I’m always amazed at how easily we grow accustomed to things. Years ago my husband and I removed an air conditioner from a window. We didn’t have anywhere to put it, so we stowed it under a clear glass table in our living room. Even though it was completely visible we didn’t see it and amazingly, neither did our guests.
I was at the chiropractor the other day, he touched my shoulder and I winced in pain. I hadn’t realized anything hurt until he touched it.
My neighbor had a new roof installed a few weeks ago. All day long the contractors were running generators and banging right outside my office window. I knew it was loud but didn’t realize just how much it bothered me until they shut down the generator and my whole body noticeably relaxed.
In many ways it’s a good thing that we acclimate so easily. I forgot the word my chiropractor used to describe what was going on but the way he described it was that, being constantly aware of every single sensation we feel, see or hear would overwhelm us. All of the sensations we would have to process would make it completely impossible for us to do or think about anything else.
It’s wonderful that our brains are great at compartmentalizing like this but these stimuli have an effect on the way you function and how you run your business and life.
In your daily business you are exposed to tons of input. There’s the constant barrage of email, phones ringing and things that “must get done.” Then there are the ideas that you’ve already started working on and want to follow up on or finish. Of course there are also ideas that have come across your desk which look interesting or promising.
The reality is that ALL of these inputs are noise. Yes, some of the noise is helpful and adds value to our lives (think of a child’s laugh) but much of it is not and will distract you from your goal.
To help you focus your mind and your energy on what’s important, you need to regulate the noise that comes in. Here is a simple strategy that my clients and I use to help us determine whether what we are doing or thinking about is worth it or if it is simply extraneous noise that we need to shut off.
Imagine you have a completely new and pristine space. It is constructed of the best materials imaginable. You love the space and want to keep it beautiful. You decide to only bring in the best of the best.
Now ask yourself, what will you bring in? What is worthy of this space? What will enhance the space and not drag it down?
Realize this…YOU are that pristine space. That space is your mind, time and energy. The outward reflection of that space includes your office, to-do list, inbox, schedule and the people you associate with. You have the ability to clean shop and make sure that you only bring in things that will enhance you and your business.
Think about the chaos around you and in your mind. Consider the emails in your inbox, the people you spend your time with, the piles of paper, your stacks of dreams and ideas. Some of these things are good noise, others are not. Give yourself permission to recognize your own value and give these things a good hard look. Toss the ones that are marring your space so that you can grow and create the life and business of your dreams.
What is it time to evict from your space? What will you allow in?