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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, 2020

                  How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

                  How to Be More Self-Assured and Get More Done During the Week

                  Time is a great leveler isn’t it? We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Even if you’re self-assured, the day may never feel quite long enough.

                  Why is it that some people can be so much more productive and achieve so much more in a typical day, while others struggle to achieve anything apart from feeling time crunched and overwhelmed?

                  Everyone I know and work with wants to make the best use of their time. They want to learn how to be more self-assured, happier, and work less—all while growing in their career.

                  How effectively we use our time—and how we actually work in our business—can make a huge difference to the amount we accomplish in a day or week. It can also make us more focused and more confident.

                  Do you want to have more thinking and creative time? Do you want to spend more time working on your business rather than working at or in your business? In this article, we’ll show you how.

                  Get More Done by Gaining Confidence

                  What if you had a strategy for making the best use of your time that brings you more joy and allows you to focus on the biggest activities and opportunities in your business? You may find the following outline below to be helpful:

                  1. Create an Exciting Vision

                  If you don’t know where you’re going, how do you know when you get there?

                  You want to be more productive and spend more time getting the right stuff done. Well, you need to create a compelling and exciting vision of your future.

                  What does this future look like? How will you feel when you get there?

                  Creating a new vision, especially one that is a lot bigger than where you are right now, has a way of igniting your passion. It may be something that feels hard to achieve, but every step you take towards that bigger vision will certainly build your confidence.

                  Create a vision board to feel more self-assured.

                    Commitment to this vision, and accomplishing continual daily progress depends on your ability to look at any situation you’re faced with or currently in, feel self-assured, and see something bigger ahead.

                    Also, when you know where you’re headed, you will instinctively start to see all the new opportunities and connections that will get you there.

                    Make a vision map to get you started on the path to better productivity. This doesn’t have to be fully actualized, but you should know at least what direction you are heading.

                    2. Build a Strategic Plan

                    Once you have your future vision mapped out, the next step is to build a strategic plan to get you there.

                    Your future vision may be for 3 years or 5 years, or you may choose a longer time frame. Any timeframe over 3 years may feel like a long way away.

                    You may wonder how you are ever going to feel confident and motivated on this bigger future years from now when you feel as though you have so much to accomplish today.

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                    The first step is to decide on some specific goals for the next 12 months. Don’t list too many or you may begin to feel overwhelmed.

                    The magic number for me and my clients is usually five annual goals.

                    These are big goals that will create massive change in your business and life and bridge your current situation to your bigger future; accomplishing these goals one by one will help to increase your confidence on a daily basis.

                    3. Get on Goal Planning

                    Get yourself a piece of blank paper and a pen and divide the paper into 4 columns: A, B, C, and D.

                    Ask yourself the question: What is great in my business and life right now? Write these things down in Column A. This might be a couple of things, five things, ten things, whatever feels right to you.

                    Then ask yourself: What things are happening right now that I don’t want in my future? Write these things down in Column B.

                    This is your opportunity to take a step back and look at the things that are simply not working. You may list people that are bringing you down or projects that you don’t want to work on any more. Maybe you’ll include a service offering that’s going nowhere. It could be the people you’re working with, or it could be your pricing.

                    Now, let’s look at your personal strengths. Write down everything that you’re great at in Column C.

                    These could be things that you’re doing right now and having success with. It could also be things you know you’re awesome at but you’re not spending enough time on.

                    Column D is for your biggest opportunities. Is there a new service/product you could offer your ideal customers? Is there a new innovation you could bring to market? Just take some time out and really think and list these things in Column D.

                    Once you’ve analyzed everything you’ve written down, take some time to really think about what goals you want to set for your business and life in the next 12 months.

                    4. Set Outcomes to Build Confidence

                    You now have your goals, and you’ll feel self-assured and raring to go. They are written down and you’re committed to achieving them. You feel self-assured and motivated.

                    But how do you ensure that you stay on the correct course to achieve these goals?

                    Managing and juggling day-to-day projects can get in the way. Dealing with problems can get in the way. Staying on top of orders, managing cash flow, and handling day-to-day stuff can move your ship off course.

                    You want to be productive and achieve your goals, but you also need to ensure the day and week runs smoothly.

                    One way to ensure this happens is to set 90 Day Outcome Goals; within those Outcome Goals, put some specific process goals that need to be undertaken.

                    Let’s say you want to get 10 more speaking jobs in the next 90 days, and you know that you typically convert 50% of opportunities.

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                    Therefore, your process goal needs to be to have 20 conversations in the next 90 Days to deliver the 10 new pieces of work. You will then work out who you can have those conversations with.

                    It’s smart to overshoot, so you will more easily hit your target. This is a clear plan to work through because with every win, your confidence will grow.

                    5. Completely Commit to Your Success

                    If you are not truly committed to achieving your goals, then chances are that you won’t reach them.

                    Motivation can only take you so far. It is the intentional commitment[1] and emotional investment in your future success that will move you forward.

                    Think back to any time that you really committed to achieving something. There must have been a reason you actually achieved what you set out to achieve. What motivated you?

                    Were you fully invested? Why did it matter? Did you have to be really courageous to achieve it?

                    How did it feel when you achieved it? What difference did it make?

