Cleaning Out Dead Corners
In business, the il y a is everywhere. It accumulates in unattended spaces, anywhere we allow the life force of business to drift away.
There is. Indifference. No relational leftovers.
I would call the il y a, dead corners.
At our warehouse, dead corners collect empty styrofoam boxes, stealthy stashes of our kitchen customers’ stuff and electrical cords too entangled to be sought out for power.
In our work computers, dead corners collect unlabelled images, broken file links, and outdated spreadsheets.
In our work relationships, dead corners manifest through triangular conversations. If we could hear them for what they are, they would go something like…
I’m going to tell you my grievance instead of telling that other person my grievance… even though that other person is the person who really needs to hear it. But if I tell you instead of her then YOU might sort it out for me, which will make you feel valuable, and a bitch session will certainly make me feel better without the discomfort of a truly brave conversation.
In any business, there are endless physical, virtual and emotional corners for all this stuff to accumulate, if we let it. And in their acute darkness, the il y a gradually frays the edges of our enthusiasm, submerges our passions, and creates disorder for our work dynamics.
Fatigue, anxiety and overwhelm are the bountiful fruits of the il y a.
So let’s have a week like I’ve just had, and many more to come. Let’s sweep away the deadness. Let’s reclaim space for the living, breathing work of our businesses.
There’s no quick end to all dead corners. They need your time, your attention. This one might need a glass of wine and space enough to stand back and ponder every discarded object you find within. But this one, it just needs a brutal hand and an enormous bin. Depends on how acutely the darkness has accumulated. It took me all night to remove the old pots full of dead herbs and dried out soil from our carpark, but my garden feels lighter and more lively already.
Don’t stop at the physical stuff (I’m saying this to me as much as you). Set aside a day to archive old files, a week to befriend your time management system (again), and a month to begin all those difficult conversations.
A little warning pre clean out – don’t expect fan fare. No-one might even notice it’s gone, but no one is one person more than the il y a, and I promise, everyone will feel the brightness coming.