Cleaning the Clutter

Be honest, you like cleaning.


Not the sweeping, washing, scrubbing, dusting part.


You like the end result.  Clutter free, spick and span, squeaky clean.


No one usually likes the process. Everyone usually likes the result.


I could turn that into a lesson on falling in love with the grind and taking joy in things most people don’t, but that’s not where I’m going with this.


Recently I was evaluating some things in my own life.  For the last 6 months, or however long it’s been since I moved to Nashville, I’ve been busy.


I don’t mean the “busy” people say when someone asks you how you are and you say: “busy”


Whether it’s extended hours at work, my “job” technically being two equally demanding jobs, adjusting to a new place, or the business of family and social events, I have been, to say the least, busy.


Some of that has made it hard to keep my life at the level I had grown accustomed to. Things that I had plenty of time for I now have to squeeze in or delete all together.  Things like the gym, staying in touch with friends, and writing this blog (as ashamed as I am to say that).


As your schedule fills up and you find less and less “time” you focus your time on what really matters.  I started thinking about that concept last week as I was making a new daily schedule excel file. 

For being a laid back and creative minded guy I am a nut at planning. I could schedule anything. I plan and diagram vacations and make folders for each trip we take.  Don’t get me wrong, I love doing nothing or having free time, but I also love structure, it’s a fine mix.


So as I worked on a weekly schedule where I can list each day out and plan, by time of day, what I should be doing (this was mainly a “Jordan needs to write more” experiment) I thought about all the time I: 1) have, and 2) waste.


Scheduling my day/week out puts it into perspective.


In Excel I listed each day in one column. I started at 5am and made each row of every column a half hour time slot. For the hours I am normally at work I made each row a two-hour time slot.


That might make sense, it might not, it’s not really important.


What it is important is I saw how much time before and after work really did exist.


Then came the hard part.


I had to admit that I had plenty of time to do the things I want and need to do. I am just choosing to spend them in other ways.


I can make excuses for that time, or I can man up and make the changes I need.


Some of them aren’t easy.


I spend too much time watching TV after work.  I spend too much time sleeping before work.  I scroll through social media “catching up” on things for hours on the couch.  I, regrettably have to admit, probably spend too much time watching College Football on Saturdays.


It doesn’t just stop at those basic things.  College football aside, those are most likely big time wasters for just about anyone, but there are also more specific ones.  Maybe you spend too much time out with friends or doing things you know are a waste. 

Sometimes it’s hard but saying no to those friends or putting down that video game for a while is what you really need.


Otherwise you’re putting those things in front of what you keep saying is what you want to do.


Thinking about why you need more time puts it into perspective.


It’s different for every person. Maybe you aren’t trying to write a book.  Maybe you are.  Either way, cutting out the waste will clean up your life.  It gives you more time for you, for your family, and for your dreams.


I wrote this because I know I have some cleaning to do.  I don’t want to, but I know I’ll feel better when it’s done.