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8 Things to Remember When You Clear Out Your Closet

8 Things to Remember When You Clear Out Your Closet

We all groan at the thought of that dreaded time of the year – the big clear out. And we always wonder how we accumulate so much worthless junk every single year. Until we’re going through it all and we realize that actually, it’s the same junk we went through last year. Well folks, it’s time to clear out for real this time. Save yourself some pain and this year, actually get rid of your useless clutter.

1. No regrets

We’re all afraid we will throw something away that we will one day regret chucking. If you haven’t worn it in the last year, honey, you ain’t going to wear it to the pub on Friday, don’t fret. The more you squash into your cupboards, the less each trinket will mean, anyway.

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2. Avoid multiples

When we come across that picture frame, painted with pink splotches (is it a bird, is it a plane..?) our hearts melt for that treasured classroom pride of our younger selves, or perhaps we beam with pride all over again for that mother’s day gift from our child. But do we already have those paintings from art class, that lamp made in tech, and a whole storage box full of terrible art work…? Keep the pieces that are the most memorable to you.

3. You’ve still got your memories

It’s hard to let go of those old cinema tickets from the first boyfriend or that broken retro alarm clock that Nan passed down to you. But just because you get rid of the item, it doesn’t mean that you’ll suddenly forget that you dated the guy or what your dear old Nan looked like. Trust that if it’s important, you’ll remember it.

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4. The waiting game

If you’re struggling to part with that furry mink body warmer because, you never know, it could come back into fashion. Or it could make a killer werewolf costume at Halloween. Well that may be true, but equally, it could not come back into fashion. I mean how long are you willing to wait? Don’t put it off until the next clear out. CHUCK IT.

5. Shopping spree time

When you’re really struggling to chuck out the old videos (you don’t even have a working VHS machine anymore…) and that tacky waving kitten on the windowsill, comfort yourself with this thought: there’s a whole world of shops out there, just waiting for you to buy new, modern items, that actually work and are still sold.

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6. Do your bit

A lot of this stuff doesn’t have to go in the skip, either. None of it has to be a waste. When you remember how you dragged Billy Goat around the house tied to your little finger, so he could feel like he was flying, think of all the fun he could have with a new kid in a new house, and all the good that money could do for Oxfam, CRUK, the British Heart Foundation – there are so many great charity shops to choose from.

7. Don’t panic

Remember: these are all just things. They have value and we’re human so we get sentimental. But there are photographs for that and sometimes, it isn’t healthy to invest so much in a horrendous tacky rocking horse. So be brutal and get it the hell out of your house.

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8. The future’s bright. The future’s empty.

And if none of that is enough to keep you shifting it all out the window, well then, we bid you – think of all that space. Ladies and gentleman, I have a dream, where closets are empty, rails are filled with unused coat hangers, desks are usable because they are not covered in junk, boxes have absolutely nothing inside them and there are no more ‘organised’ piles of things in the corner of the room. The future’s bright. The future’s empty.

Featured photo credit: Slurpiesandstraws via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

How to Flow Your Way to a More Productive Life

Ebb and flow. Contraction and expansion. Highs and lows. It’s all about the cycles of life.

The entire course of our life follows this up and down pattern of more and then less. Our days flow this way, each following a pattern of more energy, then less energy, more creativity and periods of greater focus bookended by moments of low energy when we cringe at the thought of one more meeting, one more call, one more sentence.

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The key is in understanding how to use the cycles of ebb and flow to our advantage. The ability to harness these fluctuations, understand how they affect our productivity and mood and then apply that knowledge as a tool to improve our lives is a valuable strategy that few individuals or corporations have mastered.

Here are a few simple steps to start using this strategy today:

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Review Your Past Flow

Take just a few minutes to look back at how your days and weeks have been unfolding. What time of the day are you the most focused? Do you prefer to be more social at certain times of the day? Do you have difficulty concentrating after lunch or are you energized? Are there days when you can’t seem to sit still at your desk and others when you could work on the same project for hours?

Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Eventually you will discover a sort of map or schedule that charts your individual productivity levels during a given day or week.  That’s the first step. You’ll use this information to plan your days going forward.

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Schedule According to Your Flow Pattern

Look at the types of things you do each day…each week. What can you move around so that it’s a better fit for you? Can you suggest to your team that you schedule meetings for late morning if you can’t stand to be social first thing? Can you schedule detailed project work or highly creative tasks, like writing or designing when you are best able to focus? How about making sales calls or client meetings on days when you are the most social and leaving billing or reports until another time when you are able to close your door and do repetitive tasks.

Keep in mind that everyone is different and some things are out of our control. Do what you can. You might be surprised at just how flexible clients and managers can be when they understand that improving your productivity will result in better outcomes for them.

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Account for Big Picture Fluctuations

Look at the bigger picture. Consider what happens during different months or times during the year. Think about what is going on in the other parts of your life. When is the best time for you to take on a new project, role or responsibility? Take into account other commitments that zap your energy. Do you have a sick parent, a spouse who travels all the time or young children who demand all of your available time and energy?

We all know people who ignore all of this advice and yet seem to prosper and achieve wonderful success anyway, but they are usually the exception, not the rule. For most of us, this habitual tendency to force our bodies and our brains into patterns of working that undermine our productivity result in achieving less than desired results and adding more stress to our already overburdened lives.

Why not follow the ebb and flow of your life instead of fighting against it?

    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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