Juggling work, finances, friends, family and personal goals, while still trying to enjoy some down time can be tricky. The key to success in the fast-paced world is to declutter your life.
Running out of time has become the norm for most people. In this digital age, we’re all plugged in and connected 24/7. We expect everything to happen as quickly as we update our social media pages or microwave food. This “instant noodle” culture can cause enormous confusion, stress and fatigue.
“Our work lives are filled with busyness, distraction, procrastination, responding to messages, checking on messages, and getting lost down rabbit holes,” writes Leo Babauta on his website, Zen Habits.
“We struggle to be mindful and to focus on our meaningful work. Many of us want to create a life of meaning, focus, and mindfulness. We know this, and yet we struggle.” The result is that people tend to neglect themselves. In order to protect your emotional and physical health, it’s essential to find some time to do what’s important to you.
“It’s crucial that you prioritise and plan your time,” says life coach Penny Holburn. “You need down time to rid yourself of stress and to relax, so that when you’re with your loved ones, you can be present in the moment.”
Here are a few simple ways to declutter your life:
1. Manage your time and use it wisely
Make note of the things that take up most of your time and in which ways your time is being wasted. Consider making changes where you can. For example, if you’re spending a lot of time in traffic, ask your boss if you can work flexi-hours.
2. Take a break
If you’re one of those people who eats lunch at their desks, it’s a sign that you’re not prioritising your health. When you’re tired, your productivity and creativity levels fall and you’re more likely to make mistakes. Even if you’re busy at home, make sure your take regular breaks.
3. Have a plan
It’s not necessary to lock down every minute detail of your life, but it helps to have some kind of plan in place to make sure nothing is overlooked or forgotten. A routine that you are comfortable with will be beneficial in the long term.
Putting things off will only increase your stress levels in the long run. Get into the habit of getting things done as soon as you can.
5. Watch your finances
Debit orders can eat up a chunk of your salary, and it’s common to find that the rest is consumed by unnecessary expenditure. For your peace of mind, and to make sure you know where your money is being spent, make a list of all your monthly expenses. Use this list to create a budget and stick to it.
6. A digital detox
Set some time aside every day to switch off all devices such as phones, tablets, computers and the TV, and do something that you really enjoy, be it yoga, spending time with the kids, walking the dog, etc. Do your best to be present in these moments and avoid distractions.
7. Organise your work area and living space
A cluttered environment can lead to a cluttered mind, so clean up the desktop on your computer, organise your desk and/or office, and repack all the cupboards in your home.
8. Get help and delegate
If you have tasks that someone else can help you with – at home or at work, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Better yet, learn to delegate certain tasks so that you can focus on what’s really important to you and what you do best.