Are you a slave to your stuff?

The word “clutter” comes from the Middle English word “clotter,” which means to coagulate — that’s about as stuck as one can get.

Clutter affects most of us in one way or another, and by clutter I’m referring to all the accumulated items, including papers that we are afraid to toss, that provide absolutely no inherent value to our daily work tasks. I read somewhere that clutter exists because our brains trick us into thinking that everything is important and necessary.

Strong evidence suggests that when multiple visual stimuli compete for attention, it’s harder to narrow focus and concentrate on tasks at hand. Some days it might seem like our primary function is simply to clean an inbox and arrange the constant flow of papers that come across our desk into ever changing piles. This can lead to ending the workday in frustration.

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The importance of resilience

At a recent evening function, several business folks were talking about how hard it sometimes is o be resilient when the “you know what” hits the fan. Because I know folks who seem to go with the flow when things happen, I wanted to learn how some people are able to put their wagons in a circle and deal with anything that comes down the pike, when others simply can’t cope. I found that people with a resilient mindset are more stress hardy and able to get around the roadblocks that often pop up in business and life.

People who have resilience seem to find it easier to face setbacks, challenges, crises, and pain — both emotional and physical — with confidence and courage. They are better able to keep from giving up when the going gets rough. They get through tough times and they don’t feel like they have to bail out when things aren’t easy. Resilience helps people to recover more quickly from difficulties, and it helps when life’s big crises and Murphy’s law jumps in. Those who have the gift of reliance are more able to deal with daily frustrations without losing their cool.

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