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Stop Adding Stuff To Your Life, It’s Time To Declutter Your Soul Now

Stop Adding Stuff To Your Life, It’s Time To Declutter Your Soul Now

We live in a society that always tells us to get more.

You may be doing this unconsciously, because you’ve always been living this way and that’s your environment.

You’re buying more stuff, which you then need to take care of and fix. You make more friends, but that doesn’t mean you spend time with quality people who lift you up. You consume a lot of information daily, but most of it has nothing to do with your life and goals, and only brings you stress and worries. You add more tasks to your to-do list all the time, but most often you’re just keeping yourself busy, and still not getting the important things done.

Such life is complex. And this complexity makes us overthink, doesn’t let us fall asleep fast, makes us anxious because we are in a rush all the time and try to stay up-to-date.

It’s time to stop doing that.

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Simpler is better. Less is what you need more of and it’s the power of eliminating the unnecessary that will let you find more meaning in your days and more happiness in your soul.

Here are some little changes you can make to your lifestyle today that will help you declutter:

1. Analyze how you spend your time and remove unproductive activities.

Keep track of how you spend your time over the course of a few days. Write down everything you do. Then, review these and see what doesn’t give you any results, doesn’t make you happy or help you improve in any way. It’s just pointless to keep doing it.

You may be amazed at how many unproductive things you’re doing daily, without even realizing. That’s why you’ll need to track and review this weekly, to make sure you don’t fall into that trap again.

Soon, you’ll see less events in your calendar, less tasks on your to-do list and more time for the important things.

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2. Get rid of belongings you don’t use.

Now let’s move onto the belongings you have.

Be honest with yourself and say what you haven’t used in the last 6 months or so. It doesn’t really matter how precious you think it is, it only takes up space.

If you don’t take control of such possessions, you’ll end up living in the prison of your past, feeling nostalgic every time you look at these objects, and not having the chance to let go. So be ruthless. Give away stuff, sell it, and throw away the rest.

You’re better off without all that burden. Your future self will thank you for doing that, plus it’s a big step of your spiritual journey. You’ll now have more peace of mind, will feel freer than ever and ready to actually go after your goals in life.

3. Keep negativity away.

It’s time to clear your mind now. Negative thoughts don’t have any place there, especially if you want to change yourself and turn your whole life around.

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Start small. Notice the negativity in your mind and soul, recognize it, observe it and try to see what causes it. You may journal your thoughts to see some occurring themes. Maybe you’re negative after communicating with someone from your surroundings, or every day after doing a certain thing, or else.

Then, you’ll simply need to remove that or stop doing it to overcome that mental habit.

After that you can start taking charge of what goes in your mind. When you see a negative thought popping up, stop, say no and replace it with a positive one instead.

4. Keep things organized.

Find a place for everything in your home and office and keep it there. When you take it, put it back there.

A simple habit like that is the foundation of your personal organization skills. It will save you a lot of time and worries, you won’t forget where things are and will see a decluttered room and desk every time you enter.

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5. Stop saying yes to everything.

Our time is limited. We only have 24 hours in a day. And if we want to work on the things we believe in, but to also have time to rest, have fun and be with our loved ones, we’ll need to prioritize. Stop accepting every proposal you get, don’t start new projects every week, don’t set many goals at once and avoid working on more than one thing at a time.

All this will improve your performance and help you exceed in life, as you’ll only be working on the things that actually matter. You’ll also be happier and will prevent burnout. Adding stuff is never the answer. To get back to your path in life, to see clearly where you’re going and to start having fun and be calm again, you’ll need to remove anything that’s not essential.

Keep only what’s important to you. There’s no time for the rest.

What else can you eliminate today to declutter your soul?

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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