pleasure. I love watching Hoarders. Primarily for 2 reasons, one is to make me feel really good about my house and second is to remind me how people get stuck.
At first glance, it looks as though it’s about all the stuff. Watch the show long enough and you find that it’s far from the heart of the matter.. There is always some other deep underlying psychological basis for the collecting. The hoard is a result of thoughts and feelings that have been allowed to fester. Eventually, the hoard becomes an excuse not to move forward.
While I must admit I have been really busy with clients, I have also been using that as an excuse for being stuck. I haven’t written anything new in weeks. The busyness has been a camouflage for the real problem. Avoiding sitting down and writing.
I’ve realized that as a blogger, I’ve allowed my working space, my mind and my processes to get cluttered. All under the ruse that I’m busy. I started to think about what are my reasons I have let stuff get so out of hand. Am I afraid of the new direction, success or my ability to handle another project? Maybe I’m just plain lazy. Geez, I hope not, though I wouldn’t entirely rule that one out.
I have a huge list running in my head ALL THE TIME, not to mention a million little scraps of paper and at least 3 different notebooks on the go.
I have huge dreams for my blog and business for 2016. There is no way I will be able to accomplish any of them in the state I’m in now. I can’t be the only one. So I’ve created a list to clean your workspace, free up your time and open your mind to create and accomplish all the goals you have for 2016.
3 Hard Core De-Clutter Tasks For Bloggers
Ewww. That sounds awful doesn’t it? I know, you don’t want to offend anyone but hear me out.
I’m not talking about cutting out your blogging friends or blogs you really like, but…
- Are there email subscriptions you get and never open?
- Facebook groups you belong to but never participate in?
- Follow blogs or people who you are no longer interested in because your direction has changed?
- How about posts from blogs that pop up in your feed that you followed in a follow thread and were never interested in?
- Pinners that jam up your smart feed with pins you don’t want to see? (follow boards you are interested in, not people. Unless you like everything they pin.)
- Have you ever looked at your Twitter feed? You can’t cause it’s too big? You follow too many and need to make lists instead of following everyone.
It’s time to clean all your feeds. You don’t realize it but those unwanted things are robbing your time and your creative process. Plus, once your feed is de-cluttered you will be able to see the things you want to share or that will inspire you and not take you on an unnecessary tangent.
2. Clean your workspace
I never thought I would have to become one of those bloggers that have a blog journal, but yes I have. Enough is enough.
- Are your passwords all saved on your phone or laptop and when you clear your cache you’re screwed and left scrambling trying to get back in?
- Do you have notes all over the place and can’t find the one you want when you want it?
- Are you an old geezer like me and need to write shit down before the next thought enters your head and the original idea is then lost forever?
I have created many printables and have bought a pretty binder to house them in. Every time I go to write something down, I suppress the initial urge to grab the first thing I can find to write on. No more notes on the back of receipts. I keep my blog journal with me and in arm’s reach.
And you know what other work space needs a major clean-up? Your laptop. Mine was a complete disaster. Here are a few of the things you can do to de-clutter it.
- create file folders for projects
- organize pictures by social media type or post
- delete duplicates or old versions of pics and files
3. Brain dump
Here’s the most important one, clearing out the hoard in your head. Get a notebook for this one for whenever you get stuck. Write down everything in there. I don’t care how ridiculous or far-fetched.
- What do you hope to accomplish?
- Are you having second thoughts about your niche?
- What do you want to learn how to do?
- Whose blog do you really admire? Why?
- What post ideas do you have? (Even those that don’t fit your format)
Every thing in your head blog related, spew it out! Now close the book.
Do not look at that list today or tomorrow, maybe not even next week. Don’t look at it till you are mentally ready to look at it from a constructive place. A better idea would be to find one other blogger doing this too. Go over the lists together and decide what can be crossed off for good or pursued further.
Imagine having more time to blog. Imagine having a clearer focus. Imagine ideas flowing through you and being more creative. (Imagine I am original and didn’t steal from John Lennon.)
All you have to do is create the environment and it can happen.
Do you have any de-clutter ideas for bloggers? Are you going to try the steps above? I’d love to hear from you!
I was wandering around your site and couldn’t identify which was the most recent post, but when I saw this, well, it was the first one I wanted to read today. I am very into needing to declutter but avoiding and yet I can see how disorganized it makes me to leave things as they are. This was inspiration.
