Lessons and more lessons …

21 Days to Creative Abundance makes me stop and think … a lot.

The past two days have been dedicated to cleaning up clutter and getting  rid of distractions.

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Until I cleaned up my desk, the desktop on my computer, and my emails, I never realized how much clutter surrounded me. Nor did I realize how much it slowed me down and put a damper on my creativity.

“Clutter is not just physical stuff. It’s old ideas, toxic relationships, and bad habits. Clutter is anything that does not support your better self. “       –Eleanor Brownn

How much clutter do you have in your life? Do you let the clutter of other people’s demands pull you down and keep you from your drive to create?

And distractions … let’s take a minute and think about distractions. How many times a day do you check your phone to make sure you haven’t missed a message? Or jump onto Facebook just to see what’s up?

Sure, it only takes a minute to check your emails and respond – if you only have one email. I average 65-70 emails a day in one account and well over a thousand a day in what I call my spam account. A minute per email times 65 or 70? That’s more than an hour a day spent on emails. Not to mention the interruption to the thought process you may have been in before that itch to check your emails became overpowering.

So many times we let the noise of the world distract us from our inner world, from the strength of our creativity. How can we cut out the distractions? We need a period of time each day to focus – really focus – on our creativity.

How can we make that time each day sacred? How can we become all about action and less about distraction?

One thing we can do is take our cell phone and lock it in a desk drawer. Leave it at home. I’m old enough I remember surviving in the world before the development of these electronic leashes that keep us tied to a world of distractions. We survived just fine without them.

Put a sign on the door of our workspace saying unless it involves massive quantities of blood, fire, flooding or impending death – do not disturb. Lock the door if possible. Shut out the world beyond the door and focus on the world you are creating inside. Even if it’s only for fifteen minutes a day.

We can also turn off our internet periodically or use an app like Freedom that blocks the internet.

Want to get some writing done? Use WriteRoom (for Mac) or Darkroom (for PC), an app that turns your computer into strictly a word processor – great for writers who often fall down the rabbit hole of the internet.

How many times have you sat down to write and *bam* you remember you need to research something? Does your research trail resemble mine?

I need to find out how painkillers functioned in the 19th century so I log on to the internet. Wow, look at that. Did they really dress like that? Where did they find those shoes? Did you see the story about the farmer who made shoes out of loaves of bread? Honey-butter pumpkin muffins? That recipe looks better than the one I have for homemade rolls. I wonder if I should make that for Thanksgiving. By the way, how long am I supposed to cook that turkey?

See what happened? I still don’t have a clue what kind of pain killers were used in 1864.

How do you deal with clutter and distractions? I would love to hear your suggestions in the comments below. I want one other thing from you. I want you to promise to take fifteen minutes a day, every day, and create – something, anything – just focus and create something for yourself.

I want one other thing from you. I want a promise. I want you to promise to take fifteen minutes a day, every day, and create – something, anything. Just focus and create something for yourself.

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