                    When have you felt truly self-assured? When you are committed to something, then you are propelled into action. Your mindset is focused, and your body follows; you want to get it done.

                    And, when you do get it done, your confidence goes through the roof. You feel a level of certainty in achieving the goal you set out to accomplish.

                    6. Focus on Your Strengths

                    To feel self-assured and build up the confidence needed to achieve our biggest goals, we need to focus on our strengths.

                    What are you best at? What are your unique skills? You want to spend as much time as you can working in the areas that you’re great at.

                    Multiply your strengths. These areas are where you add the biggest value. They often bring you the biggest amount of joy, and you feel more and more confident when you are using your unique skills.

                    If you think there is a specific capability you need to learn or be better at, spend more focused time in that area.

                    Many of us want to do it all. We want to be good at everything. We want to offer a lot of services. But, in reality, there are some very specific things we are great at; nobody is good at everything!

                    Spending more time adding value in the areas where you excel can create breakthrough results and boost confidence.

                    7. Embrace the Present

                    Sometimes we spend so much time thinking about the future or worrying about the past that we forget the present moment[2].

                    Are you spending most of your day reacting to things, or have you taken the time to think about what your perfect day looks like?

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                    We all have the opportunity to create rather than react, to decide what we do with our day. All of our future success can be created in the present moment if we just take a step back and take action.

                    Sometimes, doing it now is more important than doing it perfectly. There are hidden opportunities in every moment. We need to make sure we don’t miss them if we want to feel self-assured.

                    8. Calm the Whirlwind

                    The day-to-day life in business and life can be hard, which leads us to feel less self-assured.

                    Your mind may be full to bursting with all of the things you feel you have to do. The phrase “I don’t have time” has almost become an instant reaction by so many people when new opportunities are presented.

                    There is a whirlwind happening inside our minds.

                    Appointments, notifications, tasks, phone calls, errands, cash flow, staffing issues, networking, marketing all can clutter up our timeline. The sheer volume of things we feel we should do creates procrastination, stopping us from pursuing the projects and people that matter.

                    Many of us feel we have to do everything within our business.

                    Rather than simplifying things and doing less, we do more. We work longer, which creates a lack of energy and focus. Because of this, we lose clarity on our biggest opportunities. If you feel this way, take some well-deserved time off.

                    Look at where you’re spending your time. How much of your time is being spent moving your ideas forward?

                    In the next 90 days, if you could delegate or outsource more daily tasks and spend more time focusing on where you add the biggest value, what difference would it make?

                    Calm the whirlwind by slowing down and doing less.

                    Focus on areas that you add the biggest amount of value. By doing this, your energy levels will increase, your confidence will grow and you will have more success.

                    9. Take More Time off

                    This may seem counterintuitive, but taking more time off to recharge and refocus can pay huge dividends.

                    If you are constantly fighting fires and caught up in the myriad of different activities that you have to do each day, then how can you move your business forward?

                    You may be being pulled in difference directions without any focused time on your biggest projects. If that’s the case, then it’s almost impossible to gain any real momentum in moving your business forward and hitting your goals.

                    The best way to get off that treadmill is to take more creative time out of the business.

                    Could you realistically take one day off per month to work on your business? If you could, what would you do with this time?

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                    Just imagine no distractions, only focused time on the strategic development and growth of your business.

                    Every day off per month could have a different focus: New product innovation; Thinking about your biggest clients; Improving operations.

                    Add to this a quarterly review to check in with your goals progress, and this could have a dramatic effect on where you spend your valuable time.

                    10. Celebrate Wins

                    Sometimes you just want to get through the day, right?

                    You have so much to do. There are so many things on your task list that you just complete what you can and then start another day. But what would happen if, at the end of each day, you took some time out to look at what you’ve accomplished?

                    Celebrating success keeps you motivated and helps you become more self-assured. It is not just another day. It’s a day that included things that should be celebrated.

                    If you’re struggling to feel motivated, try celebrating a couple of wins each day.

                    Celebrating success combined with the gratitude you have for achieving those wins will boost your confidence and inspire you for the next day.

                    11. Give Yourself More Space

                    When was the last time you gave yourself time to think?

                    Within the hustle and bustle, it can be difficult to give yourself a little bit of space and time to just think[3].

                    Imagine giving yourself just an hour a day to just let your mind wander or think about a specific thing.

                    If you think about it, we can all free up an hour a day for something without really losing any efficiency or really impacting our business.

                    In fact, that hour could be transformational for your business and life.

                    A new idea for a product could form, or an idea for adding value to your existing clients could materialize. Perhaps you could do a check in to your ideal future and your goals. You could decide that you want to take your business in a new direction.

                    Try this: Just sit alone for an hour with a notebook and let it be your creative thinking time. See what happens.

                    Final Thoughts

                    Ultimately, being self-assured happens when you have a clear direction.

                    This, coupled with having clear goals and working in your unique skill-set, gives you the biggest opportunity to be more productive and get more of the right things done.

                    The old mantra that “less is more” is right on the money. By giving yourself more time to work on your goals, you will inevitably increase your confidence; at this point, your ideal future can be anything you want it to be.

                    More on How to Be Self-Assured

                    Featured photo credit: Nathan Dumlao via unsplash.com

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