We have a few automatic timers in our house that turn lamps on to illuminate the early mornings and spaces where dusk turns suddenly dark. I’ve come to rely upon them, not only to light spaces, but to indicate the time since I rarely wear a watch when I’m home. Of course, one of the light bulbs went out.
Though I’d love to tell you how on top of things I always am and that I immediately put a fresh bulb in that lamp, the truth is: I didn’t. Even worse? It was the lamp at the foot of the stairs! So, every morning when I’d walk downstairs to my office, it was too dark to see without fumbling for a light switch.
And, of course, every time I found myself fumbling around, I promised myself that the next time I went upstairs, I’d get a new light bulb for it.
I hate to admit it, but this went on for weeks.
On the first day of my sabbatical, I made a list of all of those little undone tasks and on the top of that list was NEW DOWNSTAIRS LIGHT BULB. I put in a new bulb, and don’t you know, the darn thing didn’t work. I tried the lamp in other outlets – no luck.
So, now I have a lamp that has stopped working, and I’m worried about the fire hazard caused by a burned-out lamp being repeatedly turned on and off by an automatic timer. (Thankfully, JB repaired the lamp by some magic)
This is what happens when we put off those seemingly little things.
“Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.” – William James
Small issues in our homes and our cars morph into larger issues that are more costly to remedy. And it’s not just our environments, when we put off small things with our relationships and our bodies, it can also lead to just more complications in the future.
Beyond the mere fact of small things turning into really big problems, all of those undone tasks niggle at your brain and drain your attention.
Just like that light bulb.
Every time I went downstairs to my office to work, I thought about that light bulb. And on an average day, I’m in and out of my office at least three times. So, instead of heading into the office fully focused, my brain’s thoughts about the silly light bulb hijacked my attention at least fifteen times a week.
Though it may seem as if these things take only teeny-tiny infinitesimal amount of space, they pull our energy away from what matters and what’s ahead.
I’ve said it time and time again, but it doesn’t change the fact that everything in our lives either adds to our energy stores or drains them.
Our brains are at their most optimum when we allow them to use energy to focus on what we desire to create. Sure, we can all remember lots of facts, names, birthdays, and such, but we help our brain function in an optimum way by writing stuff down.
After this little light bulb incident, I realized it was time for me to stop draining my own brain and do a full-blow “Leak & Repair Inventory,” beginning with a walk-through of the house.
So, what’s a Leak & Repair Inventory? It’s a walk-through of your home – inside and out – to seek out all your Energy Leaks along with creating a prioritized plan of repairing them.
You need sacred space to live a life that feels nourishing. That means that your home should serve you as a sanctuary that adds to your energy stores, not drain them. I’ve been using the Leak & Repair Inventory process for almost a decade now and find that doing it twice a year allows me to plug the leaks before they get too severe.
Begin by walking through your home with paper in hand. As you go into each room ask yourself:
- What purpose does this room serve for me and my family?
- How do I want to feel in this room?
Now, look at your room from that perspective: feel and purpose.
- Does everything in this room have a place?
- In order to fit these two criteria, what should I discard?
- Are their repairs needed?
- Am I happy with the overall look of the room (furniture, colors, paint, etc)?
- Does it need sprucing up?
- Are there elements I would love to add?
When I first began doing this, I have to admit I felt deeply ashamed of the shape some of the areas of my home were in, but when I began the process of addressing the leaks, it allowed me to create the kind of environment I had really longed for.
Please don’t see this as a way to get lost in the shame if you’re like I was a decade ago.
Oh, and this isn’t about draining your budget nor is it designed to exhaust you with more to do. It’s simply designed to help you get a handle on what drains your environment is taking on your mind and your energy.
Once you’ve done a walk-through of your home (inside and out) you’ll wind up with a full accounting of what you’re ready to ditch, what areas need adjusting, and what other changes would make you feel loved and supported. With a plan, you can get logical about addressing your leaks as well as budgeting your time, money and energy to what’s most important.
Want to hear about a bonus I discovered through the Leak & Repair process? When I get tempted to turn to food out of boredom, I go to my list to see what leaks I can repair instead. That’s certainly a better use of my time and energy!
Cleaning up undone tasks in your home actually allows your brain to focus on what’s important.
No more trying to keep up with a mental to do list because you have a written accounting of the tasks that have priority. Best of all, cleaning up the undone things in your environment will dramatically increase your personal energy – energy that is better spent towards creating and living.
By choosing to identify all the energy leaks in your environment, you are also choosing how you want to feel. It will allow you to move forward and focus on what matters.
When you begin to take care of some of these seemingly minor issues in your environment, you’ll be amazed at the renewed vitality you have in your life.
See, it’s really true that how you do anything is how you do everything. So, when you begin to take care of the everyday things that drain you, then you’ll begin to spot the things that zap your energy in your emotional and spiritual environment as well.
Go ahead, darling. Give it a try. The only thing you have to lose is all of those uncompleted projects weighing on your mind. Besides, you deserve to focus on what really matters.
Need some help getting a handle on your Leaks?
Want to gain traction on desired repairs? Get my FREE Ebook: Optimize Your Energy: The Definitive Leak Inventory & Repair Process (available to the 30 Days to Clarity Monthly Subscribers.)