Is your workspace actually distracting you from what you want to do?

Back to Gentle Power Services

RETURN TO FLOW: Soulful and sensible makeover for that!

 

How often does it happen that you’re trying to work and the messy stuff around you is irritating you instead? Some days it can be hard to enter the space when it’s overwhelming.

So subconsciously, guiltily, you find reasons not to. The kitchen sink really needs scrubbing all of a sudden and there are all the notifications to click off as you take extra long in the toilet and then oops! it’s time for coffee…

Or you brace yourself, enter and knuckle down, not looking, not feeling anything… disconnected.

If you checked in with yourself, you’d notice that you feel affected by the cacophony around you.

You’d see that the space is affecting your breathing, your thinking, your output.

You’d remember how good you feel and think in a hired accommodation where there’s minimum stuff in the room and the surfaces are wonderfully clear.

How your workspace is set up matters.

We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.”

Lao Tzu

Clear, cared for space helps you to think and work well.

Overfilled, untidy space distracts and overwhelms.

You know that.

You know how draining it is when you have to look for stuff first before you can tackle a task.

You know it costs you energy to see incoming papers piling up on all available surfaces because it’s too overwhelming to decide where to store them.

You know you’ve got lots of materials for your projects but if you need something today, you won’t be able to locate it and will have to recreate it, rebuy it or give up.

So you know that it would make a huge difference to prune and organise your stuff but the prospect seems daunting.

And yet people (my clients for example) have done it and have breathed and worked easier since.

With a bit of encouragement and guidance, you CAN turn things around. In a day or two!

Let me help you set things up so that your workspace feels good and stays feeling good.

It’s much easier than you think!

You may be thinking: “You haven’t seen my space! It would take ages”. Or perhaps, “I wouldn’t want anybody to see the mess”.

I know what you mean as I grew up amidst a lot of shaming for being untidy. Nobody wants to be seen (and judged!) when they are struggling with their stuff.

However, I understand that mess creates itself where people are busy and live/work with a volume of stuff that can’t be managed easily. It’s inevitable. Nobody can handle what’s too much for their capacity.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that where there’s support to declutter and set the environment up with care, it’s an inspiring and energising process. Because we won’t be just tidying. We’ll be making a permanent, positive change to your work flow.

What kind of improvements are possible?

Of course every makeover is unique, depending on the client’s priorities but you can get an idea of what’s possible from a 2 day makeover I championed for Steve, an eco entrepreneur in Wales:

“BEFORE” the makeover:

The whole area felt “heavy” to the client who had to ignore the feeling in order to get on with work.

– it seemed “impossible” to do anything about (other people’s needs pulled attention instead)

– only 1/3 of the space was being used in daily work rhythms, the majority of space was occupied by stuff to sort through “one day”

– there was no space left to continue  putting things “where I like”

– if a specific document was needed, client had to search through piles of stuff (“could be anywhere”)

– it was hard to see what important documents or  tasks were being buried in the piles of stuff

– it was impossible to clean around the area without making things even harder to find

“AFTER” the makeover:

Bagfuls of stuff left this area and went to be recycled, reused elsewhere and gifted forward.

+ we removed lots of outdated documents (into recycling)

+ we freecycled 2 boxes of no longer used “gadgets”

+ we replaced tatty-looking containers with wooden IKEA boxes that were already in the house (the client loves natural materials)

+ we sorted through the remaining objects and labelled them into easy categories that mirrored the client’s way of working in the space

+ we cleaned everything so it felt and looked good

+ we placed personally meaningful, uplifting objects in the line of vision at the desk (favourite family photo and a precious vase)

Afterwards, Steve emailed this appreciation:

screen-shot-2016-11-18-at-22-18-21You have been in my mind for the past week or so since leaving me with a massively different environment. I send you great gratitude for your work here, supporting me and making my space lovely! I need you to know that I really appreciate the effort you made and recognise the time and love which shows everywhere here – it’s fab!!”

 

Who is this makeover for?

You will love this service if:

+ You often feel overwhelmed or stuck as you’re trying to work.
+ You’re self-employed, working from home, and need inspiration.
+ You are facing a work life change and need to make room for the new.
+ You’re a caring or creative soul who struggles to organise their stuff (but you want to, for the sake of sanity and flow).
+ You long for work rhythms that work for you and bring through your best.
+ You care for the planet and for your resources. As much as possible, you’d like to use what you have already and repair/revamp what’s well loved but needs a bit of TLC.

You won’t want this service if:

– You have high tolerance or inertia when it comes to mess.

– You’d like to feel better as you work but don’t have 1-2 days to make it happen.

