September 25, 2023

You Can’t Think Your Way To Perfection

You can't think your way to perfection, we need plans to meet reality, in short we need action to know what works and what doesn't

---> Read Transcript

Welcome to my podcast from Chaos to Peace with Conny. I am Conny Graf and your host, and I will explore with you how a few minutes a day can keep the chaos away. And with chaos we're talking about the physical, digital, social, financial, mental, emotional and spiritual clutter that can accumulate in our life and business. In every episode, I want to make you aware how clutter is so much more than you think, how it affects your finances and how clearing your clutter leads to more time, more money and more peace. Let's go.

Well. Hello, my friend. Welcome to the podcast. How are you doing? Thank you so much for allowing me back into your ears and, if this is your first time here, a very warm welcome to you. I'm so honored you're checking out my podcast. Did you listen to last week's episode with Manuach Agarwal about artificial intelligence? Especially if you're worried or scared how AI will change our world, I encourage you to listen to Manuach and what he has to say. He has such a human approach to it and, especially at the end, he shares where he thinks this will all lead us, and it was such a beautiful statement. So go back, check it out. After listening to this episode Today, let's talk about how it's already fall here in the Northern Hemisphere and we say the days are getting shorter again.

But that's actually wrong, of course. The days are not getting shorter. The time it is daylight during the day is less, since it's getting dark earlier, but in a way, my days also have become longer again because now that it's dark earlier, I spent less time outside and have more time inside Talking about outside. I finally have a new gate to the hay area of my barn and it's such a joy and relief. The old gate was falling apart and it was also almost falling off the hinges. Now, this morning, coming over to the barn and being able to open the new gate was such a relief. We often don't realize how heavy things feel when they don't work right and, as you know, unfinished things or things needing repair. That's clutter too. Anyways, back to the shorter, or rather longer, days inside.

Because it's dark earlier outside, my focus shifted from outside work and outside things to do to inside things to do, and this is how I ended up a bit on a wild ride through PKM, personal knowledge management. It all started because I was a bit frustrated with myself that I was mostly collecting ideas, clipping away ideas into my Evernote app, but not really taking the time to organize these ideas or doing anything with them. The more cluttered my Evernote got, the less I would actually want to organize it and, as a result, all these great ideas sit there and become stale and the entire point of collecting them to begin with becomes obsolete. Right Now, the perfectionist in recovery that I am, I know I have to be careful not to miss the point. Get lost in the rabbit hole of all the different ways. People on YouTube suggest we organize our knowledge management system, our Evernote or Notion or Obsidian or whatever tool you're using, but instead we need to find a way to actually get to the, using these ideas first and doing the organizing along the way.

So this is how I came across a note I made a long time ago. I literally dug this up from deep down in my Evernote Garden of Ideas. I almost wanted to say my Evernote Grave, but no, no, let's call it Evernote Garden of Ideas. This goes to show that I'm not perfect either, and I do have some digital clutter too. Maybe this gives you some relief. Yes, I'm human and not this 100% fully clutter-free and organized person. I can relate to how you feel and what you're struggling with, because at times I struggle with it too. So I will talk about how I actually, in the end, organized my personal knowledge database in Evernote and what tools and apps I'm using for that. It turns out that sometimes, to clear clutter, you need to add something, but that's a topic for another episode because I digress.

What I wanted to share with you in this episode is the note I found which reminded me to not get caught in trying to think and plan my way to the perfect organizing system in my Evernote resources, but to take action while figuring out how to become more organized. And this lesson and wisdom came from my past self working with a client, which is awesome in a way. So here I want to share it with you. So if you are, like me, a patient perfectionist, or rather, hopefully a recovering perfectionist, but still who wants to have everything done yesterday an imperfect manner please know you might sabotage yourself with this attitude create more work for yourself, make less progress and waste some time along the way, etc. Etc. So back when I wrote this quick note, I had just come off the phone with a client of mine and from the beginning she said to me that she's a perfectionist.

