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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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Last Updated on December 13, 2019

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

7 Steps For Making a New Year’s Resolution and Keeping It

Are you keen to reinvent yourself this year? Or at least use the new year as a long overdue excuse to get rid of bad habits or pick up new ones?

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time of year when we feel as if we have to turn over a new leaf. The time when we misguidedly imagine that the arrival of a new year will magically provide the catalyst, motivation and persistence we need to reinvent ourselves.

Traditionally, New Year’s Day is styled as the ideal time to kick start a new phase in your life and the time when you must make your all important new year’s resolution. Unfortunately, the beginning of the year is also one of the worst times to make a major change in your habits because it’s often a relatively stressful time, right in the middle of the party and vacation season.

Don’t set yourself up for failure this year by vowing to make huge changes that will be hard to keep. Instead follow these seven steps for successfully making a new year’s resolution you can stick to for good.

1. Just Pick One Thing

If you want to change your life or your lifestyle don’t try to change the whole thing at once. It won’t work. Instead pick one area of your life to change to begin with.

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Make it something concrete so you know exactly what change you’re planning to make. If you’re successful with the first change you can go ahead and make another change after a month or so. By making small changes one after the other, you still have the chance to be a whole new you at the end of the year and it’s a much more realistic way of doing it.

Don’t pick a New Year’s resolution that’s bound to fail either, like running a marathon if you’re 40lbs overweight and get out of breath walking upstairs. If that’s the case resolve to walk every day. When you’ve got that habit down pat you can graduate to running in short bursts, constant running by March or April and a marathon at the end of the year. What’s the one habit you most want to change?

2. Plan Ahead

To ensure success you need to research the change you’re making and plan ahead so you have the resources available when you need them. Here are a few things you should do to prepare and get all the systems in place ready to make your change.

Read up on it – Go to the library and get books on the subject. Whether it’s quitting smoking, taking up running or yoga or becoming vegan there are books to help you prepare for it. Or use the Internet. If you do enough research you should even be looking forward to making the change.

Plan for success – Get everything ready so things will run smoothly. If you’re taking up running make sure you have the trainers, clothes, hat, glasses, ipod loaded with energetic sounds at the ready. Then there can be no excuses.

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3. Anticipate Problems

There will be problems so make a list of what they’ll be. If you think about it, you’ll be able to anticipate problems at certain times of the day, with specific people or in special situations. Once you’ve identified the times that will probably be hard work out ways to cope with them when they inevitably crop up.

4. Pick a Start Date

You don’t have to make these changes on New Year’s Day. That’s the conventional wisdom, but if you truly want to make changes then pick a day when you know you’ll be well-rested, enthusiastic and surrounded by positive people. I’ll be waiting until my kids go back to school in February.

Sometimes picking a date doesn’t work. It’s better to wait until your whole mind and body are fully ready to take on the challenge. You’ll know when it is when the time comes.

5. Go for It

On the big day go for it 100%. Make a commitment and write it down on a card. You just need one short phrase you can carry in your wallet. Or keep it in your car, by your bed and on your bathroom mirror too for an extra dose of positive reinforcement.

Your commitment card will say something like:

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  • I enjoy a clean, smoke-free life.
  • I stay calm and in control even under times of stress.
  • I’m committed to learning how to run my own business.
  • I meditate daily.

6. Accept Failure

If you do fail and sneak a cigarette, miss a walk or shout at the kids one morning don’t hate yourself for it. Make a note of the triggers that caused this set back and vow to learn a lesson from them.

If you know that alcohol makes you crave cigarettes and oversleep the next day cut back on it. If you know the morning rush before school makes you shout then get up earlier or prepare things the night before to make it easier on you.

Perseverance is the key to success. Try again, keep trying and you will succeed.

7. Plan Rewards

Small rewards are great encouragement to keep you going during the hardest first days. After that you can probably reward yourself once a week with a magazine, a long-distance call to a supportive friend, a siesta, a trip to the movies or whatever makes you tick.

Later you can change the rewards to monthly and then at the end of the year you can pick an anniversary reward. Something that you’ll look forward to. You deserve it and you’ll have earned it.

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Whatever your plans and goals are for this year, I’d do wish you luck with them but remember, it’s your life and you make your own luck.

Decide what you want to do this year, plan how to get it and go for it. I’ll definitely be cheering you on.

Are you planning to make a New Year’s resolution? What is it and is it something you’ve tried to do before or something new? Why not pick one from this list: 50 New Year’s Resolution Ideas And How To Achieve Each Of Them

Featured photo credit: Ian Schneider via unsplash.com

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