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A guide to sorting your projects

Updated: Jul 23, 2023

Last week I decided to sort through my projects and see what I could declutter in order to make more room - for opportunities, for ideas, etc. What came up for me was surprising. I had a lot of feelings around letting go of something I had thought I was okay with decluttering. I want to walk you through this kind of decluttering and ways to handle the outcomes.

There are two kinds of decluttering. First there is the surface which is clearing up anything that you see and really is sorting through anything that is easy to declutter. The other kind is more of a deep dive where you go into your thoughts and feelings around the item or obligation.

A guide to sorting your projects

When you are sorting through projects, it's most likely going to be a deep dive declutter. And even if you have no projects to declutter, you can also use this to declutter other things that may be in the back of your mind such as a commitments, additional jobs etc.

First thing to do is make a list of all of the projects and commitments you do. Be as thorough as you can - anything that you feel obligated to do or that you planned to do but haven't finished.

Then go through that list and cross out anything that you actually love doing and doesn't feel like a should. Here's the thing - there could be something on that list that is in a category you love but the project itself feels like a should and doesn't excite you.

What should be left on that list are all of the items that you forget about but then remember and feel like you should finish it sometime soon. Or when you think about it you think something like "I've been meaning to...". And definitely anything that you started more than a year ago and haven't touched since.

The thing with these things is that they take up space.

Not necessarily physical space but mental space.

When we declutter them - we feel more open, relaxed, and calm because they are not in the back of our mind creating a low frequency stress/anxiety.

As you go through your list ask yourself:

Does it actually need to get done? Do you need to do it?

Do you really want to do it? Do you really need to keep it?

If any of that is a yes then why? What's coming up for you?

Why are you holding on to it?

Is this who you are? Is this who you want to be?

Is this thing or task or whatever putting you in the direction you want to go or is it holding you back?

What's interesting is that when you do a deep dive declutter, some of the things will be easy to declutter. It will just make sense and there won't be a lot of feelings around it. But then there will be other things that will bring up a lot of feelings and sometimes that is unexpected (that is what happened to me this past week). So I invite you to sit with those feelings and find a way to process them. That may be journaling or talking it through with a friend. Or it could mean working through it with a neutral party such as a therapist or a declutter coach like me.

Even though the process might feel hard, the freedom after the process will be worth it.

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