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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 May 24, 2019

                  How to Be Productive at Home and Make Every Day a Productive Day

                  How to Be Productive at Home and Make Every Day a Productive Day

                  If you’ve ever wondered how to be productive at home or how you could possibly have a more productive day, look no further.

                  Below you’ll find six easy tips that will help you make the most out of your time:

                  1. Create a Good Morning Routine

                  One of the best ways to start your day is to get up early and eat a healthy breakfast.

                  CEOs and other successful people have similar morning routines, which include exercising and quickly scanning their inboxes to find the most urgent tasks.[1]

                  You can also try writing first thing in the morning to warm up your brain[2] (750 words will help with that). But no matter what you choose to do, remember to create good morning habits so that you can have a more productive day.

                  If you aren’t sure how to make morning routine work for you, this guide will help you:

                  The Ultimate Morning Routine to Make You Happy And Productive All Day

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                  2. Prioritize

                  Sometimes we can’t have a productive day because we just don’t know where to start. When that’s the case, the most simple solution is to list everything you need to get accomplished, then prioritize these tasks based on importance and urgency.

                  Week Plan is a simple web app that will help you prioritize your week using the Covey time management grid. Here’s an example of it:[3]

                    If you get the most pressing and important items done first, you will be able to be more productive while keeping stress levels down.

                    Lifehack’s CEO, Leon, also has great advice on how to prioritize. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

                    How to Prioritize Right in 10 Minutes and Work 10X Faster

                    3. Focus on One Thing at a Time

                    One of the biggest killers of productivity is distractions. Whether it be noise or thoughts or games, distractions are a barrier to any productive day. That’s why it’s important to know where and when you work best.

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                    Need a little background noise to keep you on track? Try working in a coffee shop.

                    Can’t stand to hear even the ticking of a clock while writing? Go to a library and put in your headphones.

                    Don’t be afraid to utilize technology to make the best of your time. Sites like [email protected] and Simply Noise can help keep you focused and productive all day long.

                    And here’s some great apps to help you focus: 10 Online Apps for Better Focus

                    4. Take Breaks

                    Focusing, however, can drain a lot of energy and too much of it at once can quickly turn your productive day unproductive.

                    To reduce mental fatigue while staying on task, try using the Pomodoro Technique. It requires working on a task for 25 minutes, then taking a short break before another 25 minute session.

                    After four “pomodoro sessions,” be sure to take a longer break to rest and reflect.

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                    I like to work in 25 and 5 minute increments, but you should find out what works best for you.

                    5. Manage Your Time Effectively

                    A learning strategies consultant once told me that there is no such thing as free time, only unstructured time.

                    How do you know when exactly you have free time?

                    By using the RescueTime app, you can see when you have free time, when you are productive, and when you actually waste time.

                    With this data, you can better plan out your day and keep yourself on track.

                    Moreover, you can increase the quality of low-intensity time. For example, reading the news while exercising or listening to meeting notes while cooking. Many of the mundane tasks we routinely accomplish can be paired with other tasks that lead to an overall more productive day.

                    A bonus tip, even your real free time can be used productively, find out how:

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                    20 Productive Ways to Use Your Free Time

                    6. Celebrate and Reflect

                    No matter how you execute a productive day, make sure to take time and celebrate what you’ve accomplished. It’s important to reward yourself so that you can continue doing great work. Plus, a reward system is an incredible motivator.

                    Additionally, you should reflect on your day in order to find out what worked and what didn’t. Reflection not only increases future productivity, but also gives your brain time to decompress and de-stress.

                    Try these 10 questions for daily self reflection.

                    More Articles About Daily Productivity

                    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

                    Reference

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