I have a friend who seems very put together on the surface. She is doing well in her business, getting new customers and new work every day, and finishing projects on time with nothing but rave reviews.
She asked me for some help with her office work, and when I peeked at her inbox – it took my breath away. There were piles of papers – bills mixed in with junk mail mixed in with receipts. She didn’t know what she owed to whom or when, and it’s a wonder things like her phone service or electricity were not in danger of being cut off!
I was amazed that she had such a mess on her desk because from all appearances, she was handling things well. I guess her inbox was like her junk drawer – just stuff it in and close it real fast before anyone sees!
Turns out the negative energy generated by this chaos was affecting her work. It was churning in the background and causing her worry and concern, which was eating into her creative abilities on the job. Something had to be done or it would be her downfall.
We got to work sorting out the mess and setting up some systems to help her going forward. Since she is a creative person in her business, her mind just freezes up when it comes to administrative things. It was important to create some easy ways for her to cope with the constant inflow of paperwork.
The first thing we did was set up not one inbox, but racks with files, so things could be sorted up front, with easy to understand categories like Urgent, Receipts, and Filing.
Hopefully sorting into these files will help keep things from getting buried and possibly thrown away.
I suggested that instead of just dumping things on the desk, like mail or papers, that she get in the habit of sorting them into these files right away to save the hassle later of figuring out what is what. One less pile to deal with.
She’s going to test the system over the next couple of weeks and see how it works. My guess is that it will streamline that part of her business and relieve a lot of pressure and fear that can come when there is a nebulous pile of papers and you aren’t even sure how to begin dealing with them.
Knowing that things in the office are not falling through the cracks or being buried and mishandled will free up her mental energies to be brilliant in her work.
What kinds of messes are you hiding?