De Junk Your Personal and Professional Life

Do you at times feel as if you are drowning in a sea of stuff? Are you frequently stressed out because you cannot seem to get organized, no matter how hard you try? Frustrated because you find yourself always running behind in getting things done? De junking is not the same for every person. One person’s organization may be another person’s chaos. Some people like a very structured lifestyle, with every detail written down so they have a sense of control over each day, while others are more comfortable in a less controlled environment. So the best way is your own way!

Junk is defined as one thing that clutters up your life and interferes with your success, productivity and effectiveness. My definition of success is feeling positive about yourself and being productive both professionally and personally.

In this article we will review the aspects of your personal life since it’s just past the time you made your New Years resolution! Next edition will examine your professional life.

The benefits of getting either your personal or professional life organized is to focus on the things that are truly important to you. By doing this you may observe the following benefits:

  • You will have a sense of control over your life
  • You will find it easier to get things done
  • You will have less stress in your life
  • You will have time for the things you want to do, and
  • You will be more productive

When I started to do the research for this article I found some interesting studies relating to how we organize ourselves depends partially on how we process information.

Take the following test. There are no right or wrong answers; the tool will help you understand your natural tendencies. Read both of the questions and decide which one is more like you.

How Do You Think?

Do you … Do you…
Try to find new ways to look at things? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Try to find absolutes when judging issues?
Avoid looking for “right” or “wrong” answers? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Seek “Yes” or “no” justification?
Analyze ideas to determine “how”? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Analyze ideas to determine “why”?
Become concerned with change and movement 3 2 1 4 5 6 Become concerned with stability?
Make illogical jumps from one step to another? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Make logical jumps from one step to another?
Welcome intrusions of information? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Selectively choose what to consider?
Consider what is irrelevant? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Consider the relevant only?
Progress by avoiding the obvious? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Progress by using established patterns?
Avoid guarantees? 3 2 1 4 5 6 Guarantee at least minimal standards?
Total the numbers you circled: ________________
The higher the score the more likely you use the left side of your brain. Right brain people generally have a lower score.

If you scored 26-38 you equally access in processing information
If you scored between 9-25 you are right brained
If you scored between 39-54 you are left brained

Note: this is not your intelligence level but rather how you process information most of the time.


Left-brain people are usually:

  • Positive
  • Concrete
  • Analytical
  • Rational
  • Linear
  • Active
  • Explicit
  • Verbal
  • Sequential
  • Goal-oriented
Right-brain people are generally:

  • Intuitive
  • Holistic
  • Spontaneous
  • Playful
  • Emotional
  • Talkative
  • Nonverbal
  • Symbolic
  • Visual
  • Physical
  • Artistic


Equal-access people generally have a combination of attributes from both lists and move easily from using one side of the brain to the other.

You can use this information to help you de-junk your life more effectively. As you make changes, make the ones that fit your natural tendencies and build on your strengths. Don’t try to use a detailed calendar if you’re predominately a right-brain person because this will frustrate you. If you’re primarily a left-brain person, you might feel like things are out of control without a detailed calendar.

The left-brain person usually likes neat, tidy, well-organized surroundings. Right-brain people are more likely to be surrounded with chaos – piles, boxes, and even bags of information – but they can generally find things in their mess. An equal-access person can easily move between the two categories, so they have more choices in de-junking their lives. This also means it may be harder for them to settle on the things that are really important to them. For instance, an equal-access person might like a very detailed calendar like a left-brain person, but he or she also might arrange a workspace with more flair and change it more often like a right-brain person.

Remind yourself “Life is too short to be taken seriously.” Enjoy the time you have by planning the important things and saying no to things that are not important.

Tips for conquering your personal time at home.

  1. Have a family or household calendar where all major activities and dates are written down.
  2. Keep the calendar in a central location where it’s easy for everyone to see.
  3. Make appointments to handle household chores – inside and outside.
  4. Use lists – cleaning lists, grocery lists, and project lists – to stay on track.
  5. Keep supplies and tools together in moveable containers so they’re easy to find and use.
  6. Strive for balance in your life.
  7. Start now to conquer procrastination
  8. Realize everything isn’t equally important. Leave the tyranny of perfectionism behind.
  9. Schedule time to take care of yourself – spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and physically.
  10. Remember time is a precious gift – use it wisely by making choices instead of reacting to situations as they occur.

Our commitment to understanding and facilitating both organizational and individual changes is foremost.


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