Clear the Clutter!
By Michelle LaBrosse, PMP®,
Chief Cheetah and Founder of Cheetah Learning, and Kristen Medina,
They have shows on it.
Thousands of professionals are hired every year for the sole purpose
to get rid of it. Most people hate it, but find a hard time getting
rid of it. What am I talking about? Clutter!!
Even though the show
“Hoarders” exemplifies the clutter problem to the extreme, most of
us, if we were being honest with ourselves, would say that we hold
on to more stuff than we need. In today’s world of consumerism, it
can sometimes seem counterintuitive to get rid of things. Or to not
acquire things that we don’t really need. Every day we are being
told too by expert marketers that “more is good” and that we need
more “stuff” regardless of if it is the truth or not. This spring,
take a stand to clutter, in both your home and in your mind.
Have you ever had very good
intentions of spring-cleaning, but the results that you imagined
never quite materialized? That is because intentions are not a plan!
75% of all project end up failing due to poor project management.
Use the PM skills that you have honed in your office to tackle your
spring-cleaning tasks. Define what deliverable you’d like to
achieve, and what success will look like when you achieve it. When
you treat your de-clutter goals like a serious project, your changes
of success significantly increase.
What people in your life also
have a stake in your spring-cleaning project? These are your project
stakeholders for Project De-Clutter. This is an aspect of
spring-cleaning that is often overlooked by the person heading up
the task. When you face spring-cleaning alone, it can appear to be
Don’t go at it alone. Enlist
help, and when you play to your stakeholder’s strengths, you will
surprised at how willing they will be to help. Is your spouse a
fantastic sales person? Have them organize a garage sale and see how
much they can get rid of and how much money they can make using
their awesome sales skills. Is your son super excellent at playing
video games? Ok that might not help, but perhaps if you restrict his
games until he has given you all the clothes that he no longer wears
anymore so you can pass them on to Salvation Army.
You get the point. Rally the
troops! A part of being a good leader is in the ability to
effectively delegate tasks and speak to the self-interest of those
that are helping you.
Timebox to Tidy
Ok we get it - you’re busy!
You’re much too busy to clean out your entire garage. But, are you
too buys to clean off and organize that one shelf in the garage?
The key to successfully
achieving your goals is to set micro-goals, and then achieve them
again and again. Give yourself an hour to tackle one small project,
and don’t let any distracters deter you from your progress. Do this
once a day for a month, and you will be amazed at the progress you
More Organization = More
Imagine your garage is in
disarray. You are running around trying to find your tennis rackets
and soccer ball from the kids lessons, and while running around
sweating in the summer heat, you trip over the debris that is
accumulating in your garage and sprain you ankle. And you were
supposed to go to the beach tomorrow!
The whole idea behind
spring–cleaning is to get ready for a stress free summer. When you
are organized, you create more time for yourself. Time is the most
valuable thing that we have, so make sure that you preserve it when
it matters most. Get organized to gain hours of free time this
summer to do what is important to you.
Success Breeds Success
When you achieve success in
this year’s spring-cleaning project, you will have set up a standard
process and expectations for future years to come, and each year it
will become easier to implement Project De-Clutter.
Get started on your
spring-cleaning success story today! If you want to improve your
Project Management skills at the same time as you are decluttering –
check out Cheetah’s online course – PM of Spring Cleaning.
About the Author:
Michelle LaBrosse, PMP, is an entrepreneurial powerhouse with a
penchant for making success easy, fun, and fast. She is the founder
Learning, the author of
Cheetah Success Series,
and a prolific
blogger whose mission
is to bring Project Management to the masses.
Cheetah Learning is a virtual
company with 100 employees, contractors, and licensees worldwide. To
date, more than 50,000 people have become “Cheetahs” using Cheetah
Learning’s innovative Project Management and accelerated learning
Recently honored by the
Project Management Institute (PMI®), Cheetah Learning was
named Professional Development Provider of the Year at the 2008 PMI®
Global Congress. A dynamic keynote speaker and industry thought
leader, Michelle was previously recognized by PMI as one of the 25
Most Influential Women in Project Management in the world.
Michelle’s articles have
appeared in more than 100 publications and websites around the
world. Her monthly column, the
Know How Network,
is carried by over 400 publications.
She is a graduate of
the Harvard Business School’s Owner/President Management (OPM)
program and holds engineering degrees from Syracuse University and
the University of Dayton.