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7 Effective Ways To De-Junk Your Life

7 Effective Ways To De-Junk Your Life

    If you purge your life of random belongings, bad habits, and unsatisfying relationships you’ll be left with something scary: time and space. What you do with all the extra time and space in your life after putting these tips into action is something we can discuss in the comments.

    Better yet, I’ll grab a bunch of readers and we’ll swing by your house to help you clean out this evening. Fun idea, right? Too soon? Okay. Pick one of the following and see where it takes you. It’s time to de-junk your life!

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    1. Say something honest every day

    Lies are rubbish. You don’t need them in your life. You might find some justification to lie to others but that justification only comes after a lie to yourself about the importance of truth. What to do? Take something you were planning on talking about already and be honest in your conversation. Being honest is a lot like lying in that it gets easier with practice.

    2. Make a list of 7 things you can’t replace

    You can start the next meme on Facebook with this if you like. No matter what it takes to get you started, the important thing is that you take the time to figure out what stuff really matters to you. Writing down the things you’d escape a house fire with will help you look at the things you’ve surrounded yourself with in a different way. Do you really need that inflatable killer whale? Do you actually play that piano? What you do once you’ve prioritized your stuff is up to you. My experience says that you’ll probably get rid of some junk as a result.

    3. Make a list of 5 people you can’t live without

    This isn’t a list you should publicize unless you want to deal with hurt feelings from your greater social group. Keep it private but make your resulting actions tangible and as public as needed for them to count. If you like, continue your list with a relationship maintenance schedule. Stop kidding yourself about the value of spontaneity and make sure you’re actually keeping in touch with the people who matter to you. You already use Facebook to keep track of birthdays. No excuses.

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    4. Move into a smaller home

    This is simple. If your couch won’t fit in the new place, you can’t take it with you. Smaller spaces have a way of reminding us that open areas actually are important and should be preserved. The moving process itself should help get rid of some of your junk. If it doesn’t, you’ll be faced with all your extra things on a daily basis until you take care of them.

    5. Become a vegan for 3 months

    Jump off the fast food train for a few months and try the world of vegan cuisine. I don’t suggest this because I think the world should be vegan but because I’ve seen what a dramatic change in diet can do to your perspective on life. When you avoid animal products you turn your back on a lot of the processed junk we accept as food. Give yourself a chance to discover new foods, different recipes, and find new ways to respond to feeling hungry. After 3 months? You might return to eating animal products but you’ll never be able to go back all the way. I’m glad I didn’t.

    6. Quit your job

    You don’t have to actually quit your job for this to work. Just pretend you’ve quit and map out your next few steps. Will you change careers, go back to school, move to a difference city, or something else? For most of us, our job is the biggest deciding factor in what we do with our lives. It’s how we make our money and what we spend most of our time doing. So what would you do if you no longer had your job? Start planning. You might be surprisingly thrilled at what you discover.

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    7. Train for an endurance race

    I’m a chubby dude so the reality of running a 50-mile race is still quite far in the future. That doesn’t mean I don’t get a huge amount of value from the process though. With every mile I’m reminded of all the junk I once ate and am inspired to get leaner and faster. For now, it’s not about speed. It’s about picking a distance and completing it without stopping. Those successes carry over into every other part of my life as I face new challenges and make daily choices about what I’ll allow to take up my time. If you have a friend who trains regularly, ask them to tell you about the stress relief that endurance training provides. It continues to amaze me how much mental junk disappears during a workout. Try it!

    What do you do to de-junk your life? Do you have a tried and true process that allows you to keep your house clear of clutter and your mind free to create? The process of de-junking can be arduous and downright scary at times. I’m still in the thick of it as I write this but I’ve got a long string of successes to look back on and remind myself that I can get through today’s challenges just as I have those in the past. Can you say the same for yourself? If not, grab one of the tips I shared or one from a commenter and see if you can create a success story for yourself. We’ll be here to celebrate your win!

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    Seth Simonds

    Seth writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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    Last Updated on March 31, 2020

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Is Procrastination Bad? The Truth About Procrastination Revealed

    Procrastination is very literally the opposite of productivity. To produce something is to pull it forward, while to procrastinate is to push it forward — to tomorrow, to next week, or ultimately to never.

    Procrastination fills us with shame — we curse ourselves for our laziness, our inability to focus on the task at hand, our tendency to be easily led into easier and more immediate gratifications. And with good reason: for the most part, time spent procrastinating is time spent not doing things that are, in some way or other, important to us.

    There is a positive side to procrastination, but it’s important not to confuse procrastination at its best with everyday garden-variety procrastination.

