Tag Archives: spring cleaning

3 Spring Cleaning Principles For Busy People

Spring cleaning advice is sprouting up all over the Internet right now. Well, it is spring after all and old traditions that help rid us of winter’s gloom are very appealing. We all know that an annual deep cleaning ritual has both physical benefits — such as easier breathing and fewer bacteria; and psychological advantages — like stress reduction, better mental focus and a sense of achievement.

spring cleaning, improved productivity, productivityAnd don’t forget the environmental gains: having more space after throwing out old or broken things; finding, assessing and fixing problems; and recovering some of those objects that mysteriously vanished throughout the year.

But, honestly, who still has the time for that? To make spring cleaning more effective, efficient and tailored to your needs and values, I propose following these three principles.

1. Determine your order and cleanliness sweet spots. Most of us have different preferences when it comes to how color-coded our sock drawer should be, or whether the floors need to be clean enough to eat off of. I, for example, am very focused on tidiness while my partner is much more into hygiene. Before jumping into spring cleaning, be aware of where you stand and how much energy and time you can, and want to, dedicate to each preference.

2. Create cleaning modules of 60, 30 and 15 minutes. What held me back from doing the April rejuvenation in the past was the idea that I needed to do the cleaning in one big chunk. Eventually, I realized that a list of timed tasks (under 60 minutes each) that I can do first thing in the morning, after work or over the weekend hugely increased my productivity. Why not clean out drawers for 15 minutes after dinner? All these little accomplishments can add up to a cleaner and more organized house in a couple of weeks.

3. Only clean the areas of most impact. Doing research for this blog, I found lots of spring cleaning tips that are simply not viable when you have limited time — like dusting ceilings in every room. Instead, clean that dirty door handle that drives you crazy every time you touch it. That would probably fall into the 15-minutes module category. Why not quickly wipe a few other surfaces while you are at it? Addressing the messy and grimy hot spots in your house will be satisfying and motivating to continue on to the next cleaning module.

These are just some principles that can cut down on spring cleaning time without reducing the joy of living in a spring-fresh space. What are yours? I would love to hear your ideas. Please leave a message on the right hand side of this page.

The post also appeared on:

Huffington Post Canada

3 Ways To Productively Channel Spring’s Energy

(Also appeared on Huffington Post on March 28, 2016)

Spring is the time of renewal and high energy — a time of life bursting forth. Have you been feeling listless or restless lately? Why not fully embrace nature’s push to reinvent itself? You too can plug into the dynamism of the moment to get stronger, healthier and more productive.

Springtime, energy, productivity, 1. Immerse yourself in nature
For those of you who work in environments with recycled air and little natural light, going for a walk in green spaces or taking a hike in the woods can really energize you. Imagine taking a deep breath without choking on it and getting your heart pumping from exercise instead of anxiety.

It’s also a great way to start a workout regimen that doesn’t feel like work but rather like a stroll in the park. If you like more of a challenge: run, add some weights or use sticks. I use Nordic Walking poles in my local park. It’s surprising how many heads one can turn.

2. Eat seasonal fresh food
Fresh berries, greens and other seasonal produce are delicious offerings of spring that not only nurture the body but also the soul. If you’re unsure how to prepare or cook something irresistible and healthy for yourself or your family, the Internet offers all kinds of culinary support. From Canadian to Indian to Spanish cuisine; there are countless ways to prepare great meals with fresh food.

Another fun foodie thing to do is visit your local farmer’s market. They have made a comeback and often combine food shopping with social entertainment — including running into friends and making new ones. Why not enjoy it all?

3. Pick up a long-forgotten project
Like the beginning of a New Year, spring’s vigour can jump start an old project that has been neglected but that is still worth tackling. Want to finish that book? Start writing! Need to change jobs? This is a good time. Or maybe something around the house has been bothering you for a long time. Today is the day!

Once you have decided which goal to prioritize, make a plan. Depending on the size of your endeavour, you might need just a few minutes or a whole day to identify the steps and the sequencing of tasks. Even if you are only clear about the next thing to do, schedule the item on your daily planner and add an alarm for extra urgency. Nothing can stop you now!

Unfinished Business

The onset of spring is a powerful time for new beginnings. But what if unfinished business is blocking nature’s push? An incomplete degree, a book that is missing its last chapter or a career change that ran out of steam, can make us feel demoralized and stuck.

Ready to Go!
Ready to Go!

Here is my suggestion: instead of half-heartedly launching a new venture, use this season’s energy to finish what is hanging over your head. What would it feel like to sit back and know that you finally did it – you can move on now?

In my life coaching experience, most people in this situation are actually much further ahead than they think. Therefore, the first order of business is to list everything that still needs to be done. Next, break down each item into small doable pieces and schedule when you are going to do the work.

Your action plan works best when it is both realistic and ambitious. Also make sure you give yourself a deadline – preferably a meaningful date like your birthday or an anniversary. Finally, make a commitment to your strategy and do something on your list today. Unfinished business be gone!

If this feels too overwhelming, ask a friend you trust to help you think through it and keep you on track along the way.

Anything that has been keeping you up at night for a long time might need more systematic support. To help people in your situation, I have developed a three-month program that specifically focuses on completing unfinished business. To find out how I can get you unstuck, contact me today to set up a free informational call. It’s worth a try!