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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 February 13, 2020

    What Is Speed Reading and How to Successfully Learn It

    What Is Speed Reading and How to Successfully Learn It

    Too much to read, too little time! Don’t you wish you could read faster without compromising your knowledge intake? This is where a valuable learning technique comes to the rescue: speed reading.

    Speed reading is the top skill to learn in 2020. Read on to find out all about this amazing technique!

    What Is Speed Reading?

    On average, an adult can read somewhere between 200 to 300 words per minute. With speed reading, you can read around 1500 words per minute.[1] Yes, that sounds impossible, but it is true.

    In order to understand how this skill works, you first need to know how the reading process works inside a human’s brain.

    The Reading Process

    The first step is for the eyes to look at a word. This “fixation” on every word takes around 0.25 seconds.

    Next, the eye moves on to the following word. It takes 0.1 seconds for the brain to move from one word to the next. This is called “saccade.”

    Usually, a person reads 4 to 5 words or a sentence at once. After all the fixations and saccades, the brain goes over the entire phrase again in order to process the meaning. This takes around half a second.

    All in all, this allows the average person to read 200 to 300 words in a minute.

    Speeding up the Process

    The concept of speed reading is to speed up this process at least 5 times. Since the saccade period cannot be shortened any further, speed reading emphasizes quicker fixations.

    To accomplish this, scientists recommend that the reader skips the subvocalization: when the readers actually say the word in their mind, even when reading silently.

    Basically, speed reading is the technique of only seeing the words instead of speaking them silently.

    Do not confuse this with skimming. When a reader skims through a text, they skip the parts that their brain considers to be unnecessary.

    You may skip important information in this process. Moreover, skimming does not allow the brain to retain what has been read.

    Why Speed Read?

    Speed reading is not just quick, but also effective. This skill saves a lot of of time without sacrificing information.

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    Also, it has been proven to improve memory. The brain’s performance improves during speed reading, which allows the reader to remember more information than before.

    Since speed reading stabilizes the brain, the information is processed faster and more efficiently.

    Believe it or not, this technique leads to improved focus, too. As the brain receives a lot of information during speed reading, there is far less chance of distraction. The brain focuses solely on the job at hand.

    Since the brain is, after all, a muscle, the process of speed reading acts as an exercise. Just like the rest of your muscles, your brain needs exercise to grow stronger, too.

    A focused brain means improved logical thinking. As your brain gets used to receiving and organizing so much information so quickly, your thinking process will become faster.

    As soon as a problem is thrown at you, your brain will quickly put two and two together. You will be able to retrieve stored information, figure out correlations, and come up with new solutions, all within seconds!

    Still not convinced? Read 10 Reasons Why You Should Learn Speed Reading

    Greater Benefits

    With a healthier brain, you can expect better things in other parts of your life, too. A boost in self-esteem is just one of them.

    As you begin to understand information at a faster pace, you will also begin to figure out more opportunities all around you.

    With the ability to deeply understand information in a shorter period of time, your confidence levels will quickly grow higher.

    Moreover, all the aforementioned benefits will relieve you of stress. You will manage your readings in lesser time, your brain will be healthier, and you will feel so much better about yourself.

    With all these advantages, your emotional well-being will be healthier than ever. You’ll feel less stress since your brain will learn to tackle problems efficiently. Speed reading will lead to a relaxed, tension-free lifestyle!

    How to Learn to Speed Read

    Speed reading is a superpower. Fortunately, unlike other superpowers, this one can be learned!

    There are different techniques that can be used to master this skill. Opt for the one that best suits your learning style.

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    1. The Pointer Method

    The person who is credited for popularizing speed reading, Evelyn Wood, came up with the pointer method. It is a simple technique in which the reader uses their index finger to slide across the text that they’re reading.

    As the finger moves, the brain coherently moves along with it. It is an effective technique to keep the eyes focused where the finger goes without causing any distraction.

    Readers have a tendency to back-skip. The pointer method prevents this from happening, thereby saving at least half the reading time.

    2. The Scanning Method

    In this technique, the reader’s eyes move along one part of the page only. This can be the left or right side of the text but is usually the center since that is the most convenient.

    Instead of pacing through the entire text from left to right, the vision shifts from top to bottom.

