Friday, March 18, 2011

Clearing the clutter in your life

I hate clutter in my life. It can exist physically or emotionally. Physical clutter includes the mountain of nonsense gathered over the past months (some are years) and stacks of paid and unpaid bills on the desktop. Even my computer desktop is cluttered with pdf and word document files that are archived off to read in the future. Games shortcut that I'll never have time to complete, movies link that I'm supposed to follow up in the near future. As personal experience had shown, I never read stuff that are to be archived for the future. There are just too much information clutter present in this digital world to halt at a mere piece of information right now. Emotional clutter are just people or events that just sit there and drain your energy. You might find working for this particular person very distasteful but for whatever reasons, you still persevere. This kind of things just saps your energy and emotional reserves that at the end of the week, you feel physically and mentally drained. Emotional vampires, I call them.

After enduring these clutter for one year (I looked at the oldest set of bills - it's dated April 2010), I knew I had to clear them before I can 'free' myself. Hence, I spent the whole afternoon clearing up all the clutter that had accumulated in the past year. Bills that had been paid are thrown away. Slips of bank statements are archived neatly in a file and notices of insurance updates are slotted in the correct place. My whole desktop looks much neater now. I realised that there the tidiness of my desktop can never be perfect - it exists between a balance of chaotic and neat order. Whether it's neat or messy doesn't affect the ease in which I can find my stuff. However, if it's messy, I'll feel flustered and caged, as if I'm working and living in a heap of rubbish. I hate that feeling.

Like the Daywalker, I'll strive to cut up all my emotional vampires and physical clutter

I always clear my clutter before I embark on something big in my life. In this case, I need to clear up my life to prepare myself for the more hectic work life ahead. In the next few months until the wintry months, I doubt I'll have the time or the energy to clear my my desk. It can only be messier. I guess that indicates that I'm actually working on my desk, haha!

As for emotional clutter, I try to stay clear of people who do not value my time. It can be students (really, some of them are real emotional vampires) or just people whom I do not want to meet. I'm glad this year, I do not have a lot of emotional vampires sucking off my energy. It's most fortunate that my job allows me certain flexibility to select the people I want to work with. I'm really getting more selective these days because I realise the dangers of dragging yourself to work just to face off with these vampires.

Hmm, come to think of it, perhaps there's a third kind of clutter - financial clutter. These are financial stuff that sits there and drain your money, while cluttering up your financial life with things that you can't understand. I've a few clutter in my stock portfolio, perhaps it's time to cut up all these and lead a renewed life. Is your life full of clutter that needs to be cleared up too?


Singapore Man of Leisure said...

Ha! I not so alone after all!

I go out of my way to stay clear of people who are "negative" all the time.

Life is hard enough without them pulling me down and wasting my time by hearing their sob stories. (To close friends and family that's different. That's being there for them)

And coming to your blog gives me inspiration :)

Bumii said...

You are both lucky enough to be able to choose who to deal with. My work is to deal with clutter and manage negative people all the time. (I work in the military.) Part of my job is to inspire these ppl and at the moment, it is draining my energy.

Anonymous said...

Yes, not only beware of "negative" personalities but also those whose actions/words always seem to say, "Is there anything profits me? If not count me out."
We can try to avoid such people most of the times, but sad to say we can not avoid some people(relatives), some of the times. We try to our best to accommodate then.

la papillion said...


Haha, why do you always say that coming to my blog inspires you? I don't think I'm that inspirational.

We can try to avoid negative people, but it's not possible all the time. I guess the best we can do is to manage our emotions, haha

Hi Bumii,

Hmm, regular? I empathize with you, really. I would feel very drained at the end of each work week, party over the weekend to make up for 'loss' time and drag myself to work the coming week.

Maybe you have to ask if this is the life you really wanted..

Hi Temperament,

I agree...can't avoid, so have to manage. Either manage them or manage our reaction to them. I think the latter is easier.

I found that people who have a baggage of sad stories usually don't want to solve their problems at all. They tend to brag (if that's the right word) to everyone but not to something to change it. These kind of people are most draining, to both time and energy.

Createwealth8888 said...

Unlike physical clutter, emotional and financial clutters are damn hard to clear them.

Do you mean you are going to bite the bullets and cut losses on your losing stocks soon?

Singapore Man of Leisure said...

You're tutor yet you dare to say some of your students are...... Ha ha! That's inspirational!

There are certain things I still "dare not" say openly yet, but I will try bit by bit - like an onion (hope it won't end in tears!)?

By the way, I now understood (or I think I understand) why you have pictures in your posts. Have done the same for some of my older posts - found a use for my old travel photos!

Imitation is the best compliment. There! So don't sue me for copyright infringement!

Cheers from Athens!

PanzerGrenadier said...


Yes, toxic people can be the worst.

That's why I am thankful for my current work environment in that the people are generally positive and receptive to my ideas and directions in my team.

I used to work in an organisation where the boss liked to scream at people during team meetings. At one meeting, my staff cried in front of the boss and I vowed there and then that it was not IF but WHEN I leave the toxic organisation.

Be well and prosper. :-)

la papillion said...

Hi bro8888,

I agree that emotional and financial clutter are harder to entangle. I think they also bring about greater relief because they are so hard to entangle.

I've already cut part of my losing stocks. The rest are just there waiting for miracles to happen, or waiting for a chance to switch to another more opportune counter.


Haha, I think everyone must strive to be credible, and to be credible one must be honest.

I'm glad that I'm like the onion peeler, peeling you off layers by layers, haha :)

I include pictures in my post for 2 reasons:

1) To break up the clutter of words in my post. Usually my posts are quite long, so a picture in the middle of it breaks it up into suitable clusters of words for easier reading

2) The pictures engage the readers in another way. I believe that engaging the readers on multiple fronts will make the reading more memorable, haha :)

Thanks for commenting and encouraging me :)

Hi PG,

I've heard horror stories such as yours. I wonder why some people just cannot talk nicely. Show of power? Bad attitude?

A staff motivated by fear can be further and better motivated by respect and an innate desire to follow the leader's goal.

Glad you're out of that toxic environment. I've read that being constrained by such environment for long period of time (years) can create the stress level needed to induce health problems like cancer.