How Clutter Almost Killed My Career

I have a confession to make.

My phone is the epicenter of both my personal and professional lives. The steady stream of notifications I receive help me feel focused, informed, and prepared to take on my day.

It starts first thing in the morning. As I walk to the train station on my way to work, I check the train station’s app for delays. On the train, I’m doing little else besides catching up on emails. Then there are all of the applications I use once I get to work. Some simply take notes, while others can illustrate elaborate presentations.

And of course, just like every other person, I use my phone to pass the time. There’s nothing like a game or a few cat videos to get you through a long wait at the doctor’s office.

With my phone, my hectic life seems a lot more streamlined. When things die down, I’m never bored.

But, as Spider-Man’s Uncle Ben would say, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” Since I’ve given so much power to my phone, it’s my responsibility to keep it alive at all costs. I would spend a ton of time spreading out my phone usage so I could keep my phone alive long enough. However, sometimes the battery would just drain right before my eyes.

In an attempt to fix this, I’ve done what I’m sure many of you have. I’ve gone through pretty much every gadget money can buy. Seriously, I’ve had every power bank under the sun. These products work well at first, but they usually don’t last very long. Also, if I end up leaving the power bank at home (or the USB cord that comes with it), I’m completely out of luck.

Then there’s your average charger. With popular smartphones, knockoff chargers are absolutely everywhere, from gas stations to random clothing stores. Whenever I left my charger at home, I’d pop in and grab one for five to ten dollars. Even though these chargers work well for a couple of days, they’re cheap because they’re cheaply made. It only takes one small short-circuit to send them straight to the ever-growing pile of half-broken knockoff chargers.

I have to admit that the struggle to maintain my phone’s battery has gotten me into a few awkward situations. One of those awkward situations almost put my career in jeopardy. It changed not just how I handle my phone, but also how I handle my life.

For over a month, I had an important meeting planned with a potential client. I would stop by their office after my regular workday, and deliver the pitch of a lifetime. Everything that I needed for this was stored on my beloved phone. Notes, visual presentation, you name it. Despite my charging troubles, using my phone for the most important tasks made sense to me. With my phone, all things are possible.

But it was on this day that my latest ten-dollar charger decided to die. Where was my power bank? At home. A particularly chaotic drawer in my office also served as a charger graveyard, so I spent nearly an hour sorting through dozens of wires in an effort to find one that was going to bring my little electronic friend back to life.

I didn’t have the time to make it happen. I ended up scraping together what I could remember from my notes on napkins from a cafe nearby.

Needless to say, I didn’t land the client. “My phone died,” is never an acceptable excuse in this scenario.

As I trudged home, I couldn’t stop cursing all of those useless, low-priced cables. The clutter that had resulted from my obsession with my phone’s battery was, in the end, a barrier to productivity. Worse, it sabotaged me.

While the solution to my battery woes hadn’t yet emerged, that cluttered drawer of broken chargers was still on my mind. I knew that I had to clean up and clear out myriad messes in my life if I didn’t want to keep paying the price.

I began to rewrite my lifestyle in small ways, through more of a minimalist perspective.

Here are some highlights that ended up boosting my productivity ten-fold:

  1. I downsized my wardrobe so I would only spend a small amount of time getting ready. With that extra time in the morning, I’m able to cross small things off my to-do list and start my day right.
  2. I became more mindful of how I spent my free time. I actively choose to only spend time on activities that genuinely make me happy. My free time is now truly relaxing and helps me feel more energized throughout the work week.
  3. I began to declutter my frantic office space. I realize now that I wasted a lot of time in the office finding things I had “lost.”

On a day off, I found the answer to the problem that started it all. Why not invest in a long-term solution that merges two of my phone’s biggest necessities: a power bank and a case?

And that’s exactly what I ended up doing.

Since my case is fixed to my phone, I never forget it. But this case also happens to double my battery life – wirelessly. When I’m home, I can even wirelessly charge the power bank. I don’t even know how that happens. Magic, maybe?

Not to mention, the quality far exceeds other phone accessories we buy all of the time. No longer am I constantly buying cheap little gizmos from the gas station.

Reducing life’s clutter takes a ton of weight off of my shoulders. It’s strange that I came to this via my battery life, but like I said at the beginning, my phone finds its way to the epicenter.

Now, I’m more content living with less: less clutter, less stress, less worry. When I don’t have to stress about something as small as choosing my outfit or charging my phone, I can focus on what matters to me. Excelling in my career, exploring my creativity, and appreciating the things that I do have.

There’s nothing simpler than that.

If you’re interested in grabbing one of these wireless charging phone cases for yourself, check them out here.


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