No matter how much clutter in my home and office stresses me out, I still think to myself, “I’ll do that later.” Then I avoid it, only to be stressed out again the next time I see it. Sound familiar?

I get it. When I’m busy, spending time decluttering is not high on my list of priorities (even less so if I think it’s going to be tedious and time-consuming).

But there’s a major drawback to avoiding the clutter – it creates unnecessary stress, which impedes focus and productivity. When my office is messy, it’s like I can feel a cloud of disorder surrounding me, which is not conducive to my best work.

Recently I’ve started using mindfulness to notice my “I’ll do that later” voice. I’ve been surprised at how often I hear it, and how it impacts my mood, stress level, and motivation!

Now, I won’t lie and say that I’ve magically become a neat freak – I haven’t (my husband will verify). But I’m more likely to stop and take care of whatever I was avoiding. I’ve noticed that it rarely takes as long as I expected, and it’s usually not that unpleasant.

I’ve also noticed that afterwards, I tend to feel:

  • less stressed at the sight of an organized space,
  • accomplished at having tidied up some area of my office/home,
  • energized to do more things that’ll make me feel equally productive,
  • lighter and like I can now focus on doing my best work, and
  • proud of myself for overcoming that little voice that encourages me to put things off!

I encourage you to take a minute to think about the last few times you’ve heard that voice. Where were you? What were you avoiding? Why were you avoiding it?

Next time you see that thing that’s been cluttering your space for way too long:

  • Listen for your “I’ll do that later” voice.
  • When you hear it, pause and think about why you’re avoiding it.
  • If you’re able to take care of it, get after it! If not, note why that is, and then try again next time.
  • Once you’re done, notice how you feel about your space and yourself.

Pro Tip: be patient with yourself as you learn to pay attention to your thoughts and how you respond to them. At first, I was a bit embarrassed at how often I avoid things once I started noticing it. The key is to not judge yourself, and to keep trying until it becomes a habit.

For more tips on decluttering to manage stress, check out this article from

Bonus Tip: pay attention to that little voice in other contexts, especially when it comes to your work. If a client matter, committee task, or another project makes you think, “I’ll do that later,” don’t ignore that! Instead, pause and consider why you feel that way. Is it because the client is difficult, the subject matter is boring, or you just have too much on your plate? Something else?

If you find yourself struggling to be productive at home or at work, shoot me a note! There might be something going on that’s hard to address on your own, and I’d love to help you work through that! 🙂

Attorney Well-being




Notice Your “I’ll do that later” Voice!

Organized table with a candle and decor behind it

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Inhale through your nose for four counts and exhale out your mouth for eight counts. When you feel stressed, come back to your breath. 

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