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The Blog


By Todd Durkin, MA, C.S.C.S.

I want to talk about clutter. It’s time to put an end to it. Where’s your clutter? Maybe it’s in your physical environment: your clothes closet, home office, trunk of the car, kitchen pantry, etc. Or, maybe it’s in your mental or emotional environment – sometimes your mind gets cluttered with too much stuff, good and bad. Wherever your clutter is, it’s time to say see-ya and be done with it. Let me tell you why.

My good friend and mentor, Wayne Cotton, has always said, “you can’t think CLEAR with a cluttered mind and you can’t think BIG in a cluttered office.” Earlier last week, Wayne’s words were echoing in my head. I know where my clutter is (was!); it’s in my home office and my clothes closet.  So it was time for some change.

Yesterday, I just jumped in and started a MAJOR PURGE.  It was a good old-fashioned cleansing of my closet and my files.  After only a few hours, I had two garbage bags full of clothes to donate and one full of papers and files that will be shredded. It felt GREAT! I felt GREAT! By early afternoon, I was breathing easier and thinking clearer. I highly recommend it.

For those of you who keep a good handle on closets and file drawers, how’s your kitchen pantry? Talk about de-cluttering! This is one for our recent “I Dare You” campaign at Fitness Quest 10…

Check every item in your pantry and frig. If it has high fructose corn syrup, a long list of ingredients you can’t pronounce, is high in sugars or sodium, is classified as junk food or is a highly processed packaged or frozen item – it goes. Or, start a little slower by focusing only on the worst offenders – sugary cereals, “diet” foods with artificial sweeteners, candy, soda, junk food, etc. Find the bad stuff. Bag it or box it and banish it from your life! Throw away or donate unopened items to a food bank, shelter or local church. Get rid of it.

And last, but absolutely NOT least…  your mind. Because we’re not a whole lot different from our computers. When overloaded, we slow down too. When was the last time you said, “I just don’t have the energy or mental space to deal with this right now?” Maybe it’s time to de-clutter your mind. I like to start each day with 10 minutes minimum of quiet time.  This is huge for my own sanity and mental health. Try it yourself. Pick one: breath work, yoga, meditation, prayer… Spend 5-10 minutes in the morning getting “quiet time.” Or, get in a great workout. Total body conditioning in the early morning is my all-time favorite way to cleanse my mind.

In the end, it doesn’t matter if you choose quiet time or a workout, just pick one and make it happen. It’s like upgrading the hardware in your computer. Everything goes faster, smoother, and better.

Some folks need a little extra help getting started, so I contacted Diane Halfman over at Diane really knows how to clear the confusion of clutter in all aspects of life. Here are the top three practical tips she shares with her clients.

1.  De-clutter your mind! Do a simple 10-minute “mind dump” exercise. Get a blank piece of paper and write down everything on your mind till you can’t think of anything else. Take a deep breath and enjoy a peaceful moment and then circle your top 3 priorities. Now calendar exactly when you will complete each of these.

2.  De-clutter your papers! Only touch a piece of paper once and decide in that moment what needs to happen with it. Start one “to read” file for hard copies and one for online links. Toss or delete anything you haven’t read in 1-2 months.

3.  De-clutter your clothes closet! With each change of season, evaluate the previous season. Damaged? Doesn’t fit? Out of style? Purge it! Keep only what you love.

I’m seeing a theme my friend. This isn’t rocket science… these are little steps to take for a big payoff. Start today! Before you know it, just one question will remain: What could you be doing better if you were free of all the clutter in your life and could begin to think faster, clearer, and bigger? I’m off to a great start and it only took a couple of hours. The result? Huge. I feel great. My wife is happy I de-cluttered the closet and and the kids are wondering what’s in the 2 huge garbage bags we’re giving away.

Now that’s IMPACT, and with a lot less clutter! Get to it!

Peace and love,


Todd Durkin, MA, CSCS, is an internationally recognized performance coach, personal trainer and massage therapist who motivates, educates and inspires people worldwide.  He is the owner of Fitness Quest 10 in San Diego, CA, where his wonderful team of 35 focuses on personal training, massage therapy, Pilates, yoga, sports performance training and nutrition to help transform the bodies, minds and spirits of a broad clientele.  Todd trains dozens of NFL and MLB athletes. He is the head of the Under Armour Performance Training Council, serves on the Gatorade G-Fit Team, and is a featured presenter on the Perform Better educational circuit.  He is a two-time Trainer of the Year (IDEA & ACE).  Additionally, Todd provides motivational talks and programs to companies and conferences worldwide.

Men’s Health recently named his gym, Fitness Quest 10, one of the Top 10 Gyms in the US.  Todd has appeared on 60 Minutes, ESPN, NFL Network and has been featured in Sports Illustrated, USA Today, Business Week, Prevention, ESPN the Magazine, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, Men’s Journal, Stack Magazine, Self, Shape, Fitness, the NY Times and Washington Post.  Todd has authored 35 DVDs on strength and conditioning, functional fitness, massage/bodywork and business/personal growth.

His new book, The IMPACT! Body Plan, debuted in September 2010 and is a 10 Week program designed to create world-class fitness and life performance.  You can sign up for Todd’s FREE award-winning Ezine newsletter, the TD TIMES, at or

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