We all have natural behaviors regarding the use of time and how we organize time and space.
Sometimes our styles work well for us, but when we do not understand how to work with our natural styles, we can get in our own way and impede our best intentions. Understanding what can work for us and what does not impacts the overall quality of our life.
Is ‘I should save this because it could come in handy someday’ your flagship motto? Do tools, accessories, clothes, and other objects that have either never been used, used little, or have outlived their usefulness lurk in your closets and cabinets? Storage space packed to the gills could indicate a tendency to be a SaverTM Space Style Preference. This worker bee believes that everything has a purpose and the value of things does not change over time. Flea markets and sales are like magnets to a Saver – she will find something to purchase which could be potentially useful in the future.
The joy and security she feels while accumulating things diminishes as the collections grow. Savers hold on to collections long after their value has expired, but they lack the conviction to dispose of these items. Feelings of guilt and separation cloud judgment about value. Overwhelm overcomes due to physical crowding and cost of storage. The desire to clear things out can cause anxiety because the Saver cannot distinguish value – everything is equally important. These items connect her to the past and she may be unwilling to compromise that connection. She may also feel she lacks the time to take on the task of clearing things out or be clueless about disposal or donation options.
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A Saver’s preference to ‘save everything’ can cause discord in the home or workplace. Important tools may be difficult to locate or inaccessible. Co-workers and family can become overwhelmed or stressed when they cannot locate what they need. Cluttered storage spaces and a constant chorus of “I know it’s here somewhere” create tension and confusion about priorities.
What steps can a Saver take to use her natural space style preference to reduce quantity of collections, assign value in her space, and create a more enjoyable workflow?
Flow is defined as the “natural, effortless unfolding of life in a way that moves us toward wholeness and harmony” (from The Power of Flow, Belitz and Lundstrom). The gateway to flow begins with awareness, being present in the moment, and learning to manage your inner experience.
Flow StepsTM offer simple choices to help resolve tension and restore freedom over time and space.
Here are some basic Flow Steps that can help a Saver to enhance workflow:
1. Identify what you actually use and enjoy – create a system – catalog, itemize, and label to locate easily.
2. Take time to define value on collected items and realistically decide whether the potential will ever be actualized.
3. Place donation receptacles or bags in each storage area so you can purge bit by bit rather than being overwhelmed in long purging episode.
These are just a few ways to use your natural style to create a more pleasing workflow experience.
Once you identify your dominant preferences – are you an Everything OutTM, Nothing OutTM, MinimalistTM, SaverTM, StraightenerTM, or No RulesTM? – you can begin to take steps to integrate more Flow Steps into your experience.
The Time & Space Style Inventory™ (TSSI™) evaluates your style preferences and how you arrange space, tolerate disorder, and assign value. By learning your preferences, you can make the most of your style to increase flow in your life with Flow Steps that will help you successfully manage your inner experience.
EMBRACE your natural style!
Cena Block (sanespaces.com) specializes in helping moms design work on their own terms and build smart supportive systems that create time for living. A business coach and author, Cena has collaborated with professional organizer and author Sunny Schlenger (suncoach.com) to create the Time & Space Style Inventory™ – a tool that not only identifies natural behavioral styles but also enables you to use that information to create a personalized road map to manage your time and space. Find Sunny’s new book: Flow Formula: A Guidebook to Wholeness and Harmony on Amazon.com