What’s hiding in your garage? How do you let it go?

It’s spring again – the sun comes out and suddenly everything that has been hiding quietly away in the shadows of the dark winter months appears in the open.

flowering cherry jpg blog post www.keystepscoaching.com what's hiding in your garage

Where are your hiding places?

Indoors? Stacks of books, magazines, clothes that need to go to the charity bank….. or even the murky depths of kitchen cupboards, and the dates on cartons and tins.

The garden – if you have one? Dried up plants from last autumn, grass too long and wet to cut easily, dead leaves, (well, that’s my garden, yours is probably in much better shape.)

fallen leaves jpg www.keystepscoaching.com blog post Whats hiding in your garage

And as for the garage…

So cold in the winter that it is unbearable to go out there. Now the sun has come out, and a visit from friendly de-clutterer Hazel Dow emphasised the need for some major action out there. It all looks possible in the sunshine, with her encouragement:

“Just sort it into piles Jenny….. one to throw, one to sell, one for keeping.”

I know all this in my head, but actually doing it is another matter.

chaos jpg www.keystepscoaching.com blog post what's hiding in your garage

It can be overwhelming and stressful

My car used to live in there, but no more. I can walk carefully round a mountain in the centre which has accumulated over several years. When I am feeling proud of de-cluttering part of the house, I am faced with the question of where to put that stuff. It all goes into the garage of course, ready for that moment when I have the time, the energy and a warm day to move it on from there. I am sure that it quietly multiplies when my back is turned.

Where do you start?

Hazel helps you to let go of things emotionally as well as physically dealing with it, and even removing it to the tip if you need help. So if that is something you would like to consider, get in touch with her. http://www.freespace.me.uk/

My starting point

My starting point is in my mind – believing that I will get it done, one small step at a time. When I need practical help, I know who to ask.

wildflowers jpg www.keystepscoaching.com blog post whats hiding in your garage

And de-cluttering our mind is a whole other issue which needs a blog post all to itself.

©Jenny Cooper April 2015

 

 

 

Do you put off doing things?

Do you put off doing things?

Speaking as someone who could get a PhD in procrastination (if I ever got round to it), the whole issue is really fascinating.

Deadlines are a must for me to get things done, so making a To Do list really helps. But curiously, some things seem to keep falling off the end of the list. Does that happen to you?

It could be something simple that you dislike doing – fixing something or the ironing – and when you get around to it, it doesn’t take long and was easier than you expected.

Or it could be something that feels overwhelming and you don’t know where to begin. So you don’t or can’t.

Creativity and procrastination

Recently I came across an article or a comment about how taking five minutes a day doing something creative can help to break through that block of getting started and getting things done. I know that creativity has many benefits, but had not come across this specific one before.

The Five Minutes a Day Creativity Challenge

This was a chance to test out the theory. The idea is to do something creative – write, draw, sing, paint, dance, whatever you decide, for five minutes each day for a week.

5 minute continuous doodle jpg image by Jenny Cooper blog post Do You put off doing things? Key steps Coaching 29.11.14

5 minute continuous doodle Nov.2014

What happened?

I started out feeling as if five minutes was for ever, then once I got started, the time flew.

Doing something different each day got me looking around for ideas. Singing, drawing with my left hand, tearing strips of an old catalogue and weaving them together. When you have a time limit, you have to act quickly, be spontaneous and experimental. And the deadline of completing it in time to post on facebook before going to bed helped.

The results

It was a lot of fun! Not just creating things, but seeing what other people were doing and posting.

Most surprising: Some of those obstinate items on my To Do lists mysteriously got done!

The most overwhelming item has been lurking around in my To Do lists for several months, and felt like it was going to be in the Too Hard Basket for ever. It was important, but felt so impossible and confusing that everything else always seemed more urgent.

I can’t explain why it suddenly felt possible to sit at the computer and start tackling this particular task, nor why all sorts of pennies started dropping so that I could understand what to do, and do it.

Woven strips of paper jpg image Jenny Cooper blog post Do you put off doing things? keystepscoaching.com

Woven strips of paper

There was no apparent connection between the creative activities and this computer work. The block seemed to just melt away during this week.

Somehow the mountains of failing will-power, guilt, anxiety and feeling incompetent were all by-passed. Magic!

I’m hooked now… and going to continue with these little bursts of daily creativity.

And it isn’t just me. One friend who completed the whole week experienced similar powerful effects. You can check it out here Key Steps Coaching Facebook page.

Are you inspired to try a new way to get things done?

Just for a week, spend five minutes a day doing something creative.

Enjoy yourself, see what happens, then share below to inspire others.

Looking forward to hearing what you discover!

 

©Jenny Cooper 2014. All rights reserved.

 

 

“We’re not striving for perfection here . . . !”

Have you ever heard of exploding books?

The book

The book

The crafty among you will have done, but they were new to me.

What are they, and why are they?

In the Healing Arts group, as we folded, measured, cut and glued, our tutor added the most important  part of the instructions:

“We’re not striving for perfection here . . . !” Continue reading

Stamping it out – should we or shouldn’t we?

All it takes is a little self-discipline, will power or self-control to stamp out those activities that deflect us from our purpose, work, or something that we want or need to do.

Or does it?

And should it?

Assortment of foreign used stamps

Some interesting stamps

A friend recently described them as life’s little guilty pleasures – checking out online newspapers, Continue reading