Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.
– John Lennon
Ok, so I’m not a self help guru, but I have learned a lot since I have been on this planet. Most of it has been learned through trial and error (or in the words of my mother “banging my head against the wall”). I decided that I should try to help more people avoid the pain of learning the way I did. I have a few ideas to help you simplify your life, and some of them help the environment as well as your well being.
We will start with the easy black and white stuff:
I know, I know you have heard all of this before but here are a few easy tips/reminders…
1. Auto-sort your email inbox. You know who the important emails are from, have them automatically sent to a special folder. You know what newsletters you get that are ok to peruse later, send them to a newsletter folder. Take the time to mark junk email as that, and you will spend much less time sorting emails that you shouldn’t have to deal with all the time.
2. Opt-Out! This includes junk mail, emails lists and groups you are no longer interested in, and even telemarketing calls. This takes very little time and will save you eons of time in the long run. This is also a green option. Keeping all of this paper from being tossed into landfills and even reducing the amount of paper made for these adds. Start with these sites:
Do Not Call List: https://www.donotcall.gov/
Ok now you’re on an unsubscribe roll, want to learn more? Try this link http://www.privacyrights.org/fs/fs4-junk.htm#getofflist
3. Clean out your junk drawers and closets. Get a friend to help. They will help you get rid of all those things you think you can’t live without, but forgot you owned. Donate all of the stuff you haven’t seen or used in 6 months to some body who can use it. Super eco friendly! ReUse is the best way to go. Try http://locator.goodwill.org/ they will be happy to make good use of your old stuff.
Evaluate Your Stressors
This one is a little more difficult. Everyone has some kind of stress in their life. Work, school, kids, significant other, responsibilities in general can all add up and cause you undue amounts of stress. Take stock, figure out what stresses can be somehow alleviated. Some of the things you may consider:
1. Can you delegate some responsibilites at work? I know many of us are guilty of believing that old adage “if you want something done right, do it yourself” I prefer to think if you want something done right, take the time to train some one to do it right. Don’t expect someone else to have all the knowledge you have, have a little patcients and teach them what they need to know.
2. Are there toxic people in your life? These are the people who always have a problem, but never do anything to fix it. They always need to lean on you, but won’t ever make the changes nessesary to avoid the issues that they have. They can also be the people who are always negative, it doesn’t matter what the situation. They could hit the lottery and they would be upset by the taxes instead of happy about the win. These people drain you and cause you a ton of stress. You can do a couple of things. Get them out of your life entirely or cut back on the amount of time you spend with them. In some cases you may be best served by actually sitting down and talking to them about their behavior and what you are and are not willing to accept from them. Give them the chance to modify their behavior. Everybody deserves a chance.
3. Look at your extra curricular activities. Do you volunteer, are you on boards, organizer of many events, go to person for a number of organizations? How much stress is caused by these activities? Make sure that you still enjoy donating your time, and that you don’t feel like the only one working. It may be nessesary to cut back on some of your responsibilities to these groups just to relieve some of the stress. Focus on quality and not quantity. You can be active without taking everything upon yourself.
Make Time for You!
This is the hardest for the most driven of the population. I know it sounds selfish, but you have to make sure you are happy in order to have even the slimmest chance of making anyone else happy. Set aside at least a half a day a week [I take a whole day;) ]to do stuff that makes you happy. No pressure. Spend time at the beach or reading or even just vegging in front of the TV. It doesn’t matter, your body and brain need time to decompress. If you don’t give your body the time for this it will let you know. You may get sick or feel tired all the time, that’s your body telling you to take it easy.
Ok, I know I hit some big ones in there. Keep in mind this is not supposed to be a stressful process. Take your time, be patient, and you will get there. Trust me, the simple life is the way to go!