Discussion Central

Expand all | Collapse all

Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

  • 1.  Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 14 days ago
    Working or living in a cluttered environment can have a big impact on our moods and health. For an upcoming Career Connections column, I'll be sharing advice and tips for getting rid of clutter and creating a less stressful environment.

    So: what's your best advice for decluttering?

    ------------------------------
    Loraine Kasprzak MBA
    Managing Director,Advantage Marketing Consulting Services
    Advantage Marketing Consulting Services
    Westfield NJ
    ------------------------------


  • 2.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 14 days ago
    Yoga and Pranayam will reduce stress. While de-cluttering, I suggest a slot for the same.

    ------------------------------
    KOTTI KUMAR
    Ex. Leader - Plant Operations
    INDO GERMAN PETROCHEMICALS LIMITED
    ------------------------------



  • 3.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 12 days ago

    This is very important question in life. All my life and also for my two children who are now Trauma Surgeon and Psycho therapist, we implemented organized life. Using daily calendar-planner with expected activities to accomplish, organizing all the files and storing at proper place, keeping the office desk clean with no piling of papers, preparing for all meetings prior to the meeting and ensuring that the minutes of meetings are done in time and stored in the file or online. With responsibilities of leading multiple organizations, this lifestyle has been very effective and with minimum stress.

    In addition, being yoga practitioner, doing yoga every day for 10 to 15 minutes, helps tremendously in focusing and accomplishing the tasks.

    Such approach has been key in my life to achieve my goals. Exposing to children such method has helped them to achieve their goals in work and life.

    Regards,
    Sudhir Brahmbhatt,   Ph.D. , MBA  



    ------------------------------
    Sudhirkumar Brahmbhatt PhD,MBA
    President
    Technology Services Inc
    Glencoe MO
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 13 days ago
    In my observation, for many the hardest part is getting started because accumulated clutter can be overwhelming. My advice is just take it one small thing at a time. Set a time aside each day (or if life is really hectic maybe just once a week) and do whatever you can. Sometimes we have to remember that progress, even if small, is progress.

    In terms of keeping it up, I find that if I keep it small I'm more successful. Do I have 2 minutes between meetings? Spend 1 minute organizing or throw away just a couple of papers. Sometimes filing a couple things and throwing away one is enough to keep it all under control. Note, this applies to electronic clutter as well, my inbox gets out of hand sometimes (whose doesn't?)!

    Full disclosure: I have been accused of being "a KonMari" in both my personal and professional life, so I am almost certainly biased in the ease with which I approach this since it is apparently a personality trait (?).

    ------------------------------
    Elizabeth Sendich
    Lead Industry Economist
    U.S. Energy Information Administration
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 13 days ago
    I went to a time management class back in 1985 and was given two tips that I try to use to this day.  One was to always keep a clean desk.  Only have the materials you are working on should be on your desk.  Everything else should be put in a file, behind you, or somewhere out of sight.  If someone comes to your office, remove the papers from your desk and give them your undivided attention.  This allows you to focus on one thing at a time.  As much as we like to believe we can multi-task, it's just not as efficient as focus.
    The other is to keep two sets of file folders; one labeled January - December and one labeled 1 - 31.  When papers come in, put them in the appropriate monthly file.  At the beginning of each month, move the papers for that month to the appropriate day file.  Each day you will have the papers you need for that day without having to try to remember where you put them.  I've had to replace my file folders as they got worn out, but I still have a set of these.

    ------------------------------
    Barry Bennett
    PSM Leader
    Stepan Company
    Elwood IL
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 12 days ago
    I love this: "As much as we like to believe we can multi-task, it's just not as efficient as focus."

    ------------------------------
    Jennifer Bitz
    Lead Process Safety Engineer/ Project Manager, CCPS
    AIChE
    League City TX
    ------------------------------



  • 7.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 12 days ago
    Edited by Steve Cutchen 12 days ago
    ""As much as we like to believe we can multi-task,"

    It's important to realize that we do not MULTI-TASK. We TASK SWITCH. And with every switch, we break attention, drop our capabilities, and as Jennifer says, lose focus.

    A classic example is reading your phone while driving. This is not multi-tasking. When you look down at your phone, you are making assumptions about the continuation of the path of your vehicle and the situations that surround it. If you are wrong, or become wrong through the acts of others or unforeseen situations, an incident occurs.

    Task switching is a requirement for most things we do. We have to do it. But we should be aware of the circumstances that result. It is not a sign of being clever or quick-witted. It is an acceptance of risk and a trade-off of time and awareness.



    ------------------------------
    Steve Cutchen
    Investigator, retired
    US Chemical Safety Board
    Houston TX
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 13 days ago
    Hi everyone,

    Working in a cluttered environment is annoying for all peers and it creates negatives moods. We need to be assertive to handle this situations. It is important to know what are the root causes of this behavior, if this situation is repeated, then, the cause is related to a company culture. The company must promote order & cleanliness, it is part of a safety culture. To declutter in differente topics: information files, our office, kitchennete, stairs...

    Best Regards,

    ------------------------------
    Luis Alosilla Lazo CEng
    Safety Risk Coordinator
    REPSOL
    Lima
    ------------------------------



  • 9.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 12 days ago
    Luis, you are so right. Order is part of a good safety culture.

    ------------------------------
    Jennifer Bitz
    Lead Process Safety Engineer/ Project Manager, CCPS
    AIChE
    League City TX
    ------------------------------



  • 10.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 12 days ago


    ------------------------------
    -Kirsten

    Kirsten Rosselot
    Process Profiles
    Calabasas, CA United States
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 7 days ago
    Love the comic Kirsten. Thanks for sharing.

