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Being Busy Steals Your Life Away

busy womanMost of America and many other developed nations feel that being busy is a badge of honor

We think gives us our worth.

 

I think the opposite.

I think that being busy can keep us from being who we TRULY are.

I think it gets in the way of doing the things that are the MOST important to us.

I think that WE use being busy as a way to protect ourselves from stepping out of our comfort zone into what we feel deep inside we ought to be doing — and I am not talking about all the nagging ‘shoulds’ that come from outside, but those things which we know we are ‘called’ to do.

Doing Good, or Doing the Best?

We’ve all heard the quote, “The good is the enemy of the best”. I am not saying that many of the things you are doing aren’t good things. They may even be GREAT things, but, they may not be the BEST THING for YOU at this point in your life. When busyness gets a hold of us, we become bound by our ‘shoulds’ and we cannot be at peace in our lives.
work life balance sign

So how can you be sure you are doing the right things?

Christ wants us to have life and have it abundantly. He wants us to have what is best for US. We must be in tune with Him and with our hearts to avoid this empty busyness.

Below is a list adapted from Leo Babauta’s Zen Habits. Included are links to many of his helpful tips to accomplish these things.

10 Ways to Stop being So Busy

  1. Make a list of your top 4-5 important things. What’s most important to you? What do you value most? What 4-5 things do you most want to do in your life? Simplifying starts with these priorities, as you are trying to make room in your life so you have more time for these things.  
  2. Evaluate your commitments. Look at everything you’ve got going on in your life. Everything, from work to home to civic to kids’ activities to hobbies to side businesses to other projects. Think about which of these really gives you value, which ones you love doing. Which of these are in line with the 4-5 most important things you listed above? Drop those that aren’t in line with those things. Article here.  
  3. family organizer cozi

  4. Evaluate your time. How do you spend your day? What things do you do, from the time you wake up to the time you go to sleep? Make a list, and evaluate whether they’re in line with your priorities. If not, eliminate the things that aren’t, and focus on what’s important. Redesign your day.  
  5. Simplify work tasks. Our work day is made up of an endless list of work tasks. If you simply try to knock off all the tasks on your to-do list, you’ll never get everything done, and worse yet, you’ll never get the important stuff done. Focus on the essential tasks and eliminate the rest. Read more.  
  6. Simplify home tasks. In that vein, think about all the stuff you do at home. Sometimes our home task list is just as long as our work list. And we’ll never get that done either. So focus on the most important, and try to find ways to eliminate the other tasks (automate, eliminate, delegate, or hire help).not to do
  7. Learn to say no. This is actually one of the key habits for those trying to simplify their lives. If you can’t say no, you will take on too much. Article here on how to say NO.  
  8. Limit your communications. Our lives these days are filled with a vast flow of communications: email, IM, cell phones, paper mail, Skype, Twitter, forums, and more. It can take up your whole day if you let it. Instead, put a limit on your communications: only do email at certain times of the day, for a certain number of minutes (I recommend twice a day, but do what works for you). Only do IM once a day, for a limited amount of time. Limit phone calls to certain times too. Same with any other communications. Set a schedule and stick to it.  
  9. Limit your media consumption. This tip won’t be for everyone, so if media consumption is important to you, please skip it (as with any of the other tips). However, I believe that the media in our lives — TV, radio, Internet, magazines, etc. — can come to dominate our lives. Don’t let it. Simplify your life and your information consumption by limiting it. Try a media fast.  
  10. Purge your stuff. If you can devote a weekend to purging the stuff you don’t want, it feels seriously terrific. Get boxes and trash bags for the stuff you want to donate or toss. Here’s my guide on decluttering. Here’s a post on starting small.
  11. Do what you love. Once you’ve freed up some time, be sure to spend that extra time doing things you love. Go back to your list of 4-5 important things. Do those, and nothing else. Read more.

Woman WritingIt will take time to implement these steps. They cannot be accomplished in a week, or even a month. I encourage you, however, if you find that you are not at peace with your level of busyness, that you go through this list, examine your heart, spend some time in meditation, and create an action plan for creating change in your life.

What are some things that you would like to change or possibly do away with in your life? Are there some things you would actually like to add?

 My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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…are you who you want to be?

This song by Switchfoot really shook me at the core when I was examining my life. Yes, we do have to deal with life circumstances, but there is a lot we CAN DO to change our situation!

