Keeping Strangers Away

Contributed by: Carrie Greene

I know a lot about getting organized, yet the more I talk about it the more I realize that getting organized is not what it’s about.

So then what is it about? It is about creating time, space and energy so you can focus your attention on the things that are truly important to you.

Imagine this. The doorbell rings. You look outside and see a group of 10 strangers. What do you do? Do you rush to the door, open it, let the uninvited people in, ask them to sit in your prime seating and wait patiently until you get a chance to speak with them? Of course not!

However, many of us do just that. We allow intruders into our lives everyday. We allow our lives to be ruled by strangers.

How do we let this happen? We allow unsolicited phone calls to intrude on our days. We allow piles of unsolicited mail to sit on our desks, tables and countertops. We allow information of all kinds into our offices, our homes and our minds. We trust strangers to tell us what information and things we “should” bring in to our lives.

You get to choose who you invite into your office or home. Guess what, you can also choose what things and what information gets in.

Just because you get a phone call from someone asking you to take on a project, does not mean that you have to do it. Just because a catalogue shows up on your desk and offers you “20% off your next purchase” does not mean that you need to look through it to find something to buy.

Just because someone makes you an offer that “you can’t refuse” does not mean that you can’t refuse the offer.

Just because you get an email at 10:05 asking you for information does not mean you have to stop working on your priority in order to answer the email by 10:06.

Yeah, I know the reality of doing this isn’t always easy. These four questions will help guide you as you decide which strangers to accept into your life.

  1. Is this something I was interested in before I saw this offer?
  2. Would the impact on my life or business be significant enough to warrant the interruption or the time and effort necessary to do this or learn about this?
  3. Are there other ways of going about this using things that I’ve already allowed in?
  4. Time and space are finite so consider this. If I allow this in what do I have to ask to leave in order to make room for it?

When you get down to it getting organized is about making conscious decisions about what you allow in to your office, your home and your life. As you become more discerning in what you allow in you will find the energy, time and motivation you need to focus on what’s truly important to you.

By Carrie Greene, CarrieThru, Coaching & Organizing Services.

Work with Carrie to get places and get things done on time, figure out priorities and get the projects that you start done. Cross things off your to-do list, stay focused, deluctter, get organized and stop procrastinating. For free resources, including Carrie’s 4-part ecourse to help you get rid of the clutter and get organized, please visit

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