Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Decisions I Don't Make Anymore

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I mentioned yesterday that one of the decluttering roadblocks that often comes up is related to decision fatigue.  If you make a lot of decisions in a day, you don't have much decision making power left to be able to rationally deal with the stuff you want to declutter.  But it doesn't have to just be about decluttering - making any sort of decision is draining and it'll help you be much less stressed if you start cutting some of those out of your life altogether.  It's worth it to take some time now to set up your life so future you has way less decisions to make.  Here are some decisions that used to take up my brain power each day that I just don't make anymore:

How to store, organize, and display collections.  Why?  Because I don't have any collections.  It's just that simple.  I used to spend a lot of time deciding how to store my DVDs, how to display various shot glasses and picture frames, and how to organize my scrapbook supplies.  And how to pack it all up each time I moved over the years.  I make literally none of those decisions anymore, because I made the single decision years ago to get rid of all of those things.  The entire lot of them, all at once.  One of my best decisions ever.  If you're just not that interested in some collection of yours anymore, let it go.

How to set up the month's budget.  When I was trying to figure out budgeting and spending, I would make monthly budgets, which helped a lot (and I still recommend the process for those who struggle with money.)  But I don't need them anymore at this point, so I just don't make budgets at all.  I know what my fixed expenses are each month as well as what our other bills are that fluctuate, like the electric bill, so I'm confident in what I spend there each month, leaving a bit for wiggle room.  After that, I save everything in various accounts, most of it auto drafted to each, and have determined what I would like to spend on other things like shoes or shampoo (in fact, I plan to track this next year to see exactly how much I spend in a year.)  I stopped shopping for the most part, so I barely touch that money anyway, so I know there's plenty for emergencies and vacations and whatever else we decide to do.  I keep things inexpensive in our day to day lives - we live well under our means - so I don't make decisions about what to budget for each category or which bills to prioritize or how to save up each month for a vacation next year.

When to pay bills.  Auto everything.  Since I already know the amounts, I don't even think about monthly bills because they just get taken out of my account.  I also know the money is in there and it doesn't matter if I got paid late or if everything is due at once (it usually is, it's all right around the 1st of the month), I don't have to 'time' my bill paying to sync with my paycheck cycles.  It's really freeing to not think about money.  Took some time to get to that point but the initial learning process and then the savings and minimalist life have been more than worth it.

Anything regarding social media shares.  Just like paying bills, I've automated everything when it comes to sharing my blog posts.  I use apps like Hootsuite, Buffer, BoardBooster, and IFTTT to make it so each new post is automatically tweeted and that my pins are scheduled on Pinterest.  Sure, there's more promotion that I could do to get each post to a wider audience, but I value my time more.  The only tough one is Instagram, since you can't really do that there.

How to find time in my schedule.  No is my favorite word.  In fact, it was my second word ever.  My first?  Mine.  What can I say, I'm an only child.  I perfected 'No, mine' really early.  Anyway, I've gotten really great at saying no to things I don't want to do.  I used to have way more activities on my calendar and way more hobbies but it's exhausting to me.  Plus I would usually have to turn down things I really wanted to do because I had already committed to something else.  Now my schedule is so much more free.  If a college friend is randomly in town for just one day, I can make it work to be able to see them.  If my mom needs help around the house, I have at least one full weekend day open, almost every weekend.  If we decide to try a new and slightly more complicated homemade dinner recipe, I have the time in my day to prepare for that and to sit down and enjoy it.  Post 5 blog posts a week, sleep 8 hours every night, keep the house clean daily?  Not a problem.  I don't have to find time in my schedule, cancel other plans, try to balance and move things around, or rush from place to place to squeeze in everything I had said yes to.  It's lovely.

How many decisions do you think you make in your day?  Anything on my list that you're still making decisions about and want to stop?

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