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8 Ways To Declutter Your Life

8 Ways To Declutter Your Life

We all know that life can be quite hectic and out of control. Drama and complications come from the lack of control over our lives. I assure you, some of them can be easily controlled and eliminated if you try out these easy tips. So, let’s get to it! (Yes, minimizing complications already.)

1. Know your priorities

People get distracted and procrastinate; it’s part of being human, but when is it too much and too late? At work or school, remember to keep your attention on the assignments at hand. Any urgent tasks should be dealt with immediately and not be put off.

Focus on what needs to be done right now and choose to do the things that would make the most difference. After you have accomplished that, ask yourself what other areas need the most of your time.

What haven’t you been doing that you know you should do? Knowing what you need to do first will give you a sense of control over your life, and thus, less drama. If you have time, here is some further reading if you need more help getting to know your priorities.

2. Keep a well-organized schedule

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    If you don’t already keep a schedule, then go right now and make one! Having a well-organized schedule will make your life so much easier. Whether you like old-fashion calendars or mobile apps, the act of keeping track of future events will dramatically decrease the likelihood of complications.

    Once you start a schedule, you can conveniently see what is planned for the future and not be overwhelmed by upcoming events because you have had time to prepare yourself for them.

    The perks of an organized schedule do not stop here. You can also look back at how you spent your time and improve your time management skills.

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    Perhaps some meetings could have been completed in an hour. Perhaps you are spending too little time with the people you care about and spending too much time at work. Annie Dillard once said, “How we spend our days, of course, is how we spend our lives.” What do you want your life schedule to look like?

    3. Keep a list, any list

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      As mentioned before, knowing your priorities will be helpful in decluttering your life. Like any grocery list, you put down things you want to do in the future so you won’t forget. A nicely arranged list will provide you with a visual cue to prioritize your day.

      Check out this list of good list-keeping apps! Choose one that has sharing capabilities so you can share your lists with friends, family and significant other: it certainly makes things easier when you go shopping!

      If you already keep lists, decide on three most important tasks to do in the morning every day. This way, you know exactly what needs to be done that day, and completing them will give you a sense of accomplishment! I personally love the moment I tick-off something on my to-do list!

      4. Make shortcuts for everything

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        Another way to make your life simpler is by setting up shortcuts for everything you do. These shortcuts encompass areas like work, school and everyday life. Depending on the kind of software you use most frequently, you can look up faster ways to do the same thing.

        For Windows 8 users, here is a great list of shortcuts you probably aren’t already familiar with. We use computers for the majority of our day, and by knowing how to do the same thing with the least amount of time, we can definitely accomplish more.

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        Does your job include answering emails and doing repetitive tasks? It might make your life so much easier if you establish canned responses.

        A shortcut I personally love to follow is especially handy when I have piles of work to read through. This is what I would like to call “The NV” reading method: when I need to read something really quickly, I only pick up the nouns and the verbs of the paragraph.

        Once you get used to reading like this, your brain will be able to read papers much faster as it is now trained to piece words together.

        5. Have good routines

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          In order to feel like you have control over your life, routines are one of the best ways to go about decluttering it. The ideology behind routines is that patterns make people feel safe and comfortable – everything is going exactly as planned.

          When you follow a set of patterns, it feels like nothing will go out of hand. My friend suggested a nice routine for lunches during weekdays, so that you can save time on decisions with “guaranteed results.”

          For instance, you can have Fancy Mondays to blow away the Monday blues, Taco Tuesdays, and/or Espresso Fridays to power through the last day of the week. And once routines get too boring, just throw in something you don’t usually do to bring in some unusual and surprising new flavours.

          6. Limit your social media usage

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            A lot of our everyday drama comes from social media. People often compare their own lives to their friends’ Facebook updates, but what they often do not see is the ugly side of everyone’s lives. Who would post that on Facebook, right?

            Social media is also the prime evil of procrastination – you know you’ve spent more time up there then you should have. Now, there is a new browser application that enables you to limit your usage. Key in the websites your rational side knows you shouldn’t be spending so much time on, and go cold turkey!

            7. Separate different circles of friends

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              The more your co-workers know about your daily life, the more awkward things get! Try your best not to let your actual life intersect with your work life; the further apart they are, the less drama and gossip there will be.

              The workplace is a very competitive environment – you would not want any untrue rumors to go around about you that may have a drastic effect on your reputation.

              Depending on what kind of a job you have, letting your clients know about your private life may also affect your professionalism. They might no longer see you as someone with the authority and power you had before. Sometimes it’s crucial to be a little distant!

              8. Spend time with the right people

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                We all have limited amount of free time each day, so who do you choose to spend it with? Here’s a simple list of questions that will make the decision easier:

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                1. Do you feel yourself and comfortable around them? If you have a full-time job, you might not get enough rest and relaxation every day, so it’s important that you can be yourself during your off-hours.

                2. Can you tell the truth when something upsets you? Who we tell the truth to is, of course, who we should spend the most time with. If you have to put on a mask when you hang out with someone, he or she probably isn’t the best person you should spend your time with.

                3. Are you genuinely happy and satisfied when you are with them? Some people spend time with the kind of friends they believe will make them happy. It can be tiring and impractical to rely on someone for your mood – be the person you want to spend time with. Know exactly what makes you smile from the bottom of your heart, and then you know who to spend your time with.

                4. Do they tell you the truth? The truth isn’t always the sweetest thing to hear, but we need to hear it anyways. Who else would tell it to your face, if not someone who truly cares about you?

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                  We’re all unique, bar-code unique. So, some tips are not meant to be followed rigorously as everyone’s situation is different. These are simply suggestions that you may find helpful to dedramatize and declutter your life! Say YES to a simpler life!

