What can you do become more productive? How can you reduce stress? How can you regain your focus? How can you find more time to do the things you enjoy?
Downsize your life. Now.
Most of our stress and lost time is the result of loads of stuff that we’ve somehow managed to accumulate over the years – in our homes, cars, offices, computers and mobile devices.
When there’s a problem, we tend to focus on what we need instead of eliminating what we don’t need. Then we add more stuff, which brings more stress, more confusion, more wasted time and a thicker fog in our brains.
Here are some things that you can get rid of today so you can start downsizing your life.
Clothes. See those three winter coats in the back of the closet that you haven’t worn in five years? They probably don’t fit or they’re out of style. Donate them.
Piles of “stuff.” Go through your closets, basement, attic, garage or storage unit. Separate keepsakes and family heirlooms from the stuff that you’ve saved but never used.
If you haven’t touched something in more than a few years, whether it’s a book, a set of glasses, a power tool or a bowling ball, it’s time to throw it out, donate it or try to sell it. If you can’t sell it, it’s time to throw it out or donate it. For real.
You may end up with enough room to create something you really enjoy, like a reading nook, a yoga room or an in-home theatre. You could also simply enjoy the serenity that comes with empty space.
Credit cards. Resist the urge to sign up for a new card at every store so you can save 10 percent. Do you really need more than one or two credit cards and an extra for emergencies? Find the cards that have the lowest interest rates or the best perks and cut up the rest. This will mean fewer bills to pay, fewer emails and fewer solicitations.
Email addresses. How many email addresses do you have? Three? Four? If you only use one or two, what’s the point? Eliminating useless email addresses means less confusion, less spam and fewer useless alerts that distract you all day. Speaking of alerts…
Apps and software. Do you wake up in the morning, turn on your smartphone and see alerts to update six apps that you never use? But you update them anyway because the alert said so. Eliminate daily distractions and virtual clutter by deleting the stuff from your phone, tablet and computers that you have never or will never use.
Holiday decorations. This is a huge one. Do you have boxes of holiday decorations that you never even display? Now that you think about it, isn’t that more than a little crazy? When you start decorating for the holidays, realize that minimalism is very “in” these days. Keep your best decorations and ornaments, and give the rest the heave-ho-ho-ho.
What other things could you get rid of now to simplify your life?