Sometimes I sit and lament about being better at simplifying my life and living more intentionally. Then I look at the mess and amount of work and effort needed to be done and give up without really starting.
I know I am not the only one who thinks this. So I put together a few activities you can do within an hour to make your life feel a little more controllable. More intentional.
These 12 simple things will help you focus on your life and yourself. All you need is a timer. It can be on your phone or a kitchen timer, and between 10 and 60 minutes. Your call. And if you just said to yourself you don’t have 10 minutes to spare for one of these activities, I am calling bullshit. You are reading this post!
Declutter the mess
To get straight to the point, heaps of stuff and mess is not good for us. It is detrimental to our physical and emotional wellbeing. This issue is important. It can be overwhelming, but it is easy to start small with this issue.
- I love a good wardrobe clean out! There are many ways of doing this, but I have found the KonMari method helpful because you only end up with things that you love. A curated wardrobe. Other methods may resonate with you, which is fine, the issue is to declutter and not just find a spot for something to live. Focusing on enhancing your storage just packs away the harmful energy the superfluous stuff holds. It is still there, waiting, weighing you down. So, get yourself into sorted, all the clothes on the bed. Hold the garment, try it on. If it doesn’t feel good or look awesome on you, bin it, give away or sell. No excuses. You want to be left with a wardrobe a lot smaller and more freeing. Yes, I know……..you will have nothing to wear. Calling BS. It has been proven multiple times before; we only wear a small percentage of our wardrobe anyway. If you need to start smaller, try the undies draw. Throw out the ones that ride up your bum or look like a rag to wash the car with. You know the ones. Then move onto the bras or socks. Holes – out. Bras that accentuate back fat – guess what, they don’t fit properly – out.
- Get something you have a multitude of just lying around the house. Rubbers, pens or pads. Get every single item you have in the house. Go through them; do you really need 15 pads. Really? Cull. Get rid of them. Find one place to put them. Do it now. It will take all of 30 mins to do.
- Get rid of the extra bed linen. You do not need five or more quilt covers, matching sheet sets and all the other stuff that has been accumulating for however long. The maximum you need is two quilt covers and matching sets for each bed. While you are washing one, you put the other on.
Prepare yourself for the morning
Stop the morning rush of trying to get everything done, then beating yourself up for not meditating for 10 minutes, which has been on your goal list for the last three years. It doesn’t take long to prepare yourself every night.
- Pack your gym bag and put it in the car the night before. Put out your clothes and the kids clothes for the next day.
- Set the table for breakfast the next morning.
- Write a ‘to do’ list of the three most important things you have to get done. Keep it to three things. The priorities. Leave it out near your wallet, purse or handbag to remind you. Tackle the hardest and the worst first. Get that shit sorted so the rest of the day feels like a breeze.
Clear the table
Clutter complicates our lives and makes our anxiety levels rise whenever we look at it. Often the most visible clutter is on the kitchen table, then the study or bedside table. Clear the table. Get it out of sight. You don’t need to see piles and piles of mail or magazines. Put a timer on for ten to forty-five minutes and go for it. You will be surprised how much you can get done in that period of time.
- Find a spot for everything that is on the kitchen table. The spot can’t be back on the table. You need a place for the magazines; otherwise, they go into the recycling. They can’t be transferred to another table. The mail is actioned then goes into the filing cabinet if needed, otherwise bin it. Don’t keep the catalogs. You can get it online.
- Clear the bedside table. Take away the 15 books you haven’t read and you feel stressed and guilty every time you look at them. Leave one. Maybe two. One educational, one fiction. Wipe away the dust. Take away the hairbands, water glasses, creams you only occasionally use. All of it. Keep it clear and uncluttered. Do yourself a favour, don’t sleep with your phone. Seriously it is bad for your health. Get a clock with an alarm if you need it.
- Clear your work/study desk. Go on, get all that shit out of the top draw. Completely make it clear then only put back what you have used in the last three months. Give it a good clean. Wipe the computer down. If the vision board is getting a bit old, take the photos down and redo. You can do it. It can happen in one hour tops if you are focused.
Unplug from the smartphone screen
Please, just unplug. I understand the irony of the situation here. You are probably reading this on your smartphone. And yes, I’ve heard the excuses, and I am not buying them. Not one bit. Turn that device off and pick up a book. Why not do it now if you are reading this on your phone. I will still be here next hour. Get my drift. Or just go all in and do what I do. Deactivate, unfriend and turn off regularly.
- Which brings me to my favourite tactic. Deactivate your Facebook account for a few days – you get to nominate how long you can do it. Try it, you may find it freeing. Even if you have a business reliant on a social media presence, turn it off, just for the weekend.
- Turn off the notifications from your email accounts. I have a few. Some them are off continually, others are on silent. If you are afraid you will forget to check, turn an alarm on once or twice a day to remind you to look at them.
- Go for a walk, a run, the gym, the beach, out to lunch, to the library, without your phone. Just for an hour. You may feel a sense of anxiety, but you will not die. Trust me, I am a nurse!
Put a timer on and do one of these things for the next 60 minutes or less and let me know what it was and how it went in the comments. I am sure if you are feeling overwhelmed, just getting one of these things out of the way will be freeing. It may entice you to sit down, without your phone and have a glass of wine or cup of tea and enjoy the feeling of being just a little less weighted down and a lot more organised.