                  Featured photo credit: Hipster Wallpaper HDW via heavyeditorial.files.wordpress.com

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                  Last Updated on September 18, 2019

                  15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                  15 Best Organizing Tips For Office Organization and Getting More Done

                  You may think that you don’t have time for office organization, but if you really knew how much time that disorganization cost you, you’d reconsider.

                  Rearranging and moving piles occasionally doesn’t count. Neither does clearing off your desk, if you swipe the mess into a bin, or a desk drawer.

                  A relatively neat and orderly office space clears the way for higher productivity and less wasted time.

                  Organizing your office doesn’t have to take days, it can be done a little at a time. In fact, maintaining an organized office is much more effective if you treat it like an on-going project, instead of a massive assault.

                  So, if you’re ready to get started, the following organizing tips will help you transform your office into an efficient workspace.

                  1. Purge Your Office

                  De-clutter, empty, shred, get rid of everything that you don’t need or want. Look around. What haven’t you used in a while?

                  Take one area at a time. If it doesn’t work, send it out for repair or toss it. If you haven’t used it in months and can’t think of when you’ll actually need it, out it goes. This goes for furniture, equipment, supplies, etc.

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                  Don’t forget about knick-knacks, plants (real or artificial), and decorations – if they’re covered with dust and make your office look shabby, they’re fair game.

                  2. Gather and Redistribute

                  Gather up every item that isn’t where it belongs and put it where it does.

                  3. Establish Work “Zones”

                  Decide what type of activity happens in each area of your office. You’ll probably have a main workspace (most likely your desk,) a reference area (filing cabinet, shelves, binders,) and a supply area (closet, shelves or drawers.)

                  Place the appropriate equipment and supplies are located in the proper area as much as possible.

                  4. Close Proximity

                  Position the equipment and supplies that you use most within reach. Things that you rarely use can be stored or put away.

                  5. Get a Good Labeler

                  Choose a label maker that’s simple to use. Take the time to label shelves, bins, baskets drawers. Not only will it remind you where things go, but it will also help others who may have a need to find, use, or put away anything in your workspace.

                  6. Revise Your Filing System

                  As we move fully into the digital age, the need to store paper files has decreased.

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                  What can your store digitally? Are you duplicating files? You may be able to eliminate some of the files and folders you’ve used in the past. If you’re storing files on your computer, make sure you are doing regular back-ups.

                  Here’re some storage ideas for creating a smooth filing system:

                  • Create a meeting folder – Put all “items to be discussed” in there along with items that need to be handed off, reports that need to be given, etc. It’ll help you be prepared for meetings and save you stress in the even that a meeting is moved up.
                  • Create a WOR folder – So much of our messy papers are things that are on hold until someone else responds or acts. Corral them in a WOR (Waiting on Response) folder. Check it every few days for outstanding actions you may need to follow-up on.
                  • Storage boxes – Use inexpensive storage boxes to keep archived files and get them out of your current file space.
                  • Magazine boxes – Use magazine boxes or binders to store magazines and catalogs you really want to store. Please make sure you really need them for reference or research, otherwise recycle them, or give away.
                  • Reading folder – Designate a file for print articles and documents you want to read that aren’t urgent.
                  • Archive files – When a project is complete, put all of the materials together and file them away. Keep your “working folders” for projects in progress.
                  • File weekly – Don’t let your filing pile up. Put your papers in a “To File” folder and file everything once a week.

                  Learn more tips on organizing your files here: How to Organize Your Files for Better Productivity

                  7. Clear off Your Desk

                  Remove everything, clean it thoroughly and put back only those items that are essential for daily use.

                  If you have difficulty declutter stuff, this Declutter Formula will help you throw away stuff without regretting later.

                  8. Organize your Desktop

                  Now that you’ve streamlined your desktop, it’s a good idea to organize it.

                  Use desktop organizers or containers to organize the items on your desk. Use trays for papers, containers for smaller items.

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                  Don’t forget your computer desktop! Make sure the files or images are all in organized folders. I’d recommend you clear your computer desktop everyday before you leave work.

                  9. Organize Your Drawers

                  Put items used together in the same drawer space, stamps with envelopes, sticky pads with notepads, etc.

                  Use drawer organizers for little items – paper clips, tacks, etc. Use a separate drawer for personal items.

                  10. Separate Inboxes

                  If you work regularly with other people, create a folder, tray, or inbox for each.

                  11. Clear Your Piles

                  Hopefully with your new organized office, you won’t create piles of paper anymore, but you still have to sort through the old ones.

                  Go through the pile (a little at a time if necessary) and put it in the appropriate place or dump it.

                  12. Sort Mails

                  Don’t just stick mail in a pile to be sorted or rifle through and take out the pieces you need right now. Sort it as soon as you get it – To act, To read, To file, To delegate or hand off. .

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                  13. Assign Discard Dates

                  You don’t need to keep every piece of paper indefinitely. Mark on files or documents when they can be tossed or shredded.

                  Some legal or financial documents must be kept for specified length of time. Make sure you know what those requirements are.

                  14. Filter Your Emails

                  Some emails are important to read, others are just not that important.

                  When you use the filter system to label different types of emails, you know their priority and which to reply first.

                  Take a look at these tips to achieve inbox zero: The Ultimate Way to get to Inbox Zero

                  15. Straighten Your Desk

                  At the end of the day, do a quick straighten, so you have a clean start the next day.

                  Bottom Line

                  Use one tip or try them all. The amount of effort you put into creating and maintaining an efficient work area will pay off in a big way.

                  Instead of spending time looking for things and shuffling piles, you’ll be able to spend your time…well…working and you’ll enjoy being clutter free!

                  More Organizing Hacks

                  Featured photo credit: Alesia Kazantceva via unsplash.com

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