Overwhelmed? Look at Your Life With Fresh Eyes – The Eyes of a Stranger, Really

Open eyesIn The Organizing Sourcebook: 9 Strategies for Simplifying Your Life, Kathy Waddill shares the concept of looking at someone’s home ‘through the eyes of a stranger.’ The purpose of doing this is to allow a professional organizer to learn about (and then better be able to assist) the person who wanted to be more organized. I want us to take this concept and apply it toward becoming “just whelmed.”

  • If someone who didn’t know you (i.e., a stranger) looked at your planner right now, what would s/he deduce?
  • If a stranger looked at your desk right now, what would s/he determine?
  • If a person you’ve never met before looked at your office, classroom, lab space right now, what would s/he know about you just from this observation?
  • If an individual (or a group!) whom you didn’t know watched you for an entire day, what would be revealed by your actions and interactions?

Take a look at the list below. Write down these various points and then answer the question, “What might a stranger know about you from…”

  • Your schedule?
  • Your relationships?
  • Your planning?
  • Your work space?
  • Your computer?
  • Your email?
  • Your weekends?
  • Your ‘you’ time?
  • Your __________

Remember, you are looking through a stranger’s eyes, not your own, when you answer these questions.

Did You Learn Anything from This Exercise?

This is an incredibly powerful exercise, if you use it. It’s not an easy one, but getting to a place where you are “just whelmed” isn’t necessarily easy either. I truly want you to take (make) the time you need to use the prompts listed above. What would someone, who didn’t know you, had never met you, didn’t lead your life or a life like yours… Know from just observing?

Do You Like What the “Stranger” Would See?

Essentially all of us have blind spots and it takes looking through someone else’s eyes to “see” those blind spots. Sometimes, of course, it’s someone’s children that provide the big “A-Ha! Other times it’s a, uh, discussion (!?) with one’s partner or spouse the gives you the insight.

Let’s just imagine that there are one or more messages that a stranger would give you about your time, values, focus, etc. that didn’t quite match the life, values, priorities, etc. that you want to be living and demonstrating… What are those messages?

What is the one thing you can do today that would help you get closer in alignment with what you envision for yourself, your life, your family, your career? Just making one small change can start to make the difference.
Keeping Life Simpler & Easier - perspective scaled


If you liked the tips and suggestions in this article you may be interested in the Get a Plan! Guides®All of the Get a Plan! Guides® will give you the ideas and inspiration to do your work easier, faster, and in a more focused fashion – so that you can accomplish your goals more smoothly, i.e., peacefully, productively, and predictably.  The Get a Plan! Guide® to Keeping Life a Little Simpler and a Little Easier is just one of the many guides available.  I want you to have a plan so it’s smart to consult one of the Get a Plan! Guides® for your writing, your distractions, your networking, your procrastination, or any of the other topics that are currently available.  Please know that I am interested in your suggestions, too!!  Send them along!

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