Be sure to scroll past the video.

Please ignore the timing being off in this video.  They otherwise did an awesome job of editing and putting together the content.

 

This is your life

My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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That got your attention, didn’t it?
I don’t mean in THAT way, or actually, I guess it COULD be!

How lucky are you?

gambling luck rouletteDo you consider yourself lucky? Do good things seem to come your way?

Or do you feel as if you always have a gray rain cloud over you and you are never dealt a “good hand”?

A rabbit’s foot, a lucky charm, or determination?

I personally don’t believe in luck as some ‘magic’ force out there, waiting to ‘give’ itself to those who are ‘lucky’.

I believe we make our own luck. By changing your attitudes, behaviors and actions you can change your luck. If you see obstacles as opportunities rather than difficulties then you can turn them to your advantage.

Now, I am not talking about wishing for something. I mean, if you want to win the lottery, you’ve at least gotta buy the ticket! But that is not really the kind of luck I am talking about here. To make a change in your life for the better, you have to put forth some effort.

Luck comes down to your attitude and the actions you choose on a regular basis

We all know someone who seems to be lucky. Serendipity seems to be their best friend. Definition of serenditpityan aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident.

True ‘lucky’ people create their own serendipity. They don’t sit around and wait for luck to find them, they make things happen. Experts agree that with a few simple steps, you can significantly increase the chances of meeting your soul mate, finding the right business partner, or steering your life in a new direction. That might sound unlikely or even naive, but there’s real science to prove that while you can’t control the randomness of life, you can definitely create your own luck.

So, how can you ‘Get Lucky”?

  1. Believe that YOU can be a winner. You CAN be successful. If you can’t believe in yourself, then who will?
  2. Learn to listen to yourself. You have to be comfortable in your own skin and trust what you are feeling and thinking. Develop your intuition.
  3. Don’t be afraid to try new things. Put yourself out there. Go to different places than you would normally go. Expand your horizons.
  4. Keep your eyes and mind wide open. Learn to ‘see’ with your heart.
  5. Work on other areas of your life. Want to be successful? Learn to do the things successful people do. Create the habits of successful people. Don’t know where to begin? Darren Hardy is a great place!
  6.  Expect to take 2 steps forward and 1 step back. No one succeeds in everything they do. Thomas Edison had 1000’s of failures before his light bulb actually worked. What if he’d given up after the 10th or even 100th attempt? Figure out what did work and what didn’t, make adjustments, and then move forward!

My daughter’s story

my daughters eyesI have a personal story to relate this. My youngest daughter is 17. She has had 4 jobs so far, each one she quit because she found something better by putting herself out there. She is starting online classes next week for fashion design. She wants to work in film and/or modeling as a fashion stylist.  So far, she has had 1 or 2 parts as an extra in TV/movies.

Last week, she spent the day with her boyfriend at a fitting for an upcoming feature role he has, she learned a lot from the wardrobe person, asking a lot of questions and watching everything going on around her. She actually ended up with a part that day as well, but her goal is to “get in the door” and learn the fashion and costuming side of the business. Her boyfriend worked his way up from being an extra to being a feature, just by talking to people. Not being afraid to start conversations and express his ideas. And she will be capable of doing the same thing, and learning and making connections.

Let me just tell you, we do not live in New York or in California, so we are not near major hubs for this sort of work. We live in a country town 60 miles outside of Atlanta, so she will have to ‘find’ these opportunities. The days of filling out an application and hoping someone calls is over.

Waiting for your ship to come in?

my ship to come inIf you want something in your life, I encourage you to start looking at steps you can take to make it happen. Learn everything you can about the subject. Research opportunities that might be close to you that you can take advantage of. You can’t sit at home on your hands waiting for your ship to come in! You need to be researching online, out talking to people, and then show up at the harbor asking questions!

What actions are you taking to create your own luck?

My goal is to help as many people as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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What has our quest for more gotten us? Do we have ‘more’ than ever before, or have we ended up with less?

In America, the first 7 or so years of the decade brought a great deal of growth and wealth in our economy. Property values were appreciating, unemployment was at low rates, we were all enjoying the ‘good life’. Many went to college and got their 4 year degrees, taking out student loans looking to be repaid once they entered the workforce.

