man with dreadlocks holding head in worry

“There isn’t any situation that isn’t made worse by worry. Worry never solves anything. Worry never prevents anything. Worry never heals anything. Worry serves only one purpose—it makes matters worse.”  ~Bob Proctor

Sounds good … but how do you stop that constant replaying of things that might happen or might NOT happen that you want to happen?

When it comes to organization and productivity, worrying about all the “what ifs” often stops people in their tracks.

They stand frozen—wishing they could move into action but stuck in the story rattling around inside their heads.

If that sounds familiar,

Try meditating.

Since we know that multitasking doesn’t exist, sitting still for a few minutes and breathing into your belly is a simple, free way to calm yourself down.

It’s not easy to count your breath AND worry.

Sitting still and meditating brings you right back to this moment and in this moment, it’s easy to check in with yourself and see that you’re actually ok.

Nothing is on fire and there is no emergency.

What a great thing to rediscover.

Once you’ve calmed yourself down, it’s easier to set the timer and move into action.

If meditation freaks you out, here’s another tool you can use:

Set an alarm for 5 minutes.

Then think through the thing you’re worrying about—what is the worst thing that could happen?

If you’re worried that you may need something again, ask yourself it the thing you’re worrying about is actually irreplaceable.

If you could find it again IF and WHEN you need it … but you haven’t needed it yet … chances are you can let it go.

If the item truly is one of kind, set it aside for now and focus on the things that are easier to replace.

Once you have some success letting other things go, you can challenge yourself with some of the more difficult items surrounding you.

The last thing I’ll suggest is this:

Sometimes our perfectionism is fueling our worrying.

Objectively speaking, if you have clutter around you, if you are not managing your time as well as you’d like to or believe you could be … it’s a little insincere to be fretting about not doing things perfectly.

Clearly the stuff that’s piled up around you isn’t perfect.

It isn’t a perfect collection of stuff, it isn’t perfectly arranged and organized—there is nothing perfect about it.

So why now, when you are finally motivated to get organized, is perfection so important?

Probably better to aim for excellence and set perfection aside. You’ll get closer to your goal and stop worrying!

For more reading about the impact of worrying and ways to stop worrying, check out these links:



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About The Author

Andrew Mellen's picture

Andrew Mellen is an organizational expert, public speaker, and the #1 best-selling author of Unstuff Your Life!

Andrew has helped tens of thousands of people worldwide to declutter and simplify their lives while regaining time for the things that matter.

A sought-after authority on organizing and productivity, Andrew's addressed audiences from The Great British Business Show to TEDx. 

Corporate clients include American Express, Genentech, NetApp, Time, Inc., and the US Depts. of Education and Homeland Security.

The media has dubbed Andrew “The Most Organized Man in America.” He writes a featured column called “Ask The Organizer” in Real Simple. In addition, he has written for and/or appeared in: The Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, America Now, The Lisa Oz Show, The Nate Berkus Show, Oprah & Friends, Martha Stewart Living Today, ABC, NBC, CBS, CW11, HGTV, DIY Network, LiveWell Network, KnowMoreTV, Better Homes & Gardens, Ladies' Home Journal, Woman's Day, Family Circle, USA Today, GQ, InStyle, All You, Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, Healthy UK, American Way, numerous trade and travel publications, and NPR.

He leads workshops and speaks internationally while maintaining a private practice working with clients ranging from Fortune 100 companies, trade associations, and non-profits to CEOs, award-winning filmmakers, and authors, as well as overwhelmed parents everywhere. 

In 2013, Andrew founded Unstuff U®, the world's first completely virtual personal organization training center, offering classes, workshops, and other online resources for businesses and individuals. 

Andrew is a member of the Experts Collective and serves on the faculty of the New York Open Center in New York City. He speaks frequently on the intersection of spirituality and organization at places including Omega Institute, San Francisco Zen Center, Tassajara, All Saints Church, JCC Manhattan, and the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment, among others.

Previously, Andrew was an award-winning playwright, actor, producer, and director and the former Artistic Director of Alice B. Theater (Seattle), DC Arts Center (Washington, DC), and Shuttle Theater Company (New York). He is a contributing author to Yes Is the Answer: (And Other Prog-Rock Tales).

Andrew lives by his motto: More Love, Less Stuff!® 

Find him on the web at

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