Great stuff, Elena! Funny I should come across this today. I just finished a new weekly schedule (including dedicated times to just write) and times during each day where I do nothing blog related. As much as I like blogging, I realize that I need to free up some time to explore other creative pursuits to actually inspire my writing.
I was having a little wander and came across your blog, it resonated with me strongly. I am an occasional blogger but I write short stories and feeling a bit blocked I took a break from my computer for a week. When i opened it I was amazed at my desktop, covered in notes, I had not even realised how many or even what half of them were for! The actual speed of my laptop was so slow as I had not cleared my cache in forever so as not to lose some vital link! I have nearly cleared the lot and I am going to use my Pinterest account a bit more to store relevant topics for my stories. I have been doing that for a month now and finding it works for me – These are not public pins tho as I don’t want followers on them just me. Remarkable how motivating a clear space is. thanks for the sharing and I guess a virtual kick up the backside.
I have been there my friend. My worst habit is dropping pics on my desktop till the background pic can’t be seen. If only I would put them in folders as I went! I am so glad you have a clear space and mind now to carry on.
This post is right on, Elena. I hate clutter in my physical environment and do a good job minimizing it. But my cyber environment is a mess! I am trying to consolidate all my blog ideas, blogs in progress on evernote but that also needs to be better organized. I want to get involved more with Pinterest but worry that will be another mess. I do need to evaluate my priorities and clean out the clutter. Thanks for the inspiration!
You are very welcome. It is amazing how much more productive you can be in a clean environment.
Elena…I’m with you on the writing thing. I get the spew it out thing… but i do that but it only leaves room for more ideas to float to the top. Sometimes while I’m writing, I’m literally thinking of another idea for another story at the same time…ugh. I liked reading your post…but it’s like a bad boyfriend – reminding me of everything that’s wrong with me. lol But, seriously, I’ve come to realize I need to take my time and focus on one thing at a time…but, boy, when you have undiagnosed never-to-be-medicated adult ADHD, that sure is tough.
I do the overlapping idea thing too! So frustrating if I don’t write it down right away.
Hey Elena, I was on my tablet yesterday and it refused to send my reply. Now if I can remember what I wrote, LOL. Too bad you are not going to BAM, I would love to meet you in person. Taking the break and vacation helped with much needed inspiration! BTW, I am having trouble commenting from my blog to yours. I had to copy and paste this comment.
Just did the unfriend/unfollow/unlike. Very freeing. Looking at my SM feeds was driving me crazy because it was all just too much. Need to clean up my computer. Daunting!
Great points. Thanks for the inspiration. I definitely need to put all my ideas in one place!
You are welcome. I hope you make use of the printables.
I’m just going to start hanging out here. Your posts are a great resource!
Always nice to see you here Alicia!
Always great posts from you. Even though I am busy with new courses that I am teaching (creating curriculum, reading the textbook and creating the assignments and lectures–which I love BTW), I really want to keep my blogging and writing going. Amazing what decluttering can do (as well as a three week vacation to San diego and Mexico) can do for inspiration. http://terriwebsterschrandt.com/2016/01/17/stumbled-broken-and-inspired-weekend-coffee-share/
Any chance you are attending the BAM conference in Vegas?
Thank you Terri! I seen the pics of your trip. Beautiful! And I was very jealous. lol
No, I am not going to BAM.
Great stuff Elena!
It’s the whole “less is more” thing and we have to do it if we’re ever going to give our full attention to what’s important.
Last year was a write-off for me because of our move to the “wilderness”, but 2016 is the year … and my biggest challenge is choosing WHAT to focus on. I have journals and lists and sticky notes all over the place … I fall asleep with ideas and wake up with ideas … but WHAT should I focus on?!?
So, I’ve decided to create a special bucket just to put all of the ideas. (I also have a private board for that on Pinterest.) Now I’m going to take a risk on just two or three of them and develop them full-out. I can always go back to the bucket if something doesn’t work, and try another idea.
The thing is, if I try to do too much, nothing will get finished!
(Can’t wait to see what you do in 2016!! Here’s to a great year!)
That is a great idea. I am so glad you shared that. I am sure someone else will use it.
Thank you for your support and encouragement. May this year bring many blessings for both of us.