    ------------------------------
    Loraine Kasprzak MBA
    Managing Director,Advantage Marketing Consulting Services
    Advantage Marketing Consulting Services
    Westfield NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 7 days ago
    Organization and decluttering should be secondary to emergencies and, especially, the carpe diem type events that seem to pop up all the time.  

    Piles of paper on a desk can wait.

    Bill Stuble, PE
    Design20FIRST  LLC
    Cora, WY






  • 13.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 12 days ago
    I have had colleagues (and a ChE professor) that appear to live a very cluttered work existence. Papers scattered about. No clear work surface in their office. Stacks on the floor.

    Yet, they know where everything is. And they were equally efficient at their work and at retrieving information. Wht appears to be an unacceptable work process to me is built into their personality.

    I think we should be careful projecting a personal characteristic on others, requiring them to work how we do. To suggest ideas for those of us that WANT to become less cluttered is fine. But do not denigrate someone else's methods if they don't want to change. Judge them on their performance and contributions.

    ------------------------------
    Steve Cutchen
    Investigator, retired
    US Chemical Safety Board
    Houston TX
    ------------------------------



  • 14.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 9 days ago
    Hi @Loraine Kasprzak. This is a great question. I wholeheartedly  ​​agree with multi-tasking not being a virtue to aspire to. It seems like it's more like something we need to tame and for me that's been a lifetime journey.

    • I meditate every morning to declutter (or attempt to declutter) my mind
    • I do not have email notifications pop-up on my screen. In my opinion, emails have a 24-hour range to answer. Also, I try to let people know how important something is when I send an email. If it's low priority, I mention that
    • I do have IM on (Skype and Teams) but will turn it off if I'm really trying to focus
    • Since so much of my work is browser-based, I have been experimenting with a program called Momentum Dash. It's a browser extension that shows amazing photographs with every tab. It also shows you your todo list. Some features are free but I paid the $40 (annual) for the upgrade which allows you to add mantras, quotes, your own photos and access to the pomodoro timer feature, which allows you to work in 25 minute sprints with 5 minute stretch breaks in between (you can change the timing)
    • Finally, I'm trying very hard to be kind and thoughtful in my email responses. This is not always easy for me and I've had some misfires, especially at stressful times with frustrating emails. But I feel like (at least attempting) to be kind may set an example for people. Here's a great blog post we just published on email tone. Returning frustrating emails with anger will only add clutter to my day. Kindness keeps it at bay, somewhat.

    Thanks for this great topic and for all the great responses!

    ------------------------------
    Very Best,

    John Vasko
    Director, Communications & Online Content
    New York NY
    ------------------------------



  • 15.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 9 days ago
    Hey @John Vasko - you're right: This is a terrific conversation. I like that many who are participating come at it from various points of view.While I tend to be more organized (just don't look in my closets), I am related to and have worked with others who, like @Steve Cutchen's colleagues, are masters of the "stacks" approach to organizing.  ​​ "Decluttering" is certainly not a "one size fits all!"

    ------------------------------
    Loraine Kasprzak MBA
    Managing Director,Advantage Marketing Consulting Services
    Advantage Marketing Consulting Services
    Westfield NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 16.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 8 days ago
      |   view attached
    Loraine,

    As an adult diagnosed with ADHD, this topic really hits home.  People with ADHD have a very hard time holding ideas in their head and must externalize them.  So I'm constantly talking to myself, writing notes, making lists, and setting alarms.  My desk and working environment are an extension of my brain. Those notes, scribbles, post-its, books, etc. can quickly pile up creating clutter.  For me that clutter is physical and explicitly mental. So in order to be productive at all I must use extremely consistent and rigorous systems or I spend a lot of energy spinning wheels with nothing happening.

    To do this, I've used a tweeked form of GTD (David Allen's "Getting Things Done" method) for several years.  Essentially, as any idea pops in my head (e.g. something to look up, someone to call, a bill to pay, a research interest) I drop it into an "Inbox".  I then process the inbox according to the figure I attached.  I made the figure based on the tweeking I've done to GTD. I'd be happy to talk through it for anyone that is interested. The point is that any time clutter shows up I can always quickly just throw it all in the Inbox and fly through processing it.  It also gives me the freedom to take a lot of unnecessary stress out of my head.  I know that it is processed into a system where it won't get lost.  Like with any system, it isn't flawless.  But it works well for me.



    ------------------------------
    Ben Freireich PhD
    Pronouns: he/him/his
    Technical Director
    Particulate Solid Research, Inc.
    Chicago IL
    ------------------------------



  • 17.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 7 days ago
    Ben, thanks for sharing this system. I think it will help many people who also have ADHD.

    ------------------------------
    Loraine Kasprzak MBA
    Managing Director,Advantage Marketing Consulting Services
    Advantage Marketing Consulting Services
    Westfield NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 18.  RE: Tips for decluttering your life to reduce stress

    Posted 7 days ago
    Ben,
    I also am a huge believer in David Allen's Getting Things Done, as nearly every AIChE staff member knows.  I have given out countless copies of his original book, and even taught the basics to small staff groups.  I find it invaluable in making sure I pay attention to the big picture and the details, and don't stress out that I am forgetting something.  I even listen to his podcasts, which are helpful reminders when I go off track.  Thanks for sharing.

    ------------------------------
    June Wispelwey
    Executive Director
    AIChE
    New York NY
    ------------------------------