Monday, July 29, 2019

Ways to Simplify This Month

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Hopefully these tips will help you simplify this month:

Digitize paperwork and stop printing things.  I hate printing anything.  If I can avoid it, I do.  I'd rather send an e-mail or file things electronically.  Paper clutter is the worst.  It seems so innocuous at first, since one page really doesn't take up much space, but then it just multiplies.  Think before you print anything - don't print recipes or online shopping receipts, send any bills to your cloud storage as a pdf, just refrain from hitting print.  Soon you won't even need a paper storage space in your home.  I know I don't have one.

Limit the time frames for checking e-mail.  Turn off push notifications and limit the time you devote to your inbox.  There's nothing so pressing that comes via e-mail that it needs to be opened the very second you receive it.  Set 'office hours' for yourself, where you commit to checking e-mail only twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon/evening.  When you check your e-mail at every ding, your attention is pulled from whatever you were working on and you're simply not as productive as if you committed to one project at a time, sans e-mail checking.

Don't plan out your whole vacation.  If you're heading on a vacation, try not planning every minute of the day.  It's fine to plan out the big things you want to see or do, but try not making strict schedules for things like meal times or waking hours.  Inevitably, things will not go according to plan, which will just stress you out.  It's simpler to just take things as they come.

Reduce the content you consume.  Remove blogs from your reader, turn off anything that pushes news though to your e-mail.  There's just so much out there and we can't consume it all, nor should we.  If there's anything that you don't open anymore, unsubscribe from it instead of always deleting it.  If any news outlet makes you particularly frustrated, take it off your reader.  Consume less.

Keep a running donate box.  I've already gone through most of our stuff but since new things are always coming in, we keep a running donate box.  Any time I find something, I simply add it to the box.  Once it's full, I go donate it.  It gives those items somewhere to go in the meantime, instead of just remaining on shelves or counters and being forgotten about.  As soon as I think 'we don't need this anymore,' into the box it goes.

Create an exit area.  For items that need to leave your house.  Ours is by the front door, so we don't forget, but this is where you would put library books, reusable bags, donations, the pan that needs to go back to your mom, anything that (a) doesn't belong to you and (b) anything you want to remember to take with you on certain days, like the bags you need to grocery shop.  No more late fees!  And no more running around each morning wondering why you have the nagging feeling you forgot something again.

Keep a gratitude journal.  Keeping a gratitude journal or list is such a nice way to wind down each day.  It helps you remember what's really important and how much you actually have, keeping you from always jumping to the next new thing.  And once you read over everything, you'll start to realize that physical or mental clutter never makes the list.

How have you been simplifying lately?

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