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Linda Samuels, CPO-CD®

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Time Took Care Of

Time Took Care ofOne of my favorite concepts to share is letting go of a something (most frequently paper) because time took care of it. When working with clients, this call to action often becomes the go to phrase for deciding a thing's relevance.

Particularly with old piles of paper, many pieces can quickly be released using this concept. Because time has passed, the item on the paper expired, the event happened, the opportunity to take action isn't available, or it's no longer of interest. When organizing, those papers are easily identified, and usually with great delight and a sense of humor, my clients allow them to exit as they say, “Time took care of.”

It occurred to me that while time took care of  is one of my paper management strategies, the idea is also useful in other situations. For instance, normally I write my blog posts over the weekend or on Mondays so that they're ready to share on Tuesday mornings. However, this particular week, I didn't stick to my plan. I got mad at myself for deviating, and then realized how pointless that was. Time took care of that particular deadline. There was no going back, only forward. So here I am with you, posting later than I’d planned. I've let go of being annoyed with myself over what I didn’t do on time. That no longer matters. I’ve moved ahead to be here now.

Another scenario is with clothing. Perhaps you purchased something, decided to return it, never got to that errand, and now it's too late to return or exchange. Or maybe you bought something for your kid, they never wore it, and they've outgrown that size. What do you say? “Time took care of!” Instead of holding onto something that you don't want or doesn't fit (along with the guilt,) let them go. Donate. Give to a friend. Release yourself from thoughts about what you didn't do.

I know that there are many things you did do. Stop to acknowledge those. Don't waste your time with guilt over what time took care of. Let go. Move on. Focus on now.

What are you ready to let go of? What has time taken care of? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Come join the conversation.

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Reader Comments (8)

What a powerful perspective for ourselves and our clients. Truly not only the awareness but the acceptance that time passed and it is now beyond the usefulness of an item, a paper or an action makes it easier to let go.

Especially with clothes, clients are reluctant to let go. But in the last few years, even classic clothing can be past its prime. The consignment shop I bring items to no longer takes pleated dress pants because of this!

June 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEllen Delap

Linda, that's a great phrase to express that concept!

June 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSharon Lowenheim

This puts a positive spin on something I've always associated with procrastination: If you wait long enough, the need to do it will pass. Ideally, I suppose we should make a conscious decision whether or not to do something or keep something, but when we don't, this is a great way to think of it.

June 5, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJanet Barclay

Great to "hear" your wonderful voices!

@Ellen- This little phrase IS powerful. It gives us permission to let go and remove the guilt. The humor aspect helps too.

@Sharon- Glad you like the phrase. Hope it comes in handy for you and your clients.

@Janet- The reality is that there will always be those things that don't get done. Perhaps it's because of procrastination or other priorities that happen instead. We're human and life gets busy. And frankly, "ALL" isn't possible. So having a phrase, like "time took care of" to release us from guilt and enable us to move ahead is valuable.

June 5, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

This is especially timely today, as I booked a client dealing with the death of her husband and son. Never easy.

Thanks, Linda. I always enjoy your blog.

June 7, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAlys Milner

Alys- I can only imagine what a difficult time this is for your client between grieving and letting go. She is lucky to have you with her as a support.

Thank you for your kind words about the blog. I'm glad this particular post came at the right time.

June 7, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

So often we beat ourselves up for lettings things slide through the cracks. This phrase removes that blame.

Thank you for sharing. I'll definitely be passing this along and crediting you, Linda!

June 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStacey Vulakh

Stacey- Great to "hear" your voice. I really enjoyed our phone conversation last month.

We can be awfully good at self blame and beating ourselves up for what we didn't do. And while it's certainly beneficial to set goals and take steps towards them, as we know, there are times when ALL just isn't possible. Then there are other times when what we thought was important to do, no longer is.

And yes..."time took care of" brings in some humor and humanity. Glad you like it as a useful concept to use and share.

June 11, 2013 | Registered CommenterLinda Samuels

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