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'Clean Sweep' Challenge for overcoming Project Paralysis

As you may have realised, I currently have 'Project Paralysis' and am suffering from the overwhelm meltdown mentioned in this article from Life Organizers. We've missed the 1st September Clean Sweep Day, but we could designate our own - I'm going for 13th October. Just the thought of it is making me feel a bit better... Anyway, here's the article.

How to Overcome Project Paralysis With a Clean Sweep Day!

Do you ever get that sinking feeling that creeps up on you in the middle of the day? That feeling of overwhelm, or maybe it's anxiety, that you have SO much on your plate and you just don't know what to do next.

A couple of weeks ago one of my clients mentioned that he had a desk full of papers but he couldn't slow down to clean them up.
I realized that it was kind of like the feeling I was having about technology. I had recently invested in a new computer which in theory is awesome. But now I had spent over fifteen hours between transferring files, loading new programs and trying to get all of my fancy "systems" to work. To top it all off, I've got this fancy Pocket PC phone that I can never seem to get working properly and a full-time affair with their technical support team is blossoming.

Clutter comes in lots of forms. On a call today, one of my clients mentioned the clutter from her friends - friends who always need her advice and ask for crazy favors. This clutter was literally causing her to feel overwhelmed and stressed, simply because of the emotional boundaries that are being pushed.

When we feel distracted by this type of clutter, we are 30 - 50% less effective on what matters most - completing our goals and making money. I've personally noticed that clutter in more than one area can take me down faster than a nasty strain of bird flu!

That's where Clean Sweep Day comes to the rescue. Clean Sweep Day is based on a coaching tool I received when I was in my coach training program. It's a great little assessment that points out the areas in which you may be causing clutter in your life with incomplete tasks, energy drains, and the overwhelming "shoulds."
A Clean Sweep Day is when you block out a day (or even four hours will do) where you have absolutely no commitments or distractions and you power through all the projects, incomplete tasks and nagging to-do's that are preventing you from performing at 100%.

Back to my technology breakdown. Of course, being a coach, I recognize the early warning signs of an overwhelm melt-down and decided to face this challenge head on! So I scheduled an entire WEEK to being a Clean Sweep Week. Yes, I had clients and meetings. But I scheduled 3 big blocks of time in my calendar, got out my trusty to-do list, prioritized everything that had to get done, and I powered through it.

The most exciting part of all wasn't even that I got so much done; it was how much better I felt at the end of the week. I felt like a super-star!!! My mind was clear, I had so much energy and my mood was ten times better. By simply getting some things wrapped up, I created more energy to get the bigger tasks done.

Now it's your turn. I invite you to join my clients in a Clean Sweep Challenge Day. Here is what you need to do. First, take a quick inventory of what needs to be done. Look for things like this:

* Paper, filing or "stuff" clutter in your office
* Projects or deliverables that you remember at 4:30 am
* Half completed ideas that you ruminate about
* Email, phone calls or letters that you have been putting off
* Bills or situations that you need to spend time resolving
* Family, friends or business situations that need a "discussion" to clear something up
* Technology challenges that cause you from being able to work properly.
* Broken items that bother you when you notice them

Then, make a list of everything that needs to be addressed and prioritize it. I recommend prioritizing based on what is most critical in the next 90 days (for additional information on high-payoff prioritization see the ULTIMATE Wealth & Success Circle High Payoff Activities audio program.)

Then on your scheduled Clean Sweep Day just start powering through! The trick is to stay focused and not answer the phone or get side-tracked with emails. You can even tell everyone in your life what you are doing - I bet they will want to join you for Clean Sweep Day too!

Now here is the best part. Imagine it's the end of your Clean Sweep Day. You have powered through a mountain of projects and you feel like a million bucks. Just see yourself sitting at your desk, smiling, knowing that everything you just accomplished has helped you clear space for more money, more focus and more time to do what's important. You feel excited and energized and ready to take on your bigger game of success!