When we started working together she didn't like to hear when I suggested that she can start decluttering and reorganizing her office without knowing exactly how to position all the furniture, without knowing exactly what file system to implement in the end, without knowing exactly what supplies she would need to purchase, and on and on. But she said she wanted to be 100% clear on everything before she could and would want to start. The first time she gave me this pushback was when I suggested to her that, in order to declutter her desk, she could move over the two filing cabinets and position them to the right of her desk to create an L-shape workstation. This way she would be able to move the printer and telephone on top of the filing cabinets, freeing up space on her desk. She was not sure if that would work for her and questioned me on the suggestion. I said you don't know if you're going to like it or not until you try it. But she was still not sure but promised she would think about it and possibly ask her husband to help her move the filing cabinets over. The next time, when she came to our call, she was beaming. She said she never thought this would make a difference, but that she did move over the filing cabinets and that she loves it. She says she almost feels silly now that, how she finds it so cool that when she is printing something, the paper comes out, the printer towards her and she can grab it really easy, not like before when she had to lean over to grab it and she almost fell off the chair. This small change in her office also inspired her to get a day planner and start putting her appointments and irregular work schedule into it to have it all in one place. She made room next to her phone to have the planner and she said it's perfect because now her husband is happy too, because he can come and check the planner when he's unsure if she's working that day or not, but can't ask her because she's not home or not available.

My client was also surprised that while she had to wait at the vet for some medication to be prepared for her cat, she felt motivated to declutter her car. She said I don't know what came over me, but all of a sudden I felt motivated to go through all that stuff. I was driving around in my car and clean it all up. She was very proud of herself and so she should be. This is an effect that happens when you take action.

When you take the first step, what you felt was a drag before I have to clean out my car, you all of a sudden feel inspired and motivated to do so. You start freeing yourself in all kinds of areas of your life and business. But I want to make one point to you. If you think now that all takes a lot of time and I don't have time and I need to wait until I have time, you fall again for perfectionism. It's so sneaky, you know, but there is no time in the future where you have more time. And even if there is such a time when you have more time, you most likely don't want to fill this beautiful block of free time with decluttering, but with something fun or something relaxing. So this brings me back to clearing clutter is not a one-time event but a journey, an ongoing process of tweaking, adapting and freeing yourself. I talked about this in episode 21 and 165. Go check it out for more details.

So back to my client. She was well on her way to an organized office, even without knowing what the perfect outcome will look like. She has experienced now how small steps can be fun and Energizing, and how you don't have to know everything to the last detail before you can begin. In fact, if you think you need to know everything to the last detail before you can begin, you will unfortunately Never begin, and that is sabotaging yourself. Think about it this way it's actually better if you begin without a clear idea how it all will get in place. This way, you stay open to new ideas, better ideas that you get while you are in the process.

That's what this client said to me. She said two months ago, when we talked first, I thought I knew how I wanted things and it turned out all different and I love it so much. Okay, my friend, that's it for today. I really hope you try this out. Quiet your mind that screams some stuff about you needing to know everything perfectly First and start taking action instead on one thing. Change one thing and see if you like it and then go from there. Remember what my client said two months ago when we talked first I thought I knew how I wanted things and it turned out all differently and I love it so much. Leave me a comment on social media, for example, or LinkedIn or Instagram. If you try this out and let me know what happens. Thanks for listening all the way to the end. Have a beautiful week. Talk to you next time, take good care and be safe.

If you enjoyed this podcast episode and you want to go on a journey from chaos to peace in your home office and finances, with me as your guide, opportunities to work with me one-on-one are available. Go to connecraftcom see when and why. G-r-a-f dot com to schedule your own personal clutter, to clarity check and we will see if working together is a great fit. That is connecraftcom. See you and why. G-r-a-f dot com.  

In this episode I share a bit about my frustration with myself of only collecting ideas without organizing them, and more importantly without sharing them. How I almost went down a rabbit hole about how to organize my ideas and files in Evernote, on how to restructure my PKM system (personal knowledge management)

In the process of re-organizing my Evernote I found wisdom shared from my past self when I helped a client, a (recovering) perfectionist like me, to organize her office and workspace. It made it clear again, we can't think our way to perfection, to the perfect office, the perfect system, we can't know what that is until we start.

Don't just take it from me, hear what my client has to say, how resistant she was to this idea and how surprised she was by all the positive side effects.

Two months ago when we talked first, I thought I knew how I wanted things. It turned out all different and I love it so much. ~Client Feedback

opportunities to work with me 1-1 are available. Send me an email at conny 'at' connygraf dot com or you can 

Schedule a Chaos to Peace Chat and we'll see if working together on your (financial) clutter is a great fit. 


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