Free Up Your Life
Have you noticed how easy it is to fill your day with things which often don’t add value to your life?
Here are some tips to free yourself of them.
1. Don’t overuse technology. Avoid maintaining complicated systems when a simple piece of paper or an excel document would do. Use a text instead of an email, pick up the phone and remember to automate everything you can!
2. Streamline your social networking. Most social networking sites allow you to change the settings so you only receive updates daily, weekly or not at all (if you prefer to choose when you do this). There are also Apps (like Hootsuite) which let you update all your social networking sites at once – just make sure the style of your posts suits all social networking platforms.
3. Reduce your commitments and concentrate on what’s important. If you’re involved in something which has become more of a burden recently, then it’s time to consider whether you continue it. Maybe you could be doing something else you’d enjoy or simply spend that extra time with your family?
4. Pay attention to the little things. The little tasks can often be the most time consuming so finding more effective ways to manage them makes good sense. For example, how much time do you spend managing emails, finding information, processing paperwork or even doing the shopping?
5. Get rid of the physical clutter. If you haven’t used something in the last year, then you probably won’t use it in the coming year. Donate it, sell it, recycle it or throw it out. This also applies to that information you’ve been keeping to read at some point – if you haven’t read it yet, chances are you won’t, so get rid of it.
6. Get rid of the mental clutter. It’s also easy to carry clutter around in our heads. Put all those thoughts swirling around in your head down on paper (or in a Notes or Diary App). This will ensure that you’ve captured those important ideas and also help you plan what to focus on next.
7. Streamline your accounts. Most of us have multiple accounts for banking, utilities and loyalty programs. Cancel the ones you no longer use, consolidate them if you can and save yourself at least another piece of mail to manage or another password to remember!
8. Do without. Before you buy or sign up to anything ask yourself why need it and whether it’s going to be something you’ll actually use. It’s hard to do (I know!) but remind yourself that if you’re not likely to use it in the future, then it will become something else to clear out or manage.
9. Group your travel. For most of us it’s easy to jump in the car at anytime but if you can group your trips together (as much as possible) you will reduce time spent in your car and fuel costs.
10. Group anything else. There are sometimes tasks or events which can grouped together making them easier or quicker to do. For example, using the TV advert breaks as an opportunity to do a household chore like the dishes or checking your emails and social networking sites at the same time.
11. Outsource anything you can. Your time is valuable and sometimes it does make better sense to have someone else do something for you – even if you have to pay for it. Weigh up what you will gain from outsourcing – even if it’s just about not having to do that particular task!
12. Recruit a de-cluttering buddy. It can be a daunting task sometimes cleaning out our lives and it can be easier if we do it with someone else. For example, my friends and I help clean out each other’s wardrobes periodically. We make it a special occasion where we catch up, swap clothes and make the tough decisions about whether something needs to stay or go!
Lastly, it’s very easy for us to complicate our lives and even when we do free up our time, we can sometimes wonder what to do with it. Start by thinking about what you’d like to do with the extra time you create and focus on the things that really add value to your life.