    This method involves fixation on keywords such as names, figures, or other specific terms. By doing so, the saccade time is minimized.

    3. Perceptual Expansion

    Generally, a reader focuses on one word at a time. This technique, on the other hand, encourages the brain to read a chunk of words together. In doing so, this method increases the reader’s peripheral vision.

    Here’s the thing: even though the fixation time remains the same with perceptual expansion, the number of words that the eyes fixate on increases.

    So basically, the brain receives 5 times more information within the same amount of time.

    This technique is the hardest to master and takes the most time to learn. You’ll need help from speed reading tools in order to practice the perceptual expansion method.

    However, once you master it, this technique will offer you the fastest reading pace with the maximum knowledge intake.

    The Best Speed Reading Apps

    The easiest tool to aid any process in any part of life these days is your smartphone.

    You can use mobile applications to learn speed reading on the go. It has been proven that regularly practicing speed reading is the fastest way to learn this skill. [2]

    Here are a few great options to look into:

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    1. Reedy

    If you own an Android smartphone, you can download Reedy to your mobile. Otherwise, get the chrome extension on your laptop to enjoy speed reading with Reedy.

    This app trains readers to read faster by displaying words one by one on the screen. Instead of having to go through lines or long texts, Reedy prepares the user to focus on one word at a time.

    Although this isn’t an effective method to learn speed reading long texts, it is a great way to start.

    Once your brain gets used to the idea, you can shift to another app to train speed reading sentences or longer texts.

    2. ReadMe!

    Whether you’re an android or iOS user, you can take advantage of the ReadMe! application. This app even comes with some e-book options to practice speed reading on.

    Start by choosing your desired font size, color, layout, etc. Other than that, there are different reading modes for the user to choose from.

    If you want to practice reading sentence by sentence or in short paragraphs, you can choose the focused reading mode.

    The beeline reader mode changes the color of the text to guide the eye to read from the beginning to the end at a certain pace.

    Lastly, there is the spritz mode in which the app focuses on chunks of words at once. This controls the reader’s peripheral vision. However, this mode is not fully available in the free version of the app.

    3. Spreeder

    Spreeder is available on both iOS and Android. However, users may also gain benefits from Spreeder’s website. This application lets the reader paste in any text that they would like to speed read.

    Starting off at a rather low speed, the app flashes words one by one. Gradually, as the user becomes more comfortable, the speed increases.

    Slowly, the user is trained to speed read without having to skip any words.

    This app is different from the rest because it tracks the user’s reading improvements, recording the overall reading time and speed.

    The progress and improvement are tracked in order to motivate the user to perform even better.

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    Adjustable settings, such as the speed of the text, background color, etc. are in the control of the user.

    The Controversy Surrounding Speed Reading

    Truthfully, speed reading does sound too good to be true. It’s hard to believe that it is humanly possible to attain such a fast pace in reading without compromising the quality of information you receive.

    Perhaps as a result, there are people who do not trust the process of speed reading. They believe that when you read through a text at such a high speed, you cannot comprehend the information successfully.

    According to these people, your brain is unable to process information at the speed that you’re reading, and so, they regard speed reading as problematic.

    It is true that speed reading will be of no use if you do not understand the text you’re reading, no matter how quickly you did it.

    Similarly, if you were to read slowly and still not retain or understand the information you read, that would be useless, too.

    However, there a few factors to consider here. When reading at a normal pace, there is enough time in between every step of the process for the brain to get distracted.

    Conversely, speed reading leaves behind no time for the brain to focus on something else. It is unlike skimming. No part of the text is skipped, which means that the brain receives every single bit of information.

    Conclusion

    Keeping all of this in mind, speed reading cannot be labeled a hoax or a failure. Science has backed up this technique, and numerous readers have been using this skill to improve their learning ability.

    At the end of the day, it is your decision whether or not you want to trust this process.

    However, if you decide to take advantage of the opportunities speed reading provides, you will find a world of possibilities opening up to you.

    We live in a fast-paced world. Consuming information faster will help you keep up with that pace and find further success.

    Speed Read Like a Pro!

    Featured photo credit: Blaz Photo via unsplash.com

    Reference

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