– You have 1-2 days but would prefer to declutter yourself (See “Godby With You” service instead).

– You’d like to have a happy workspace but you’re not wanting to change or move anything and prefer to stick with the devil you know for now.

– You’d like a makeover but only new stuff or new office would satisfy you.

 

What are the steps in the process?

If you solved sliding puzzles as a child, you’ve already experienced the key principle of bringing order out of chaos.

Decluttering and organsing a room is similar to sliding puzzles in that you keep the end result in mind as you move things around. Until there’s that click of recognition: “That’s it!”

Like with a sliding puzzle, it all starts with clearing the first box (e.g a shelf or another container) so you have space to maneuver. I’ll help you to create that space and with all other steps!

Do you want a reminder of how a slide puzzle works? Go on and experience that click of satisfaction at the end!

Can you really do it?

If you did the puzzle, you may have experienced a moment or two when it got a bit discouraging.

That’s why most people don’t tackle things that could be changed: they anticipate the overwhelm that will beat them and the double disappointment they would feel then.

But things go much easier with an experienced companion.

Imagine tackling the slide puzzle after I gave you a refresher on solving such puzzles and we practised solving them together.

Imagine  having championing as you play so that even if you have a moment of doubt, someone believes in you until you believe in you and you see the next step you can take.

The question is not IF you can improve your heavy workspace. It’s only a matter of having sufficient support.

With support you can set it up so it really works for you, holds you, inspires your best effort.

With this makeover, support you will have a plenty.

I’ve broken down the process into small, very doable steps.

I’ll be with you at every turn, with elbow grease, empathy and expertise.

We’ll discuss and decide everything together.

Whatever is needed, we’ll face it and tackle it together.

How long will it take?

Again, the process depends on the client’s particulars. Understandably, the bigger the space (or the mess), the longer will be needed. We will agree the times and duration for the process after I’ve seen the space and we’ve clarified your priorities.

Most office areas can be transformed in 1-2 days (i.e. up to 16 hours) where both of us are on the scene, making decisions, sorting and rearranging the space accordingly.

I have ways to do more than seems possible in the time available.

For example, I can pre-sort things much more quickly than you could because I don’t have emotional attachment of the owner.

Then, I invite you to view what you have in a particular pre-sorted category of things and make decisions. You’ll find it easier to know how much stuff to keep and what to keep, once you’ve got a clear overview of what’s actually there.

 

What’s the effort and the cost involved?

On my side, you have my mind, heart, experience and muscles for the duration of the process, i.e. 8-16 hours.

I’ll assess your needs and help you clarify your priorities and your vision at the start. I’ll be with you every step of the way: help you decide what to do and make things happen. I’ll also assist with emotional support and practical issues, whatever comes up.

My fee is £20 per hour which is reduced to £18.75 where four or more hours are booked as a block on the same day (e.g 4 work hours=£75 and 8 hours=£150).

On your side, you’ll need to be available for the duration because it’s your space and because my makeover is a partner process. It’s not something I do to your space, it’s something I make happen in your space together with you.

I’ll be making the lion share of the effort but working in collaboration with you.

You’ll need to keep clarifying what’s important and helpful for you and to make decisions. I’ll ask you to help me shift stuff too, for example things that are heavy or things that you can sort through more quickly as the owner.

 

What does your makeover cover?

Dorota did an AMAZING job with us on our house – went from outbuilding-clutter nightmare to rooms that are decluttered and sorted in easy to use and find storage system.” Penny

Essentially, there are five stages in my decluttering/makeover process:

We’ll identify the problem areas (what YOU experience as a problem) and your needs and priorities in turning those around.

 

We’ll create the first clear space, the empty tile in the sliding puzzle as it were, so that it’s possible to start moving things towards the new order.

We’ll do it by finding and clearing the first shelf, drawer or box that has things that are easy to shed or relocate. It will become obvious once we talk about it and look around.

 

We’ll assemble like with like and then decide what to keep in each category. (We’ll move things on in ways that you find satisfying and that are kind to others).

 

We’ll clean the storage areas/containers and arrange them and the remaining stuff in a user-friendly way.

 

We’ll arrange the space in a way that looks and feels lovely, adding your personal touch, highlighting what you find especially uplifting  (e.g a particular photo, plant, picture or ornament)

 

How to get going to transform YOUR workspace

Your next step is to book a free call with me to get a quote for your particular workspace.

It will give us a chance to clarify your priorities and my way of working. It will also give you space to get empathy for how your workspace is affecting you and how you’d like to feel instead.

You can book that call right away, using this simple online scheduler: