Work as Clutter

Clutter can come into your life in many different forms. A too busy schedule, a house full of stuff, an overwhelming amount of mail - snail mail and electronic. I like to think of clutter as excess noise. Noise that can drown out what’s really important in life.


Does your life feel cluttered? Do you feel overwhelmed by the constant noise in your life?


I think many of us feel that way these days. I know I do.


For me, clutter in my everyday life often comes in the form of my job. Early in my career I worked for someone that told me “work/life balance is about planning your life so you can work all the time.” If you are in a professional role (lawyer, accountant, etc.) I bet this hits home for you. You can’t fully escape – the emails, the texts, the constant meetings, the ongoing reports to review or write. When we are accessible 24/7, the boundaries of work and life can become very blurred.


I’ve always taken a different view. Working a lot of hours doesn’t help you be more productive. In fact, it is scientifically proven working less actually leads to MORE productivity. In this Huffington Post article by Jonathan Chan, working too much leads to health issues and errors. The article states that “Americans are actually working 47 hours a week on average… And 2 out of 10 Americans say they work more than 60 hours a week.”


If you are in this category I’m sure you would agree that working a lot of hours causes many other areas of your life to suffer, too.  It’s a vicious cycle - and eventually it leads to burnout. And once you hit burnout, it is very hard to recover quickly and effectively.


The reality is working a lot of hours IS clutter. It clutters your life. It clouds how you approach things. And everything in life suffers - your work, your relationships, your health. It’s tough to be truly present in other aspects of your life. When you are at home - and exhausted and burned out - the quality of time you spend with your family, with your kids, suffers. The time you have to invest in relationships gets limited.


If you work a lot of hours, there is a good chance your personal finances suffer, too. You are probably going to be less intentional about your personal finances, and at the end of the day, you don’t have the time to fully vet your financial decisions. Your ability to think through things, and truly align your budget, your goals, and your spending is challenged. From a holistic perspective, your life is not in alignment.


Trevi Tip: Start eliminating clutter from your life today. It’s really not worth it. Make every effort to reign in work hours, and eliminate whatever forms of clutter are holding you back from becoming who you really are.


If life is about quality - balance is critical. Without balance, everything is impacted - and at times that impact can be quite negative.


As you look toward the weekend, take some time to think about these things:

  • In what ways is your work life cluttered?
  • What are some small changes you can you make to improve your situation?
  • Learn to say no - we don’t need to add everything to our schedule. Take on the commitments that you want - don’t feel like you have to say yes to everything. Ask yourself if the commitment is in line with your broader goals and dreams - and if it’s not, don’t hesitate to say no. Time is one of your most precious resources - and you won’t ever get it back.
  • Find ways to control the electronic clutter in your life instead of letting it control you.

Your personal finances are impacted by the clutter in your life. Find a way to start eliminating clutter today - over time, it will allow you to find more freedom in your day to day living, and it will benefit the quality of your relationships and your overall satisfaction with life. Plus, your health will thank you!

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