    Sometimes — sometimes! — procrastination gives us the time we need to sort through a thorny issue or to generate ideas. In those rare instances, we should embrace procrastination — even as we push it away the rest of the time.

    Why We Procrastinate After All?

    We procrastinate for a number of reasons, some better than others. One reason we procrastinate is that, while we know what we want to do, we need time to let the ideas “ferment” before we are ready to sit down and put them into action.

    Some might call this “creative faffing”; I call it, following copywriter Ray Del Savio’s lead, “concepting”.[1]

    Whatever you choose to call it, it’s the time spent dreaming up what you want to say or do, weighing ideas in your mind, following false leads and tearing off on mental wild goose chases, and generally thinking things through.

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    To the outside observer, concepting looks like… well, like nothing much at all. Maybe you’re leaning back in your chair, feet up, staring at the wall or ceiling, or laying in bed apparently dozing, or looking out over the skyline or feeding pigeons in the park or fiddling with the Japanese vinyl toys that stand watch over your desk.

    If ideas are the lifeblood of your work, you have to make time for concepting, and you have to overcome the sensation— often overpowering in our work-obsessed culture — that faffing, however creative, is not work.

    Is Procrastination Bad?

    Yes it is.

    Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re “concepting” when in fact you’re just not sure what you’re supposed to be doing.

    Spending an hour staring at the wall while thinking up the perfect tagline for a marketing campaign is creative faffing; staring at the wall for an hour because you don’t know how to come up with a tagline, or don’t know the product you’re marketing well enough to come up with one, is just wasting time.

    Lack of definition is perhaps the biggest friend of your procrastination demons. When we’re not sure what to do — whether because we haven’t planned thoroughly enough, we haven’t specified the scope of what we hope to accomplish in the immediate present, or we lack important information, skills, or resources to get the job done.

    It’s easy to get distracted or to trick ourselves into spinning our wheels doing nothing. It takes our mind off the uncomfortable sensation of failing to make progress on something important.

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    The answer to this is in planning and scheduling. Rather than giving yourself an unspecified length of time to perform an unspecified task (“Let’s see, I guess I’ll work on that spreadsheet for a while”) give yourself a limited amount of time to work on a clearly defined task (“Now I’ll enter the figures from last months sales report into the spreadsheet for an hour”).

    Giving yourself a deadline, even an artificial one, helps build a sense of urgency and also offers the promise of time to “screw around” later, once more important things are done.

    For larger projects, planning plays a huge role in whether or not you’ll spend too much time procrastinating to reach the end reasonably quickly.

    A good plan not only lists the steps you have to take to reach the end, but takes into account the resources, knowledge and inputs from other people you’re going to need to perform those steps.

    Instead of futzing around doing nothing because you don’t have last month’s sales report, getting the report should be a step in the project.

    Otherwise, you’ll spend time cooling your heels, justifying your lack of action as necessary: you aren’t wasting time because you want to, but because you have to.

    How Bad Procrastination Can Be

    Our mind can often trick us into procrastinating, often to the point that we don’t realize we’re procrastinating at all.

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    After all, we have lots and lots of things to do; if we’re working on something, aren’t we being productive – even if the one big thing we need to work on doesn’t get done?

    One way this plays out is that we scan our to-do list, skipping over the big challenging projects in favor of the short, easy projects. At the end of the day, we feel very productive: we’ve crossed twelve things off our list!

    That big project we didn’t work on gets put onto the next day’s list, and when the same thing happens, it gets moved forward again. And again.

    Big tasks often present us with the problem above – we aren’t sure what to do exactly, so we look for other ways to occupy ourselves.

    In many cases too, big tasks aren’t really tasks at all; they’re aggregates of many smaller tasks. If something’s sitting on your list for a long time, each day getting skipped over in favor of more immediately doable tasks, it’s probably not very well thought out.

    You’re actively resisting it because you don’t really know what it is. Try to break it down into a set of small tasks, something more like the tasks you are doing in place of the one big task you aren’t doing.

    More consequences of procrastination can be found in this article: 8 Dreadful Effects of Procrastination That Can Destroy Your Life

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    Procrastination, a Technical Failure

    Procrastination is, more often than not, a sign of a technical failure, not a moral failure.

    It’s not because we’re bad people that we procrastinate. Most times, procrastination serves as a symptom of something more fundamentally wrong with the tasks we’ve set ourselves.

    It’s important to keep an eye on our procrastinating tendencies, to ask ourselves whenever we notice ourselves pushing things forward what it is about the task we’ve set ourselves that simply isn’t working for us.

    Learn more about how to fix your procrastination problem here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

    Featured photo credit: chuttersnap via unsplash.com

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