The Housing Industry Crisis

As a new mortgage officer entering the business in fall of 2006, I came in just in time to see the downfall of the housing industry. I saw people who were able to borrow and buy a house that would require a monthly payment of 60% of their PRE-TAX dollars. I saw people who were refinance ‘happy’ and eager to pull out all the cash value their house had gained, borrowing up to 100% of the value of their home. Many times, they were doing this to payoff credit card debt they had accumulated or to take a lavish vacation. After all, they could afford the monthly mortgage payment!
recession ahead

Eventually the whole chain of events began, Wall Street, layoffs, housing sales declined, and it became a vicious cycle. And people were paddling like crazy to stay above water.

In our quest for more, we put ourselves in a precarious position. Before the ‘recession’ began,  Americans were consistently spending 106% of what they earned. How is that possible, to spend more than you make? By using credit. By charging, by borrowing. It also means they were not SAVING any money. And when their jobs disappeared, they were in trouble.

recessionAlso, as housing values fell, many people were in houses with mortgages that ended up upside-down, owing more than the house was worth. Early on, banks were attempting to get homeowners to refinance at a higher riskier rate, or to come up with the ‘extra’ amount that they were over the value of the home. Even though our situation was better than most, we had a home equity line of credit that was not maxed out, thank goodness, but the bank reduced it by 20%, because they said our house value had depreciated.

recession 2

Spending, Good or Bad?

Since the recession has come and hung around longer than any of us had hoped, now Americans are spending about 96% of their income. What does this mean? We are actually spending less than we make. We are not borrowing, we are SAVING. What a unique concept.

Now, there is a delicate balance here, one I don’t completely get and I am not an economist, but evidentally Americans saving is BAD for the economy, whereas Americans spending is GOOD for the economy. The catch 22 is that saving is GOOD for the American family, and spending beyond our means contributed to this whole mess in the first place.

So, have we learned anything from the recession? I’d like to think so. I think that family’s are reassessing what is really important. A $20k minivan will work just as well as a $50k prestigious SUV.

We don’t have to have the latest and the greatest to be happy. We can take our kids to the park and run and play and bike with them. Forgoing the extravagant Disney vacation for a smaller quieter vacation close to home at a beach or lake.

family on beach

The Most Important Things in Life are FREE!

You see, the important things in life are not things after all, they are PEOPLE. They are those in our towns and communities that need someone in their life to reach out and befriend them. Relationships matter!

picnic with friendsWhen the resources are not there for buying and spending and financing expensive activities, families and couples, and groups of friends find that there are much less expensive ways of entertaining, and they usually involve human interaction. We are spending more time in our backyards, playing family games, hanging out with friends.

Shopping, which was the great American pastime for so, many has lost its glamour, as we see how unimportant ‘things’ are. Many are turning back to what our ‘original’ forms of entertainment were- spending time in nature, enjoying the beauty that God has given us, no matter what area we live, whether it is the deserts of Arizona, the beaches of Virginia, the Rockies in the west or the marshes in Florida.

Recovery?

family-going-for-walk-in-fallWe all hope and pray that the economy will turn around and pick up soon, and that people will be working again. It will take a long time for America to recover, especially the housing market. I also hope and pray that the lessons we learned during this time, that things don’t matter, but people do, will not be forgotten. That even when we have more disposable income, we don’t waste it, that we use it wisely, and that we continue to build and cherish the relationships that we have built.

Disclaimer– I know that I basically lumped all Americans together in this post. I do know that there are many who did try to do the right things. I am not throwing darts at anyone. My goal is that we ALL learn something from this mess!

If you would like to share how the recession has changed your outlook on life, and changes you have made, I would love to hear them!

My goal is to help as many women as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!

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Resources for Simple Living
Love Life not Stuff
Slow Down and Enjoy Relationships
How to Live a Better Life with Less

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computer virusOur brains have been compared to computers many times, and I even wrote a post about having too many ‘windows’ open and being on overload

We all know how destructive viruses on our computer can be and how important it is to have virus protection installed. and if you’ve ever been overrun by a virus, you know how difficult and frustrating it can be to rid your computer of it.

