Remember The Office episode where Michael Scott declares bankruptcy?

After falling into some financial trouble, Creed tells him “bankruptcy is nature’s do-over”… so he steps into the office and clears his throat before shouting “I… DECLARE BANKRUPTCYYYYY!” 

Well, I’m doing the same thing.

I’m declaring bankruptcy.

Throughout the year I hoard emails I wanna read (I have a folder titled “Good copywriting” that is FULL of launch emails, great stories, and 9-word emails).

I have saved folders in Instagram and Facebook. One is titled “Ads I like”; the other “Trainings I need to watch”. 

As I peruse social media I’ll snag a great ad, article or video and catalog it as something that future Cody has to worry about.

I do the same with podcasts… I’ll find some obscure marketing or economics topic and download it for later.

Same with: 

… journals with the first 4 pages filled out from a conference in 2019

… sticky notes that look like I’m trying to solve some horrible crime (I’m just missing the red yarn)

… cards, flyers, mailers, magazines

… notes app is full of random ideas and musings

… Trello is overflowing with evil schemes and ideas

… my calendar is full of recurring appointments 

On and on it goes. 

By the time December rolls around I’m afraid to look in my mail sorter on the corner of my desk. 

Digitally and physically there are half-built bridges, clutter and debris everywhere.

The answer? 

Declare bankruptcy on your calendar, desk, phone and commitments. Just delete everything. It sounds scary but it is incredibly exhilarating once you get started.

And if you’re like me – once you start decluttering it’s hard to stop.

Last week we filled our entire sidewalk with donations to be picked up by the Veteran’s org in town. 

Our trash and recycling bins were overflowing with what we heartlessly discarded.

My podcast app is clear; those social folders empty. 

I even Windexed my dry-erase board in my office.

(I know what you’re thinking – why did you use Windex if it’s dry erase? GREAT QUESTION – well, you see, I had things on that board for so long that the dry erase marker turns more permanent…)

This is your permission slip to do the same.

Ruthlessly assess if those appointments on your calendar are necessary. 

Will you ever read those magazines and emails? 

Will those podcasts and audiobooks ever make it to your ear canal? 

Do those auto-shipments from Amazon really need to keep arriving as often as they do?

Declutter. Reorganize. Reprioritize. Then go crush it in 2020. 

~ Cody “Clean Slate” Burch