Pat Katz Pat Katz




PAUSE – 20.02 – Is It Time To Sift And Shift?

Reflection: I recently tried to wedge another folder into an overflowing filing cabinet and realized I had once again hit that point that calls for action. I took the time to cull completed projects from the office file drawers, and once again there was plenty of room for current and future projects.

I’ve had this kind of experience before. Maybe you have, too.

A calendar that was once manageable is now so crowded with new project commitments that the everyday essentials are squeezed for attention. Time to sift and shift.

The fridge and freezer are plenty big enough until they’re all stocked up for an extended family gathering. In the days that follow the event, it’s challenging to find anything in the midst of everything. Time to sift and shift.

The front hall closet works just fine until you to stuff the parkas and extra winter gear (mitts, hats, scarves, boots) along side the warm weather collection of light jackets and sandals. Time to sift and shift.

The trunk of the car has plenty of room until you try to haul the spring purchases for the garden in a space that’s still loaded with winter survival gear, snow scrapers and shovels. Time to sift and shift.

What’s common to all these situations is that we don’t need a bigger container – whether that be a file cabinet, calendar, refrigerator, house or vehicle. We just need to think and act differently.


Action: The ‘Sift and Shift’ strategy applies to both possessions and priorities. What’s most challenging is recognizing that we’ve reached an overload or overlap or out-of-date situation. Some of those conditions are easy to see. Others sneak up on us.

When we’re at those points of transition, we need to deal with them directly.  Something has to give and something has to go.

Applying ‘Sift And Shift’ to the physical arenas of life – cabinets and closets – is one way to better prepare ourselves to deal with those less tangible and more challenging arenas of life – people, priorities and projects.

Look around. What do you see that could benefit from a little sifting and shifting in your world?


Quotes Of The Week: Transitions in life can offer opportunities for discovery. – Robbie Shell

Times of transition are strenuous but I love them. They are an opportunity to purge, rethink priorities, and be intentional about new habits. We can make our new normal any way we want. Kristin Armstrong

When you are transitioning to a new season of life, the people and situations that no longer fit you will fall away. – Mandy Hale

Everything comes to pass, nothing comes to stay. – Matthew Flickstein

If you gaze at the clouds, close your eyes for five minutes, then re-open them and the clouds are different, you don’t freak out about it. So, why do you worry when things shift and change in your life? New day, new sky, every moment too. – Terri Guilllemets


Resources Of The Week: This is an interesting Harvard Business Review article by Avivah Wittenberg-Cox: Learn To Get Better At Transitions.

For the physical stuff of life, 10 Creative Decluttering Tips by Joshua Becker

Here’s a link to a classic gem that offers a guide through change: Bridges’ Transition Model


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Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines

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