Protecting our mind

When it come to our minds, however, we’re not so careful to protect ourselves from the, often devastating, effects our own thoughts can have on it. The more serious of these thought viruses can lead to mental health problems such as loss of confidence, mild depression, self esteem issues, and a distorted perception of ourselves.
depressionThis has been an issue of mine recently. See, when my brain was completely overwhelmed during the time surrounding my mental meltdown, I believe it became susceptible to many harmful ‘viruses’ or thought patterns. And, because my mind was in such a fragile state, these thought patterns were able to move right in and make themselves at home!

How then do we combat these thought viruses and protect our minds in order to stay healthy mentally and physically?

The answer could be ‘thought awareness’. This is when we recognize the thoughts that could lead to a downward spiral of negative emotion resulting in mental and physical problems, in effect, viruses in our minds.  This is a technique that I have been working on, becoming aware of ‘what’ my mind is thinking and the possible reasons ‘why’.

4 Ways to to control the viruses in your mind

1. Negative self talk.

In 2 Cor. 10:5, it says: “casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ”.  We can bring our thoughts into our control by the power and knowledge of God.

When you recognize that you are talking to yourself in a negative way, recognize it for what it is; Your mind has tried to protect you from being hurt emotionally so starts talking to you in a negative way in order to protect your feelings.

For example: you want to start your own business and have a desire to work for yourself. At first you are really excited by the prospect, but immediately your mind start telling you it will be too hard, you will have to work very long hours, you will have to network, which you hate doing, you will have to do this and that and it will be way too hard.  As soon as you recognize these thoughts creeping in,take these thoughts captive, bind them, and carry on with your plans.

2. Get rid of the past.

We tend to dwell on negative events from our past in an effort to understand why they happened.  My counselor and I discussed that some things we will never understand.  We need to give ourselves permission to feel and then to put our past where it belongs, in the past. We don’t forget it, we don’t ignore it, we accept that is just ‘is’ and we move on.

3. Use affirmations to train your mind.

It is important to understand that we CAN train our mind. We can teach it what to think about. Affirmations are a great way to do this. Affirmations are positive statements that you repeat to yourself everyday to ingrain the thought into your mind as truth.

bibleAs a Christian, I believe some of the best affirmations to be found are in the Scripture

We must pray for the strength to overcome the negative thoughts, and use Scripture to replace them.
Here are a few to start with-
 
It is the Lord Who goes before you;
He will [march] with you;
He will not fail you or let you go or forsake you;
[let there be no cowardice or flinching, but] fear not,
neither become broken [in spirit–depressed,
dismayed, and unnerved with alarm].
– Deuteronomy 31:8 (AMP)

Beloved,
I pray that you may prosper in all things
and be in health,
just as your soul prospers.
-3 John 1:2 (NKJV)


ARISE [from the depression and prostration
in which circumstances have kept you
–rise to a new life]!
Shine (be radiant with the glory of the Lord),
for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.
-Isaiah 60:1 (AMP)


But God,
Who comforts and encourages and refreshes and cheers
the depressed and the sinking,
comforted and encouraged and refreshed and cheered us.
– 2 Corinthians 7:6 (AMP)


Casting the whole of your care
[all your anxieties, all your worries,
 all your concerns, once and for all]
on Him, for He cares for you affectionately
and cares about you watchfully.
– 1Peter 5:6-7 (AMP)


He heals the brokenhearted
and bandages their wounds. 
– Psalm 147:3


4. Take a leap into LIFE!

Christ came so that we can have life, and life more abundantly.  He wants us to live full lives, but many times our negative thought patterns keep us trapped within our comfort zones.   We all live in comfort zones and that’s great because they can protect us to a degree. However, comfort zones also stop us from learning about ourselves and growing as individuals.  Apathy is found within the comfort zone, abundant life is outside of it. 

It is time to step out of our comfort zones into the LIFE that is waiting for us!

leap of faith

I believe that God has something just around the corner for me! I am doing my best to learn all I can about where I ‘am’ right now, as I know it will be a stepping stone to the next great thing He has in store for me! 

What about you? Where are you in your life? Does you brain have a ‘virus’?  Do you struggle with negative thoughts?  How do you overcome them?

My goal is to help as many women as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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We watched ‘Under the Tuscan Sun’ last night

under the tuscan sunI am a bit envious of Frances’ freedom to just buy a villa in Italy. Now, granted, she got that freedom by her husband having an affair and and a nasty divorce, so I don’t envy that part! (if you have not seen it, you can watch the trailer here). She arrived there with the one suitcase she was traveling with. The ability to start afresh with no physical burdens to bear is an awesome thought.

