Are you a quitter instead of a finisher? Do you have trouble finishing many things that you start? I know I have had issues with this and have often found myself with a ton of projects, ideas, books, etc. all in half-complete stages or just simply left behind. Well for today’s post I present my 5 top tips for helping you to be a finisher and stop being a quitter. Continue reading
Stuff weighs you down. You really don’t need so much stuff in your life. Think about it: what if you suddenly had the opportunity of a lifetime come up, but it required you to move quickly – across the country or around the world. Would you be so mired in all your stuff that you couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity?
Start getting rid of stuff. Go through everything you own and either sell it, donate it, reuse it, or trash it. If you haven’t used something in a year, the chances are pretty good that you don’t need it. There are always exceptions to this. I find it hard to part with books, for example. Even if I haven’t read a book in a year, I still keep some of them. Make exceptions for a small number of things – what ever works for you. Do not make exceptions for everything though! Find bigger things to get rid of too – getting rid of lots of little things is beneficial, but getting rid of large items that you just don’t need will really make a difference. When we got a big HDTV, We got rid of our huge entertainment center and the TV sits on a small table. Even though the TV is bigger we have so much more space in our living room and it feels like a more comfortable room now.
Don’t Pay For Clutter
There is no excuse for having a paid storage area that is just clutter. The same goes for a house that is too big for you. Take the opportunity to get rid of your clutter and stop paying for a storage area, or even downsize to a smaller house to save money.
Yes, it can be overwhelming when you start to go through all of your stuff. Pick one room or even one part of one room and start somewhere! Once you get the hang of it and see the positive impact it will be easier to keep going and going. Make sure you don’t get stuck and stay small though. Keep going and work your way through your house, garage, or where ever your clutter is.
Keep It Up
Once you have gone through all of your stuff and reduced it, you aren’t done. Make a lifestyle paradigm shift and continue to periodically purge your stuff. Yes, maybe that survived the last purge, but do you really still need it? Continually go through your stuff and reduce your clutter.
Now it is your turn. I challenge you to go through at least one room and reduce your clutter. Post your results, tips, or feedback here.
This post contains my most helpful tips for keeping track of your thoughts. I have tried a number of software programs to keep todo lists and things like that, but I still find that good old fashioned pen and paper are the best for me.
I keep a notebook for each component of my life. I currently have three: one for work, one for personal, and one for this blog and other entrepreneurial ideas. I prefer spiral bound notebooks or composition books over the legal pad style notebooks. Since I never tear out pages and just keep working my way through them, flipping over pages from a legal pad makes them unwieldy and hard to flip through them back and forth.
Take a sharpie and write your name, the topic, and the start date on the front cover of the notebook. Now get going taking notes!
I want to really stress the importance of keeping the notebooks separate. I originally started with one notebook and wrote down work and personal information. I found it was that much harder to locate information when everything was jumbled together.
Don’t be afraid to start new notebooks for new things. When we moved across the country, I started a separate notebook just for the move. This was always by my side and had all my information in one place. I had information for the actual move – moving company, plane info, car transport, plus things like canceling the old utilities and starting up the new ones. This was essential during the move and I referred to this one for a long time after the move. Also, when we moved again I had a great template for replicating a lot of the details.
Write Down Everything
Every time I talk to someone on the phone I write it down in the appropriate notebook. Always get the person’s name and always write the date in the margin. This has helped me so many times that I want to stress it again – write down the name of the person you talked to. Then months later when there is a problem, you can flip back and say something like “I talked to Mary on February 12 and she said she would reverse that charge”.
Even if you aren’t doing anything spectacular or don’t have any todo items to write down, try to write down something as often as you can. This helps to give a frame of reference when you are looking back through the pages. If you are trying to find a particular note it helps to have other things written down which happened at a similar time.
I have gotten in the habit of starting my day off by writing the date in both my personal and work notebooks. I then write up a list of todo items that I want to accomplish that day, if I have any.
Take Them Everywhere
Get in the habit of taking them back and forth to work or wherever you go. I always pack them into my laptop bag with my laptop so I have them at work or at home. It is very frustrating to not have your notebook when you need it. I also keep the last archived notebooks in by laptop bag too. Once you find yourself not referring to older notebooks, then safely archive them somewhere at home.
This is a really handy tip that I do automatically now. If you write down a todo item in your notebook, make an empty square in the margin on the left. When you finish the todo item, check it off! Now you can easily scan the page and see what you have done and what you still need to do. As a variation, you can draw one line of the “X” when you start working on it and then write the next line of the “X” upon completion.
Use Them As Reference
When you fill a notebook, write the end date on the front cover and save it! I now have years worth of notebooks for reference and can flip back to discover exact dates and names of people that I talked to previously. If you find yourself coming back to particular information, stick a post-it at that location for quick reference next time, or copy the information to your current notebook.
Your first todo is to give me feedback! Do you already do anything like this? Is this helpful? Do you have a better system? Please post a comment or email me. I’d be especially interested if you have a great software based solution that you use.
This is a really simple thing, but I continually forget and rediscover the benefits of this one. The tip is: clean up your space! This can be your office, home office, living room, kitchen, anywhere that you work. If you are having a hard time concentrating or working then look around you and see if you are surrounded by clutter. Taking 10 minutes to clean up your workspace will save you more lost time in the long run. It also has the added benefit of clearing your mind so you can think better. If you haven’t touched something in a while, then you probably don’t need it so recycle it, throw it out, sell it, or donate it. You will feel much better with less stuff around you.
I hadn’t updated this blog in a while and it was a little daunting to think about all the things I wanted to acomplish. I have a list of topics I’m waiting to get down on the site and also a ton of ideas in my head for the site design. Before beginning I took a few minutes and cleaned up my home office and now I feel like I can go all night!
This is a great starting point for my future topic of reducing your possesions to live a simpler life. I’ll link to it from here once I get it written.
Also, this is a great place to introduce a new concept that I call Logan Challenges. These will be simple things that I challenge you to do. Post a comment about what you did and the results. So here is your first Logan Challenge – clean up the space you are working in right now!