“Simplify”. To me that means “streamline, take out the unnecessary, nothing wasted”. For the purpose of having more time to spend on things I love and enjoy. I think most of us get plenty of practice doing things that contribute to that goal – me, as a wife and mother with a full-time corporate job for 27 years, I definitely had a lot of practice! most of these are now part of my life. habits I couldn’t break if I tried.
1. Have one datebook where you keep all of your appointments. I’ve tried to go electronic, but my tool of choice here is a russell+hazel mini binder with monthly tabs. I like being able to see the whole month at once. this book goes with me everywhere. and I don’t have to worry about checking another calendar someplace else before I make a commitment (or figure out what I’m doing today).
2. Have one to-do list where you write down everything you have to do. how much detail you put here depends on how bad your memory is. me, I tend to put it all down, just so I don’t forget. this means that if I agree to do something, and you don’t see me write it down, worry about it!
|my datebook and to-do list|
3. Learn to say “no” – and do it every so often.
4. Plan ahead.
5. Handle mail once. (for me, this means reading and either trashing or filing for follow-up – I am ruthless about the trash part, too).
6. Put things away. sometimes this is harder than I’d like, but the idea is that if everything is in its place, I don’t have to spend time looking for it, and I don’t have to allocate a chunk of time to “straighten up”.
7. Cultivate good friends and healthy relationships – and disassociate yourself from the poisonous ones.
8. Consolidate vendors. we had our cell phones, internet and TV with three separate companies and just consolidated them all with at&t. so far, very good. and now I only have one bill to pay each month.
9. Get an iphone. I love having one small device that does so much!
10. Drink your coffee black. My mom suggested this to me when I first started drinking coffee (wow, over 30 years ago!) – it is very good advice. But I haven’t been able to do it! I need a little bit of non-fat milk (or “the skimmest you have”) and I really love it to be hot before I add it to the coffee. oh well.