Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Self-Improvement: Simplify Your Life

by Linda Hancock

If you want a measure for how your life is going, begin by taking a good objective look at your environment.

Those who are surrounded by clutter and disorganization usually feel psychologically overwhelmed and stressed.

But it doesn't have to be that way. You shouldn't have to waste time looking for things or invest a whole day just to feel like you have cleaned up.

Following are some hints to help you get back into control:

1. Get rid of stuff

If you haven't worn it or used it in the past year, then it is time to eliminate it. Don't think that you have to keep things because you might have regrets. Instead, try to think about someone who would appreciate the item and then offer it to them as a gift. When my aunt was preparing for a move from the large family home into a condo, she made a rule that every time she left the house she would take one thing with her. It might be an ornament or bag of things she had gathered for the garbage or stack of books. By the end of the first month, more than thirty items were gone!

2. Ensure that you have proper equipment

Get a shredder and use it every day. There is so much paper that enters our lives so we need to destroy as much as possible when it arrives. You don't always need to have new things but make sure what you have is in good working order. It is better to have one powerful vacuum, for example, than two that need repairs.

3. Have a place for everything and keep everything in its place

A small tote with a handle is an excellent way to store and move cleaning supplies. Installing reachable hooks for the children encourages them to hang their coats rather than throw them on the floor. You will save so much time if you and all your family members and co-workers know where things belong and put them back after each use.

4. Never go anywhere with empty hands

Save steps by transporting things as you travel from room to room. You can pick up a garbage can that needs to be emptied or drop off folded clothing that you previously stacked at the bottom of the stairs even when you had another goal in mind when you started walking.

5. Do some "power" working

It is amazing how much you can do in very short periods of time. I often cut a deal with myself that I can watch a movie if I do housework during all the commercials. It is quite amazing but I can usually get most of my tasks done by the time the movie is over. Even five or ten minute intervals at the office can bring great results by day end.

6. Let your machines work for you

All you have to do is push a few buttons and things will do the work while you are doing something else. Load the dishwasher, washing machine and dryer. You then have at least half an hour to do something else while they perform. Throw something in the oven and it cooks itself. Load the photocopier and just let it make the copies while you focus elsewhere.

7. Maintain things as you go

When you see dust, don't wait. It only takes a minute to wipe it away. Wash dishes as you cook so there isn't a pile after the meal. When emptying the shredder bag results in a mess on the floor, grab the vacuum and quickly run it over the entire room. When you see a gas station consider filling the tank so you don't have to make an extra trip to fill it later.

8. Practice being there ten minutes before you are expected

Arrive at the office, school or meetings ten minutes early rather than being right on time. It is not respectful to be late and planning to arrive right at the schedule time doesn't allow for the unexpected (this idea will become a blessing for you and others).

And now I would like to invite you to claim your Free Instant Access to a complimentary list of 10 Steps to Making Your Life an Adventure when you visit http://lindahancock.com

From Dr. Linda Hancock, Registered Psychologist and Registered Social Worker

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