Want to do your Clean Sweep Challenge with even more power and momentum? Join us for Clean Sweep Challenge Day. I've designated September 1 as Clean Sweep day. It's to participate and I provide all the tools to help you through the day!

(c) 2006, Success Connections. Reprints welcome so long as article and by-line are printed intact and all links made live.

Do you need a kick-start in your results? You probably need a Clean Sweep Day. Why not join Melanie Benson Strick, Success Connections, for our Clean Sweep Challenge. It's fre.e to participate, we'll provide all the tools and you could even win a prize! Visit for more information and to sign up.

Assessment for Milo

I did okay, I think...

Physical Environment 18/25: This would have been 2/25 only a couple of years ago!

Health & Emotional Balance 18/25: Hmmmm...could improve this if I gave up Coke and chocolate!!!

Money 19/25: This high score is largely due to DH, who earns a very good income and provides income and stability that I can't, during this transition I'm in at the moment. Reminded me we REALLY need a Will.

Relationships 10/25: Same with Normy, this surprised me. But I see that it's largely to do with not ensuring I express myself in my relationships and making sure my needs are met, I think.

Total Score: 65/100

Highlights some areas for me to work on!

there's a test?

I didn't read the whole thing carefully - just skimmed it. (Trying to decide if I want to take a test...)

I'm a sucker

For tests. I love things like that. Not sure how much use it was to me, but I always enjoy those things.

It's more an assessment of 'where you're at', if that makes sense...

looked, but...

Where's the test? I don't see it in this article.

Clean Sweep Assessment

Has anyone else had a go at the questionnaires? I was quite surprised at a couple of my scores:

Physical Environment 5/25 (I thought it would be lowish, but I didn't realise it would be that low! I've tolerated and got used to a lot of things I don't like about my physical environment, and the questionnaire has highlighted some of those things)

Health & Emotional Balance 14/25 Doing well on the health, but not so good on the balance. Apparently one cup of caffeine a day means I don't get to tock the 'I rarely use caffeine' box. I was also surprised to see 'I rarely eat sugar' (less than three times a week). I eat fruit nearly every day ergo I eat sugar!

Money 12/25 I'm quite pleased with this score for now. I used to be and feel very poor, and then I started ~feeling~ less poor, and I'm now beginning to actually be more financially wealthy too ('wealthy' isn't quite the right word, but 'solvent' sounds too dramatic!). I definitely feel like I'm moving in the right direction with this one.

Relationships 9/25 Now this surprised me, but the areas where I didn't tick boxes are mostly to do with friends and family (mostly neglected and/or estranged) and with communication. Some of the ones I didn't feel able to tick directly relate to my Buddhist and yoga practices that I feel I'm having trouble with! One of the monks is coming over to visit our town this month, and we've been asked what we want him to talk about, and I've already asked for practical support with these issues.

Total Score: 40/100 :O

My goodness! Not even 50%! Plenty of room for improvement there - I really like the idea of having this as a focus, and would like, if possible, to do a Clean Sweep day each month.

My main focus this month is going to be on my lowest score: Physical Environment

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clean sweep days

I realize reading this that I've created "clean sweep days" for myself periodically for years - very necessary for me. When I was an editor, there were some days that I decided to not answer the phone or check email, but just catch up on paperwork and clear off my desk. I couldn't (and can't) think straight when things pile up too much. I'd think of these times as oases - but I felt guilty about it. I always thought of it as time I was "stealing" - not a reasonable and justifiable choice. I'm naturally guilt-ridden. :P

what matters most?

on what matters most - completing our goals and making money

I think this is a great idea, though I have trouble agreeing with him/her on what matters most...

What matters most

The Clean Sweep challenge is aimed at business entrepeneurs (though I don't see why anyone else shouldn't do it) which is why I think there is the emphasis on money - no money = no business in most cases! 'Completing our goals' covers it all for me anyway.

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sounds like a great idea!

I could certainly use a day like this, at work and at home. I've just blocked my calendar at work. Guess I'll need to set some time next week for prioritizing.

Thanks for the inspiration.