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Move Back Into Your House

Move Back Into Your House

I’ve got this crazy notion that comes partly from living in a space that is basically one big giant room (a loft). The house has been a little messy lately, and no matter what we do, it’s just not coming back to a state of “organized” lately. So I’ve got this thought. Bear with me. I think it could be useful to anyone’s house if you’re feeling that you can’t seem to reset, and that clutter is dominating your time.

Prework: buy some totes like Rubbermaid 18 Gallon or similar, and some housecleaning products, big trash bags, and some beer and pizza.

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Move Out, Move In

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  • Clear One Room Out Totally– You heard me. Move everything out of one room, down to the walls and the floor. Unplug everything. Remove it all. Pretend a bomb blasted that room, worker elves came, and now here’s what you have left.
  • Clean the Room – Clearly, you can never get to all the dust and grime that sneaks in around things. Give it a good scrubbaroo while there’s nothing to get in your way. Pretend this is your first “real” place after college. Make it sparkle.
  • Replace Things Sparingly– Going with the bomb blast idea, what do you think you might be able to live without? Try storing that in the Rubbermaid totes and sticking that in your attic / garage / storage space with a big fat HUGE label that details the contents of the box and the “shelf life” of the things you put in there (the date you started determining if you could do without them).
  • Arrange Your House for Living and Function– As time goes on, we put things in places because that’s where they’ve always been. How might you redesign your spaces to be more social, more work-functional? Maybe this is the right time to swap out that pressboard computer desk monstrosity for a wall-attached bar-style top where you can do work, the kids can do homework, and the cat can perch and knock things off. BONUS TIP: stop designing your house around guests. Unless you have LOTS of guests, design it for you, and have a plan for guests.
  • Donate / Yardsale / Ebay / Remove– Be merciless with what you toss. Remember moving out of an apartment (maybe after college, or fairly recently)? It’s amazing how much stuff we jettison at that moment. The things we own end up owning us: our time, our effort, our consideration. Whatever you can clear, do it. Move it out. Give it to people who can use it.

I think this covers enough for you to get the premise. Try moving out of your house, one room at a time. Pretend a bomb has decimated the place and this is your chance to rebuild the living arrangements. Clean thoroughly while you have the chance. Design your spaces to work for you. And let us know how this works out.

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— Chris Brogan is tempted to take vacation time to try this hack out on his own place. He develops creative content in the least cluttered of the corners for Grasshopper Factory. Please let us know what you think of the podcast. We’re anxious to hear your opinions. Send email to tips at lifehack dot org, or leave a comment on the site. Finally, please consider subscribing to the RSS feed, so we can gauge the audience better. And if you’ve got some tips and tricks, try out Leon’s newly added WIKI. It’s easy to edit, and makes a great reference for the best of these tips and ideas.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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