Minimalism

There is a move in this country, and even the world, called minimalism. It has also been called voluntary simplicity. As we have achieved and acquired so much in our lives, it now feels if IT is weighing us down.

The more stuff you own, the more your stuff owns you.

As I have been journeying down the road from my mental meltdown, and working through the healing process, I have been trying to redefine who I am, what I want from this life and what I want to give back to those around me.

I know now that I do not care for this house full of stuff. (I am so glad we didn’t upsize 3 years ago!)   I grew up in a very cluttered home and have realized the clutter makes me anxious (don’t need any more anxiety!)  So I am working currently on beginning to clear some of the extra stuff from our home. I want to create some ‘white space’ around me, room to breathe and create a beautiful yet simple home for us to relax in.

The more things you commit to, the less of ‘you’ there is.

Speaking of relaxing, the minimalist movement is not just about reducing stuff, it is about creating space in your life, space for the things that are most important to you. Living life YOUR way, with balance and peace in the areas that matter the most to you.  People who live a minimal lifestyle are living intentionally. They may be involved in activities or committees, but they choose intentionally how they want to spend their time by what is important to them.

Minimalism does not look the same for everyone.

There are some who are part of the 100 item challenge, I don’t think I’ll ever be there! Maybe 1000 things?

Others reduce their belongings and purchases to leave a smaller footprint on the earth.

Myself, at this point, am at the point where I am minimalizing mentally and emotionally, to quiet the noise in my head from several years of overload. The piles of clutter around me are indicative of what is happening inside my head. 

As I begin to quiet the noise and be comfortable with who I am and see the beauty inside, I am ready to create some beauty around me. I finally feel I deserve it!

The Healing Process

As part of my healing process, I have greatly reduced the things and activities I am committed to, even my job (currently on medical leave). The majority of what I am currently involved in either has to do with taking care of my body, soul and mind (gym, doctors, and church!) or spending time with my family. These are the most important things in my life!

Eventually I will have to add back in other things, but at this time, I am enjoying gaining peace within my soul and mind. God has been gracious to come down and meet me where I am, broken and desperate, and move me towards healing.matthew 11:28 poster

What are your thoughts or experiences with simplifying your life?

My goal is to help as many women as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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Resources for minimalism and voluntary simplicity

http://zenhabits.net/

http://www.zenfamilyhabits.net/

http://www.becomingminimalist.com/

http://www.choosingvoluntarysimplicity.com/

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As I am learning to slow down and appreciate life and learn to just BE, I have come across some great resources I want to share! This blog post below is a great one to help you start to simplify your life. Leo Babauta from ZenHabits has a lot of resources. You can check one of his websites ZenHabits out here

One aside- quick personal note to post, my son’s girlfriend is in labor! We should be having our 7th grandchild, and born of all days, Labor Day, lol! We know it’s a girl, Kenley Grace, say a prayer for us today! They are young (17 & 19) so it’s a little scary!

Is life too complicated to simplify?

signs of stressSimplifying can sometimes be overwhelming. The amount of stuff you have in your life and the amount of things you have to do can be too big a mountain to tackle.

But you don’t have to simplify it all at once. Do one thing at a time, and take small steps. You’ll get there, and have fun doing it.

In fact, you can do little, but important things today to start living the simple life.

And these are not 10 difficult things, but 10 simple things that you can do today. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next month. Today. Choose one and do it today. Tomorrow, choose another.

If you do these 10 things, you’ll have made great strides with little effort.

1. Make a short list. Take out a sheet of paper and fold it into a small square, perhaps 3×5 inches. Or take out an index card. Now make a short list of the 4-5 most important things in your life. What’s most important to you? What do you value most? What 4-5 things do you most want to do in your life? Simplifying starts with these priorities, as you are trying to make room in your life so you have more time for these things.

not to do2. Drop 1 commitment. Think about all the things in your life that you’re committed to doing, and try to find one that you dread doing. Something that takes up time but doesn’t give you much value. Perhaps you’re on a team, or coaching something, or on a board or committee, or whatever. Something that you do each day or week or month that you don’t really want to do. Now take action today to drop that commitment. Call someone, send an email, telling the appropriate person or people that you just don’t have the time. You will feel relief. I’d recommend dropping all commitments that don’t contribute to your short list (from Item #1), but for today, just drop 1 commitment.

