Regular readers of the website may have noticed that I use the words “terrific” and “wonderful” in almost every Workspace of the Week description. I didn’t realize I did this until a co-worker pointed it out to me, and now I cringe at the sight of those words in my writing. They’re stale and lack the punch of much more descriptive choices. Terrific! Wonderful! Ugh.
The more I think about these vocabulary crutches, the more I realize I have similar crutches in other areas of my life. Some of these crutches are good — like when I need a friend to listen, I turn to the same trusted people again and again — but others aren’t so positive. In fact, most of my crutches create clutter in my life.
For example, when I am really busy at work, the first thing I cut out of my day are magazine and newspaper reading. All incoming magazines are stored in a “to read” Stockholm project case and hang out with the idea that I’ll read them when things calm down. Except, when things calm down, I have that day’s reading materials to tackle and not enough time to read two week’s worth of information. I have a project case to hold my “to read” materials, but no set plan to ever empty the case. Weeks and months pass, the box becomes jammed packed, and I end up tossing the materials straight into the recycling bin without ever looking at them. My crutch is this box, and all it does is create clutter.
Each day for the next seven days, I’m going to try to eliminate one clutter crutch from my life. I’m going to look at how the problem came to be, what is wrong with the situation, and how I can change my behavior to immediately deal with the clutter. I’m also going to try not to use the words “terrific” and “wonderful” in my writing or speech.
What clutter crutches do you have in your life? If you’re game, make a seven-day commitment with me to banish these clutter creators!
(Thanks to Michelle who writes Design Evolution for inspiring me to do something about my terrific and wonderful vocabulary!)