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  • Writer's picturealexadoman

Have you created space for the new?

It's been a while I know. Perhaps, like me you also got caught up in the pre-summer "necessity" of keeping your head down and just getting the work and all the other jobs done.

And then summer came, and also maybe like me, you've been able to slow down a little as your colleagues and hopefully you took some time off work. And also maybe like me, you're someone who got really excited about getting new pencils, pencil case and notebooks at the start of the academic year?

That new stationary gave us a sense of a new beginning. That this academic year would be different. We were older, wiser and had moved up the school food chain. Fast forward a few years (or decades) and although new pencils may no longer be necessary, and the change in years is less obvious. That doesn't mean that we can't use this natural change in seasons to help us, help ourselves.

One thing I've found very useful over the years especially at this time of year, to to clear things, make room for more of what we want by removing what we don't want or no longer need. Clearing the physical and metaphorical desktop so to speak.

Clearing things can be very useful. Throwing away or archiving documents on how to do things, gifting or repurposing work things that no longer serve us and clearing up our inbox are just some ways of showing us how we've grown and what we've learnt; and what gaps we might still have in our learning and development.

Below are some ideas that I've done and/or are completing this week to help me capitalise on this "Back to school" feeling and help me be and feel more in control and prepared.

1. Clear your desk and desktop.

Clearing out drawers, wiping surfaces and screens, adding a new plant, deleting desktop icons and shortcuts and adding a new wallpaper photo to your desktop are just some ways that we can physically help ourselves to feel clearer.

2. Check your work wardrobe.

Whether your working from the office or home, wearing something that helps you focus and feel more confident remains a useful tool. Go through your wardrobe and remove (recycle, re-purpose or gift) any clothes that you feel don't reflect the colleague and leader you want to be.

3. Confirm your boundaries.

Check in with yourself how you can help yourself be a happier and healthier work. Would setting boundaries on overtime, meeting lengths, mobile phone use and interactions with certain work colleagues help you? How? OK, so then what would you like these boundaries to look like?

September can be a very vibrant time with a large proportion of people suddenly coming back to work at the same time. Clearing things and our mental space can help us be a little more prepared, not just to get things done, but it can also help us to work in a calmer and more sustainable way, for our team, company and of course, ourselves.

Good luck with the clearing, and remember when we clear space, something always fills it. Create that space to enable those opportunities to have a chance.

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