for Book Clubs, groups of buddies, and everyone else.
Congrats on getting New Order: A Decluttering Handbook For Creative Folks (And Everyone Else)! And thanks for reading. Here are some ways to incorporate New Order in a meaningful, lasting, and collaborative way:
- Get your friends together. Send out an Evite, a mass text, a Facebook post -- however you want to gather your tribe. If you’re already part of a book club, you're one step ahead. Suggest everyone grab a copy of New Order (and hopefully dig into it) before the appointed meetup. Make it feel like a party...yep, decluttering can be fun. Snacks (and spirits for our adult friends) are appropriate and encouraged.
- Talk about what everyone identified with the most. For instance, maybe you identify more with cleaning out your inbox than decluttering your desk. Or maybe you just can’t seem to get past the inner clutter to take that art class. Go around the room, and have everyone speak for about 1 minute each. (For some groups, it may feel right to agree that what's shared in the room stays in the room.)
- Pick 3 tasks you can do -- and be accountable to one another for. For instance, if you want to get rid of digital clutter, pick three things you can do, like unsubscribe from junk mail, archive your old emails, and start a new habit of checking social media fewer times per day. If your main hurdle is pushing past those inner voices so you can start writing that novel, you might decide to write every day for 5 days or create a new Evernote notebook for all the ideas that have been floating around your head for years. There's no right or wrong task, as long as you take action. And remember: even though there's plenty of other stuff on your task list, it'll be great practice to start with a small amount and be accountable for just that.
- Create a shareable document or digital workboard like Trello, where everyone's three tasks are listed in one place.
- Make a deadline. Decide that everyone's tasks will be completed by a certain date. 2-4 weeks is usually a good amount of time.
- Schedule check-ins or have an ongoing way to connect. Email chain, free conference call, private Facebook group, Slack -- whatever works. The best way to hold each other accountable to your tasks is to talk about what you’ve done so far, and be a supportive ear for everyone else.
- Remember you can do it for 20. If you don't feel like you have hours upon hours to spend decluttering your life, remember that that's not always necessary. Short on time? Do it for 20. Break down each task into 20 minute increments. If you end up decluttering longer than that, great -- but you're allowed to commit to only 20 minutes and enjoy the fruits of imperfect small steps.
- Celebrate! When the time's up, congratulate yourselves. (Maybe with more snacks and spirits?!) Talk about what worked for you and what didn’t. What kinds of systems did you create for yourselves? Did you try taking action for 20 minutes at a time? Do you feel you've gotten better at new habits? What’s the next thing in your life you think you can tackle? And if you didn't accomplish your exact goals, what did you learn? "Failures" often teach us great lessons to apply for next time.
- Repeat. If one round of decluttering accountability was enough for you, great. If you want to keep repeating the cycle, that's pretty awesome too.
That's about it, folks. Hope these guidelines help to make life a little better... Feel free to let me know how it's going via my Twitter or Instagram; or post photos tagging #NewOrderBook. And if your book club would like to inquire about Skype-ing with me during your meetups, kindly visit the contact page + choose the "Speaking / Workshops" option.