3. Purge a drawer. Or a shelf, or a countertop, or a corner of a room. Not an entire room or even an entire closet. Just one small area. You can use that small area as your base of simplicity, and then expand from there. Here’s how to purge: 1) empty everything from the drawer or shelf or corner into a pile. 2) From this pile, pick out only the most important things, the stuff you use and love. 3) Get rid of the rest. Right now. Trash it, or put it in your car to give away or donate. 4) Put the stuff you love and use back, in a neat and orderly manner.

4. Set limits. Read Haiku Productivity for more. Basically, you set limits for things you do regularly: email, RSS posts, tasks, feeds, items in your life, etc. And try to stick with the limits. Today, all you have to do is set limits for a few things in your life. Tomorrow, try to stick with them.

5. Simplify your to-do list. Take a look at your to-do list. If it’s more than 10 items long, you can probably simplify it a bit. Try to find at least a few items that can be eliminated, delegated, automated, outsourced, or ignored. Shorten the list. This is a good habit to do once a week.

6. Free up time. Simplifying your life in general is a way to free up time to do the stuff you want to do. Unfortunately, it can be hard to find time to even think about how to simplify your life. If that’s the case, free up at least 30 minutes a day for thinking about simplifying. Or alternatively, free up a weekend and think about it then. How can you free up 30 minutes a day? Just a few ideas: wake earlier, watch less TV, eat lunch at your desk, take a walk for lunch, disconnect from the Internet, do email only once today, shut off your phones, do 1 less thing each day.

clean desk7. Clear your desk. I can personally attest to the amazing feeling that a clean desk can give you. It’s such a simple thing to do, and yet it does so much for you. If your desk is covered with papers and notes and gadgets and office supplies, you might not be able to get this done today. But here are the basic steps:

     1) Clear everything off your desk and put it in a pile (either in your inbox or on the floor).

     2) Process the pile from top to bottom, one item at a time. Do not defer decisions on any item — deal with them immediately and quickly.

     3) For each item, either file it immediately, route it to someone else, trash it, or note it on your to-do list (and put it in an “action” folder). If it’s a gadget or office supply, find a place for it in your desk drawers (or get rid of it).

     4) Repeat until your pile is empty and your desk is clear. Be sure to get rid of any knick knacks. Your desk should have your computer, your inbox, perhaps a notepad, and maybe a family photo (but not many). Ahh, a clear desk!

     5) From now on, put everything in your inbox, and at least once a day, process it in the same way as above.

8. Clear out your email inbox. This has the same psychological effect as a clear desk. Is your email inbox always full of read and unread messages? That’s because you’re delaying decisions on your emails. If you have 50, let’s say, or fewer emails in your inbox, you can process them all today. If you have hundreds, you should put them in a temporary folder and get to them one chunk at a time (do 20 per day or something). Here’s how you process your inbox to empty — including emails already in your inbox, and all future incoming emails:

     1) process them top to bottom, one at a time, deciding and disposing of each one immediately.

     2) Your choices are to delete, archive, respond immediately (and archive or delete), forward (and archive or delete), or mark it with a star (or something like that) and note it on your to-do list to respond to later (and archive).

     3) Process each email like that until the inbox is empty.

     4) Each time you check your email, process to empty. Ahh, an empty inbox!

9. Move slower. We rush through the day, from one task to another, from one appointment to another, until we collapse on the couch, exhausted, at the end of the day. Instead, simplify your life by doing less (see Items 1, 4 and 5) and doing them more slowly. Eat slower, drive slower, walk slower, shower slower, work slower. Be more deliberate. Be present. This isn’t something you’re going to master today, but you can start practicing today.

10. Single-task. Instead of multi-tasking, do one thing at a time. Remove all distractions, resist any urge to check email or do some other habitual task like that while you’re doing the task at hand. Stick to that one task, until you’re done. It’ll make a huge difference in both your stress level and your productivity.

As for myself, I am in the middle of purging my book collection and selling them on Amazon. I am also working on my closet!   What specific things have you done to simplify your life?

My goal is to help as many women as possible with these issues we all deal with! Be sure to subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss any posts! If you know of someone who would benefit from the info in this post and in my blog and you would like to share with them, please click on the appropriate link below!
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