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Why Streamlining Your Life Is So Essential

Why Streamlining Your Life Is So Essential

When we have clutter in our lives, productivity goes downhill, we become flustered and it’s often difficult to focus. Streamlining your life can affect you in more positive ways than you realize. As you reduce clutter from your space, you begin to think more clearly. Clearer thinking is going to bring productivity into your life. It takes some determination but the benefits are worth it. Experts say the hardest part is the first step but once you begin, you’ll feel lighter immediately.

Streamlining Your Life via Minimalism

The opposite of clutter is minimalism and to achieve this, the rule of thumb is to have no more than 100 items to your name.This might feel a little scary but it’s time to do some inventory of what you have in your space. Remember not to beat yourself up for all of the things you’ve accumulated. You’re probably going to be surprised how much “stuff” you have. Make a plan to tackle one room at a time and give yourself a deadline.

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It’s possible you may become overwhelmed when you begin the process of streamlining your life. There is often a psychological reason you have difficulty letting go of material items. You may find it hard to let go because of the sentimental value or perhaps you spent a lot of money on something. Even if you haven’t used the object in a long time, you have an emotional reason to hold onto it. Researchers of Yale have recently discovered that areas of your brain that associate with pain give the same response to giving up an object as real pain. You connect to these material items and letting them go can feel like losing a part of yourself.

Note that everyone has a different tolerance for the clutter around them. Researchers have discovered that some people even thrive well in a work environment that has a little bit of clutter. This can be attested by a picture of Steve Jobs work space. Yes, clutter has been proven to show a negative effective on job performance but it’s how you look at your clutter that matters more. Say you have photos of loved ones on your desk because it makes you happy, that’s not clutter. Your space, above all, should make you feel calm and happy.

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Why Streamlining Your Life is so Important

When you have “stuff” everywhere, it’s difficult to process information properly. Neuroscientists at Princeton University have compared an organized and unorganized person’s task performance. What they found was that clutter is distracting and takes attention away from performing well and it can cause stress. UCLA researchers found that a mother’s stress hormones will increase greatly when they have to deal with their things. It’s the same effect on the brain as multitasking is as the clutter stresses one out with an overload of sensory data.

Beware of the Digital Clutter

Most of you don’t even realize how many messages are being thrown at you from your digital devices. Notifications noises and visuals from social networking are distracting you from sticking to one task. The digital clutter deteriorates your ability to perform any one task to the best of your abilities. Mark Hurst, a New York Times best seller author spoke of the problem we face dealing with the incredible amount of information thrown at us constantly. The amount of to-do items are overwhelming so you have no way of investing your energy into any one thing. This causes a problem with your ability to filter information, bounce between tasks efficiently and keep a strong memory. It’s called physical clutter which is varied between people

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Turn off your devices when you have a task to do and also when you go to bed. Give yourself a specific amount of time to complete tasks and don’t deviate from the task. Don’t check your email, don’t answer the phone, shut your door and focus on one thing at a time. Of course, this isn’t always realistic but one of the things you should always do is turn off notifications on your mobile device.

Meditation for Streamlining Your Life

Meditation can allow you to slow the mind down, center your body and go deep within. As you feel the deepest emotions of yourself, it prevents you from spending money on things. Finding the inner peace and fulfillment really has an impact on how you feel about yourself. There are certain meditation methods that can greatly help you find simplicity within. A time where you’re not connected to the digital world or dealing with anything else but being present in the moment.

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Loraine Couturier

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Published on April 16, 2019

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

How Self Care Can Help You Live Your Best Life

When was the last time you did something for yourself?

Whether it was deciding to treat yourself with a little something or travel for some R&R, how often do you practice self-care?

Well, as good as above sounds, there’s a common misconception that many of us have about self-care: that it’s only about indulgence and enjoyment.

However, self-care goes far beyond indulgence. It’s actually about respecting your mind and body, understanding its limits, and being able to take care of every part of yourself, in a holistic way.

And, you really don’t have to go to extreme measures or do anything specific–like meditating or following a plant based diet–in order to practice self-care. You just have to make sure that what you’re doing is in your best interests.

So how can you make that happen?

Below are a few proven methods that will help you become a better version of you. Follow through with these regularly and you’ll be well on your way to living your very best life.

Listen to Yourself

The bulk of self-care is knowing yourself.

This means knowing your body’s limitations, and being in tune with your feelings, emotions and thoughts. So it’s important, then, to know who you are and what you want to do in life, in order to truly say that you know yourself. 

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What is your purpose?

Have you ever thought about this question?

Your purpose doesn’t have to remain the same throughout your life. What you found a purpose in at age 19 would likely be different at age 49.

In your current situation, think about the different roles that you have – as a working professional, a spouse, a partner, a parent, etc.

Do you feel like you are fulfilling your purpose through any of these roles?

All you have to do is ensure that what you’re chasing is meaningful to you; this will bring focus and motivation as you strive to achieve your goals.

