I’m working my way through the book SHED Your Stuff, Change Your Life by Julie Morgenstern.
SHED – (Separate the Treasures, Heave the Trash, Embrace Your Identity, Drive Yourself Forward)
When I first saw this book, I immediately thought of my “stuff,” but SHED’ing involves more than that. There are three areas where you work the SHED process…physical space, time and bad habits.
When you’re ready to examine how you use your time, you begin by identifying your roles, responsibilities, commitment and tasks. Which ones are depleting your energy rather than fueling it? After making those identifications, Julie asks you to stop and examine why you made those commitments in the first place. Her contention is that unless you understand why you assumed the roles and made the commitments, you are at risk of replacing them with others of a similar nature.
So what is your attachment to these roles and commitments? Burdensome commitments make their way onto our calendars and to-do lists in three ways:
Obsolete need – Made sense when you first took on the responsibility, but now it isn’t relevant.
Right impulse, wrong activity – It seemed like it would fulfill a meaningful need in your life, but it is draining and the wrong activity.
Insecurity – Sometimes you take on things because of your own insecurities.
Once you’ve identified your attachment to the commitment, you can better choose how to eliminate it. Julie gives you tips on how to proceed.
Delete – Cease your commitment to the task, responsibility or role altogether.
Delegate – Assign the task or responsibility (or some part of it) to someone else.
Do it (but diminish the task) – If there is no escaping the task, responsibility or role, figure out a way to do it smarter and faster.
For myself, I don’t have a lot of roles and commitments that I need to eliminate or diminish. My biggest challenge has to do with tasks I’ve set for myself. I’m reviewing my to-do list. One task my husband and I eliminated from our to-do list is mowing the grass. Neither one of us enjoyed it or wanted to do it. After years of fussing over it, we decided to hire someone to do it. It costs us money, but we decided it was worth it because it ensures that it is done regularly and nicely, and we don’t fight over it. In this instance, we delegated the task.
As with all the books I work my way through, my blog posts only touch the surface of the material that’s presented in the book. I encourage you to checkout the book if it sounds interesting.
Oops…I promised a SHED of some “meaningful treasures.” I’ll have that for next week.