The Happiness Project

Making Energy Move

29 March, 2011

If you’re wondering how to have more energy and how to get creative, I can tell you that I have more energy now than I have in a long time. You want to know my secret? I haven’t been sleeping more or drinking more coffee (in fact, I’ve been sleeping less and drinking less coffee). I have brought more energy into my life by clearing away the things in my life. This week, I have cleaned out my spice rack, pantry, refrigerator, medicine cabinets, freezer, RSS reader, and both of my email inboxes. I have also packed away about 15 boxes of things to be moved and thrown out 5 trash bags worth of things. I have put together a couple of bags of clothing for donations and thrown out old make-up. This spring cleaning has made me feel so full of energy that I don’t know what to do with myself except keep going, cleaning out unnecessary things in my life and inviting in only those which bring me joy, motivation, and happiness.

There are a few keys to doing this:

  1. Don’t Delay: Do it right now. If you have an hour or only five minutes, take some time to tackle one thing and just do it. Something you’ve been putting off forever because it seems too daunting or undesirable or something you just don’t want to deal with – like the basket by the front door or the coat closet. You’ll be surprised how great you feel after just five minutes of straightening things up.
  2. Tackle Something You Loathe: I HATE doing dishes. It’s probably my least favorite chore, even though it doesn’t take very long to do. But, if I get in the habit of doing it after each meal instead of just once each day, they don’t pile up, it takes less time and I feel great when the dishes are all clean in the rack or put away in the cupboards where they’re supposed to be.
  3. A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place: There’s a reason this is an adage. It’s because it works. If you don’t have a place for something or don’t know where to put it, let it go. Either find a place to put it and make room for it in your life, or don’t. It’s that simple. (And make sure that it goes back to this place when you’re done using it, of course.)
  4. If It Doesn’t Serve a Purpose, Lose It: If it doesn’t serve an immediate purpose, why hang on to it? Clothes that don’t fit? Worn out shoes? CD jewel cases? I got rid of them all and I feel great, like a giant weight’s been lifted off my shoulders.
  5. If It Doesn’t Have Good Energy, Why Hang On? If you got the object from an old boyfriend or girlfriend or you’re hanging onto it just because you think your mom or grandmother or grandfather would want you to have it, give it to someone else who will love it and use it. That piece of heirloom jewelry in the back of your box isn’t going to wear itself, so unless you’re going to put it on sometime soon, why not give it away? If you’ve got art supplies from an art class you never finished, donate them to a charity or a classroom that needs supplies.
  6. Inbox Zero! Do you know how awesome it feels to have ZERO unread emails? When was the last time you went through and cleaned up your entire inbox? Go through and delete anything that’s not important (important = essential to your life, livelihood, relationships or finances). Don’t bother to read unimportant emails, just delete. Once you’ve done this, look at the important emails and decide what is urgent – answer those right away. Yes, right now, even if it’s just to say “I will get you that project as soon as I’ve finished.” Now, the important, but not urgent emails, answer those. Everything that needs archiving should go into folders and anything else should be deleted.

Follow these few simple steps and you will feel the energy around you and within you start to build. It’s a great way to get rid of anything negative and invite positive change into your life. Make sure to declutter and cleanse your life often. It’s not a one-time thing, but a project that you must continue again and again. Each time you do, you’ll feel better, so do it as often as possible.

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