If you have your purpose defined, then that’s awesome! You know what drives you and why.

But, if you don’t feel like you have a purpose nailed down, it’s good to start by asking why.

For example, why are you working in your particular job or industry? If the reason is vague or unclear, then your motivational energy will be the same. In which case, you may find yourself not having a direction for where you’re headed in life.

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If you’d like to learn more about finding your purpose, then I recommend you check out this article:

How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up

Seek Out Continuous Education

Now, this may seem less common when you think of self-care, but lifelong learning is incredibly useful and an important component of taking care of yourself.

It’s Super Practical

Lifelong learning is extremely practical these days and does not require as much effort as it may have in the past. Long gone are the days when you could only find information on something by visiting a library. In this day of the internet, anything you can imagine is at your fingertips.

You don’t need to physically go to a learning institution to learn. You can watch Youtube videos to learn new skills, take online courses to earn a degree, and scroll through an endless amount of articles, books and journals from reputable news and informative sites.

When you’re constantly pushing yourself to learn and take up new things, your mental health also improves. Research shows that an active and engaged mind is responsible for diminishing age-related memory loss and improves overall cognitive abilities.

Your Confidence Will Skyrocket

You’ll also have improved self worth as it teaches you to step outside of your comfort zone, which will undoubtedly improve your confidence.

You’ll also connect better with others by expanding your knowledge base. Learning exposes you to a multitude of new ideas and perspectives that you may have otherwise never considered. This also increases your adaptability. Whether it’s at work or just wanting to adapt to society, your peers, and loved ones, life long learning prepares you to take on new challenges.

You’ll Be More Desired in the Job Market

Another obvious reason for continuous education, is that your employability will also increase.

With the ever changing economy, and huge influences from technology, social media, science etc., job descriptions today are moving targets. Assignments and roles change so quickly in response to changing business demands, it becomes a Herculean task to keep a job description database current.

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In years past, stability was a characteristic of the world of work. Procedures, information, jobs, and organizations were established and provided continuity. Education was completed in the first 14 to 22 years of one’s life, followed by a long career occasionally punctuated by short-term job training.

Today, however, jobs, companies, and technology are disappearing and being created simultaneously. To remain current and maintain a competitive advantage in the human capital marketplace, an individual is challenged to continually learn.

People return to school at every age to enrich their skills and knowledge for their current positions. Some even prepare themselves for new jobs or career changes, moving them forward into new opportunities and technology.

We can be assured that we will be challenged to continue to learn new tasks and information throughout our lives. Successful careers belong to flexible, curious learners who are prepared for opportunities because they know themselves and where they make their best contribution. As Peter Drucker, the father of modern management stated,

“Knowledge is choice.”

Lifelong learning also increases social awareness and perspective. To genuinely understand and empathize with others, increase social awareness, and foster strong interpersonal relationships, it’s important to seek out new perspectives. Enhancing the skills that positively impact emotional intelligence can bring even greater happiness and success, both personally and at work; and, this is all part of self-care.

Improve Your Habits (Both at Work and at Home)

Now, the last piece of advice I want to introduce to your self-care regimen, is to improve your habits.

Habits define who you are, and are built up over time. You are what you eat is a great example of this. If you make it a habit to eat foods that nourish your body, rather than make your body feel bad, then you will be much healthier overall.

Good Habits Allow You to Reach Your Goals

Since habits dictate your days and nights, such as waking up every morning to get to work before a certain time, or brushing your teeth before bedtime every night, they play a major role in whether we do or do not reach our goals.

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When you form habits that allow you to progress towards your goals, you’re automatically living a purposeful day, everyday.

Habits Make Your Time a Priority

How do you spend your free time? Do you opt to lounge on the couch watching Netflix passively, or do you engage in activities that support your purpose in life?

It’s natural to waste a lot of time during the day, but fostering good habits will make you set a pattern for how you spend your time and give you the choice of what you choose to spend your time on. By improving your habits, you’ll find that you can be a LOT more productive. When you create good habits, you become more efficient with your time and a lot less is wasted.

This in essence creates an overall positive influence on your life, allowing you to treat your mind and body well, which is why improving your habits are so important to self-care.

Your Well Being Comes First

We live in such a fast-paced society, where we are often so caught up in our work, families, maintaining our social lives, our studies and everything in between. It’s an understatement to say that life can get a little overwhelming at times.

If you’ve ever watched the safety video onboard a plane, you’ll know that they always ask for a parent or adult to put on the safety mask first, before tending to the child. This may sound selfish, but the fact is that if you truly want to ensure the child’s safety, then your safety needs to come first so that you can protect and care for the child without complications from your end.

The same goes for self-care. We need to ensure that our well being is priority, so that we can be the best for the people around us.

Listening to yourself, practicing lifelong learning and improving your habits are steps that you can take to ensure you’re constantly in the best state of mind, alongside the indulgence and rest that you reward yourself with.

Featured photo credit: Photo by Raychan on Unsplash via unsplash.com

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