5 Steps to Declutter Your Schedule and Live Your Desired Life
“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to’.” ―Lao Tzu
1. Acknowledge the fact that you can’t do everything.
We can only do so much. We have unlimited options, but limited resources. We have to make important decisions to eliminate some things. When we’re feeling especially productive and superhuman, we struggle to admit this reality. But, we can’t do it all. We have to remove the clutter.
Clutter is the stuff that interferes with the life we want to live. It slows us down from doing the things we value most. It’s that unnecessary stuff that we entertain, but doesn’t help us get where we want to go. And it needs to be removed.
2. Clarify what’s most important…to you!
The things that are important to you will affect how you make decisions and how you spend your days. If you don’t know where you’re going, why bother establishing a path? Before you start developing a plan, you have to know what you want to accomplish and what rules you will play by. You need a what and a why before you figure out how.
You’ll need clarity in at least 3 important areas:
Once you’ve identified your objective, you can begin to think about how you’ll get there. It is incredibly important to identify your goals and values. But if you don’t take the second step and think about your plan to live up to them, then they are only dreams.
You have to map out a route to your destination. You have to figure out the best way to be and do what you want to be and do. You have to determine what actions will be required and what tools you’ll need to accomplish them. If we don’t, we run the risk of just wandering around through life as a slave to our circumstances.
4. Say “no” to other stuff that hinders you.
It’s not enough to know what things you should do. You also have to get clarity on the types of things you should not do. We’ve already established that our time is limited. We will have to make choices about how we spend our time. We will have say “no” to some things so we can say “yes” to others.
Inevitably, we will face circumstances that could throw us off course and make us want to give up on our dreams. Sometimes, these hindrances are caused by unhealthy behaviors. Sometimes, they are caused by people who want to see us fail. Sometimes, they are caused by good things that aren’t best.
Regardless of what causes the hindrances, we have to pay attention to them and make some decisions about what activities need to get the boot!
5. Find what motivates you and use it.
Study yourself and figure out what makes you tick. What makes you come alive? What makes you feel human and reminds you that you are not just a robot with a job and a checkbook? What tugs at your heart? What reminds you of the things you value most? It may be: listening to music, blogging, dancing, painting, singing, jogging, lifting weights, or something really random and strange that you just love to do.
It’s okay if it isn’t related to your “greater purpose” or if it even makes sense to other people. If it motivates you (and it’s legal), do it!
Life’s too short to spend our days in constant frustration.
Don’t allow things of lesser importance to rob you of the life you could be living. Take a good look at your life and be honest. Do the work and declutter your schedule. You can do this!
This was printed on Becoming Minimalist. http://www.becomingminimalist.com/declutter-your-schedule/
Mike Burns blogs at The Other Side of Complexity. You can also connect with him on Twitter.
Moving is always a good time to reassess your possessions. It makes no sense to pay to move items you no longer use. We are all guilty of keeping boxes full of things we never use. We even collect pieces of furniture we don't need or use. One of the first big pre-move tasks to accomplish is to declutter.
What is decluttering? Simply put, it is getting rid of anything you do not use or that does not hold true sentimental value. I know it can be stressful to feel like you are throwing away a lifetime worth of possessions, but ultimately you will feel better for it. Remember, you can always gift items to friends and family (if they want them) or take pictures for yourself!
Go area by area -- every closet, pantry, cubby, dresser, basement, attic, mudroom, garage, or storage area. Start by getting rid of obvious trash -- old newspapers and magazines (you can cut out articles and scan them), boxes, unrepairable items, and unusable old clothing. The only things left should be those you plan to take with you.
Get a good number of large, sturdy boxes, label them, and sort items into categories:
KEEP -- to be packed to move with you. (These can be put back in the room where they were found, to be packed when the time comes. You will need a number of boxes for this.)
SELL -- items to be sold in a yard sale, on E-Bay, Craigslist, or advertised. (Try your local Nextdoor.com.)
CHARITY -- still in good condition but no longer useful to you. Donate to your local charity. Make regular trips to get these items out of the way and to avoid needing to make numerous trips when you have finished. Keep your boxes. (Remember to get a tax-deductible receipt.)
Your local library may be interested in your unneeded books.
THROW AWAY -- Not necessarily trash, but items you no longer use that cannot be donated. (Empty when full and reuse.)
RECYCLE -- Items that can be recycled rather than trashed. (Empty when full and reuse.)
Deliver hazardous materials (paint, car oil, large batteries, etc.) to a local facility for that purpose. They should not be trashed or recycled.
Once you’ve decluttered, packing will be much quicker and easier (and will save you money on packing materials and moving costs), and you will feel much more organized when it comes time to unpack at your new home!
See my other Blog articles on moving.
Do you need help organizing your pre-move, move or assistance with decluttering and packing? Will you need help unpacking and organizing on the other end? I can help! Simply contact me by emailing, calling or using the form on my Contact page!