So what gets in the way of spending time on things that raise our energy? A few months ago I wrote a post about embracing minimalism related to a recent move and what “stuff” I reduced in my life. This is something I am also applying to other areas of my life. It made me think about what I need to do less of to create more space. Or what habits I needed to form to keep things in order with less clutter.
Here are some new things I am trying that are making a huge difference:
I reduced the number initiatives I was trying to do at work. I have a tendency to try and do everything and sometimes it can sacrifice quality. Now I am being rigorous about focusing on clients, companies and the type of work that I really enjoy.
I was able to hire a part-time assistant to help outsource things like scheduling appointments.
I also got a cleaning lady. At first, I was like is this really necessary? I mean I do have a labrador that thinks he can just drop his hair all over the floor…And this hair never seems to stop growing :). But I decided that if it takes two professional people 2 hours to clean my place twice a month than it would probably take me at least double that. So it is worth it to spend a little extra to free up what I equate to 10-12 hrs a month. Sometimes you can look at what you can give up to make something like this work. For example with AppleTV, Netflix, etc. I don’t have the need for cable.
I strive to keep my email Inbox at zero. It doesn’t always get there but I file things away after I read them or put articles/videos into a file if I can’t read them right away. I realized that I had several “read later” and “task folders” on top of my task system which made things loose and created confusion.
I started using the dishwasher less. I came across another blog called Zen Habits that inspired me to put everything away after I use it. I used to just run the dishwasher when it was full. Then all the dishes would sit for days because I didn’t want to unload it. So now I just use a few things and then wash and put them away immediately. No more piles of dishes drying.
With all the extra clothes I used to have, I didn’t do laundry for several weeks sometimes and would have 3-4 loads pile up. Then my clean clothes would pile up or the dryer would be come my dresser :). Now when I use a few towels to clean Brooks I wash them right away. I do a small load every week and it is so much easier. With less clothes, it forces me to stay on top of things more.
I am someone who really enjoys the mornings, so I stopped wasting time on the internet at night and am getting to bed earlier. A few days a week I am getting to bed at 9:30pm, so I can get up at 4:30am. The first few hours of my day are the quietest, and I am by far the most productive during that time.
For me what seems to work is to keep looking at where my time goes and determine what is satisfying and what is less satisfying. I try to either outsource, ask for help, organize or stop doing the things that wear me out to help create time for what I really want to do. It is a constant work in progress.
So as you start your week, what is one thing you can try doing or stop doing that may create more time for yourself? Have some fun with it and let me know how it goes.