I’ve been thinking a lot about the freedom in letting go. Of things. Of attitudes. Even, in some cases, of people. If you’ve been reading the Red Carpet Way, you may know that my husband and I are planning to take Red-Carpet Learning Systems, Inc. on the road in 2021. Of course, I have always traveled with the business, but in an effort to spend more time together and experience a few adventures with each other (and our dogs!), we’re preparing to purchase an RV and live and work from it full time. We have a target date of hitting the road in April of 2021 or sooner. You can read more in my blog Red Carpet Road Trip.
As a first step, we’ve decided to immediately downsize our stuff and move out of our three-bedroom townhome and move into a (gasp!) one-bedroom apartment. Honestly, I never thought I’d be so excited to move into something so small, but I am. We figured, “we’re going to be living in a 27-foot camper, we might as well ease our way into it with a smaller apartment.” So, we’ve been getting rid of stuff and making daily trips to the trash bin and Goodwill. While there have been some challenging decisions (i.e. do I keep my wedding dress, or donate it? A huge discussion on Facebook and I decided to keep it because my adoptive daughter would like to have it), most of it has been easy and fun. It’s amazing how much JUNK we keep to clutter up our lives. There is a sense of freedom in the releasing of it.
It’s got me thinking about some of what we could let go of in the workplace. I came up with at least 5 things it might be helpful to release. I’d love it if you comment below and let me know what you think it’s time to release and let go of at work.
5 Ways to Gain Freedom by Letting Go At Work
1. Old Files, Records, and Paper. Thought I’d start with something tangible. There are financial records that must be kept for a number of years, of course, but think about all of those documents in file cabinets that we haven’t looked at for years. As I prepare to move into the new Red Carpet Office, I poured through every file I had taking up space in 4 file cabinets (four!!!) and some in our attic. There were folders from clients we had in 2002!! Even a few from 1999, when I started my business. While I love the memories and the lessons that came with them, I am no longer working with those companies and I want to make room for our current customers as well as new ones. So into the shredder, those documents went. I went from four file cabinets to one two-drawer cabinet with room to spare. That’s a lot of paper I did not need to have. What “stuff” is cluttering up your office?
2. The Way We’ve Always Done It. We’ve all heard it before and we’ve probably said it before. Change, however, is not only inevitable, but it’s also necessary. If we want our organizations to stay current, and be relevant as times and trends change, then we’ve got to let go of “the way we’ve always done it” and embrace new ways of thinking, doing and being.
3. Policies and Procedures that no longer serve our customers and/or our team. Speaking of “the way we’ve always done it,” it may be time to visit some of your policies and procedures. You know the ones. The ones that were developed years and years ago for a reason that no longer exists. The ones that keep you saying “we can’t because our policy is…” even though you can’t remember why that’s your policy. The ones that keep you rolling out the red tape instead of the red carpet. Got policies like that? Let them go!!
4. Complaining. What we focus on grows. Continue to complain about being short-staffed, or having too much work, or not being able to find good people, etc., etc., etc. and that will be your entire experience. I’m not saying these aren’t issues to be dealt with, but I am saying that chronically complaining about these things doesn’t help the situation. Refrain from complaining and instead, practice gratitude. Instead of saying “we can’t because,” ask “how could we?”
5. Occasionally, People. I know. That doesn’t sound very red carpet. However, there are those people who would be better served elsewhere. I’m talking about customers and team members. If you’ve tried everything and they are causing more pain than they are worth, help them find happiness elsewhere by letting them go.
What about you? Let’s keep the ideas coming. Comment below and let me know what you think could be on the “letting go” list in the workplace.
Donna Cutting is the Founder & CEO of Red-Carpet Learning Systems and the author of 2 books on the topic of customer service including 501 Ways to Roll Out the Red Carpet for Your Customers.