3 Types Of Work Clutter To Let Go To Enjoy Work More

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There is this phenomenon in my house. As much as we try to keep the space orderly and minimalistic, the clutter keeps coming back in. It requires frequent and intentional decluttering just to keep at the same level of complexity.

I realize that the same happens with what we do in our business. Clutter creeps in.

I have identified three types of work clutter:

 

Habit Clutter

What used to be a dream client, project, associate, or process may not feel aligned anymore. We may have kept adding new projects without letting old ones go.

Legacy systems, teams, or products that nobody bothered to update to the current needs. It requires effort and energy to streamline our business and keep it lean. We need to go against inertia and the status quo.  

 

Ego Clutter

We may keep a client because of their brand.

We might be pursuing a milestone as a vanity metric rather than because we really want it.

We might have launched a product that is not going well, but we are afraid to admit that we made a mistake, so we escalate our commitment (hello, sunk cost fallacy!).

 

Fear Clutter

Fear can take many forms. Sometimes it is monetary. We can take on not aligned projects or clients for financial safety.

Often, the fear is interpersonal. We are afraid of burning bridges. Disappointing other people. Having a difficult conversation.

What if we let go of this thing and we regret it? What if no other opportunities come?

We often hope that the not aligned thing will go away on its own. Or that the project we took on just for the money will not suck our soul and drain our energy so much that we won’t be able to do the fun stuff.

 

Conclusion

Keeping work clutter out of habit, ego, or fear sabotages our work satisfaction and success.

Letting go of things does not mean we are not grateful for them. It does not mean that we were mistaken to keep them for so long. It simply means that now is the right time to let go. To make space for more cool stuff to come in.

 

For reflection

What do you need to let go of in your business? Go through this list

  • Clients
  • Projects
  • Products
  • Employees
  • Partners and Vendors
  • Activities

Don’t approach this exercise rationally. Trust your intuition. As Marie Kondo says, feel the item and see if it sparks joy. If not, it needs to go.

A pilot needs to do small and constant alignments to the plane; otherwise, it will shift and end up in a completely different destination. We need to do the same as business leaders. Re-align. Streamline. Let go.

 

Download my free guide about How To Let Go Of Everything That Does Not Align With Your Vision.

Discover how to:
Identify what to let go of first.
Choose one of the 7 strategies to let go with grace and without burning any bridges.
Ensure unwanted activities do not creep back in.

Link here.

 

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Picture of Caterina Kostoula

Caterina Kostoula

Caterina Kostoula is an executive coach and founder of The Leaderpath.

Her mission is to coach pioneering leaders for impact and fulfilment.

She has worked as a Global Business Leader at Google where she was
also a 5-star rated internal coach. She has coached leaders and teams from Google, Amazon, Stripe and Workable, as well as a number of startups.

Caterina teaches the popular Life Vision Programme at INSEAD Business School.

Her work has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company and Thrive Global. Her best-selling book, “Hold Successful Meetings”, was published by Penguin in 2021. Her TEDx talk is called “Do your goals prevent your success?”

Education

– MSc in Executive Coaching from Ashridge Business School (EMCC-accredited)

– INSEAD MBA

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3 Types Of Work Clutter To Let Go To Enjoy Work More

There is this phenomenon in my house. As much as we try to keep the space orderly and minimalistic, the clutter keeps coming back in. It requires frequent and intentional decluttering just to keep at the same level of complexity.

I realize that the same happens with what we do in our business. Clutter creeps in.

I have identified three types of work clutter:

 

Habit Clutter

What used to be a dream client, project, associate, or process may not feel aligned anymore. We may have kept adding new projects without letting old ones go.

Legacy systems, teams, or products that nobody bothered to update to the current needs. It requires effort and energy to streamline our business and keep it lean. We need to go against inertia and the status quo.  

 

Ego Clutter

We may keep a client because of their brand.

We might be pursuing a milestone as a vanity metric rather than because we really want it.

We might have launched a product that is not going well, but we are afraid to admit that we made a mistake, so we escalate our commitment (hello, sunk cost fallacy!).

 

Fear Clutter

Fear can take many forms. Sometimes it is monetary. We can take on not aligned projects or clients for financial safety.

Often, the fear is interpersonal. We are afraid of burning bridges. Disappointing other people. Having a difficult conversation.

What if we let go of this thing and we regret it? What if no other opportunities come?

We often hope that the not aligned thing will go away on its own. Or that the project we took on just for the money will not suck our soul and drain our energy so much that we won’t be able to do the fun stuff.

 

Conclusion

Keeping work clutter out of habit, ego, or fear sabotages our work satisfaction and success.

Letting go of things does not mean we are not grateful for them. It does not mean that we were mistaken to keep them for so long. It simply means that now is the right time to let go. To make space for more cool stuff to come in.

 

For reflection

What do you need to let go of in your business? Go through this list

  • Clients
  • Projects
  • Products
  • Employees
  • Partners and Vendors
  • Activities

Don’t approach this exercise rationally. Trust your intuition. As Marie Kondo says, feel the item and see if it sparks joy. If not, it needs to go.

A pilot needs to do small and constant alignments to the plane; otherwise, it will shift and end up in a completely different destination. We need to do the same as business leaders. Re-align. Streamline. Let go.

 

Download my free guide about How To Let Go Of Everything That Does Not Align With Your Vision.

Discover how to:
Identify what to let go of first.
Choose one of the 7 strategies to let go with grace and without burning any bridges.
Ensure unwanted activities do not creep back in.

Link here.