It’s Not About The New Boxes ……

It’s Not About The New Boxes
It’s not about the new boxes, folders, files or colored labels we buy. It’s not about the new resolutions we make to ‘be organized now!’, It’s about the moment we realize that a streamlined life is one with minimal stuff. It’s about making tough decisions over what will be thrown and what will be giving away. It’s about finding your shoulders soft and relaxed as you enter a de-cluttered space. It’s about finally realizing that less really is more.

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The Best of Twitter

For those of you who haven’t joined Twitter yet I thought would share this past weeks most practical and inspirational quotes …. all in 140 characters or less !

Practical

kenblanchard Make sure to let people know that they’ve done good things and that you appreciate them.

StephCalahan Ditch the IF and go for WHEN, definiteness in your language takes you forward.

QuietSpacing 1st hour of the day is its rudder. Use it to direct thoughts & energy in the desired direction

Inspirational

@JKWleadership: Lend a helping hand; after all, you have two. ~ Joan Koerber-Walker

@AngieStrader Life’s Little Instruction Book: Don’t buy cheap tools. Invest in quality.

@thehrgoddess Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps, down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. ~Ann Rynd

Eleven Simple Steps to Reduce That Carbon Footprint ….

Some of us feel that until the day that we install those solar panels on our own roofs our carbon footprint is too large to work with. Wrong. It’s those consistent small tiptoe steps that count too.

1) Work with what you have : Before you buy something new make sure you really need it, can envisage where it will go and be sure you can’t recycle another item in your home instead. Need a new lamp for the kids room ? Take a look around your apartment first.

2) Twice nice : If you can’t source that item from your own home check out local garage sales and craigslist.

2) Go paperless : Paper = Trees. Consider investing in a scanner, give away your filing cabinet in lieu of a virtual filing cabinet and email documents rather than faxing or printing them. Your productivity will soar as your document retrieval will be a doddle.

3) Use your timer well. Water wastage can be a real drain. If you decide on taking a shorter shower let your timer remind you. Use a timer or phone alarm to alert you after 5 minutes.

4) Double up : Cooking ? Double up the ingredients and freeze a portion for next week.

5) Dust free zone : Your appliances will work more efficiently when dust free. Dust behind the coils and behind the appliance.

6) Bulk buying uses less packaging. However, make sure you really can use all those canned olives before they are bought. Consider a bulk purchase of hand towels and ditch paper towels altogether.

7) Creative storage : If you are going to buy in bulk make sure you have a storage place. Short on space ? Consider looking high and low for unused space. Material boxes can hide items. Got an unused space against a wall ? Consider suspending a shower rod and high end curtain for hidden space.

8) Fan club : Install fans in most rooms. They will circulate air in the warmer months and set them counter clockwise to circulate warm air in the winter.

9) Reuse : Reuse as much as possible. Rinse out transparent rice containers to share soup with neighbours, use paper from your wastepaper basket to scribble notes on and reuse everyday items for different uses. Kids snack ziploc bags that have barely been soiled can be refilled with same snack again.

10) Recycle : It goes without saying to recycle as much you can. Put your recycle bin in a super convenient place so that you’ll never be tempted to cheat.

11) Breath green : Pick up some plants to put around your home to release oxygen into the atmosphere. Here is a list of the top 5 air-filtering plants. Treat yourself to one the next time you’re out and about. Here you go ….. Bamboo Palm, Chinese Evergreen, English Ivy, Gerbera Daisy and Peace Lily.

Consider adopting some of the ideas listed above for eco-considerate living. Both the environment and your wallet will thank you.

Done : Reduce Task Friction To Get To Task Completion

This is an excellent blog entry by Leo Babauta of zenhabits

Done: Reduce Task Friction to Get to Task Completion

Posted: 09 Sep 2009 03:55 PM PDT

“If you believe in what you are doing, then let nothing hold you up in your work. Much of the best work of the world has been done against seeming impossibilities. The thing is to get the work done.” – Dale Carnegie

.“Done” is a beautiful word.It means you’ve achieved something, no matter how miniscule, a victory in a world filled with defeats. It is a tiny leap of joy in your heart, not only a step towards something wonderful but actually something wonderful itself.Done means you’ve won, in a battle against procrastination and distraction and endless boring meetings and the constant requests of others, in the battle against a world conspiring to stop Done from ever happening.

Let’s make that battle easier. Let’s minimize the friction, all the forces against you, and make Done something easy.Reduce the friction. Grease the slope towards done. Then give yourself a small nudge, and you’re off.The FrictionWhat are the things that stop you from getting to done, from even starting on work sometimes? Let’s list a few of bigger culprits:Being overwhelmed by having too much to do.Too many distractions, such as reading on the web.Procrastinating – dreading a task.

Not wanting to do a task because it’s boring or hard.Being intimidated by a large project.Tools are distracting or tough to use.Fiddling with tools instead of doing.Other people, making requests, calling, IMing, emailing.Meetings.Getting to DoneGiven the above list of friction, how can we reduce the friction to get to done? I can’t give a solution to every single problem that every single reader faces, except in a general way:Focus on every single friction, and find a way to reduce or eliminate it.

The more you can do this, the less friction you’ll have. And the easier it’ll be to get done.Here are just a few examples:Eliminate meetings. As much as possible. They’re toxic. Focus on actual work.Eliminate distractions. Turn off email notifications, Twitter, the Internet in general. Turn off phones except certain hours. Only check email at predesignated times. Clear clutter. Don’t dawdle on this, though.Pick simple tools. Not complicated ones, not ones that have distractions. Best tool for writing?

A text editor such as TextEdit or Notepad.Make a task really small. Small is not overwhelming or intimidating. It’s easy. You can get to done faster.Focus on one thing at a time. Having too many things is overwhelming. What can you do right now that matters?Make a project smaller. Reduce the scope. Have it doable in a few days or a week. Work on the other parts when the first part is done.Set office hours. Ask people not to interrupt you except at certain times of the day.Push back smaller tasks.

The other things you need to do that interrupt you. Put them in a text file, and do them an hour before you finish working, so they don’t get in the way.Don’t work on boring stuff. Find stuff that excites you. If you can’t, consider changing jobs.The Art of the SmallAs you might have noticed above, small is better when it comes to getting to completion. It’s easier, which is less friction. It’s less intimidating.But more than that, small tasks and projects are victories. You can quickly get to completion and feel great about it.

And that compels you to keep going.Recently, for example, I launched my new minimalism blog, mnmlist.com. It took three days. One day to buy the domain, set up WordPress, and find a theme to start from. Another day to tweak the theme to what I wanted and write a few posts. A third day to write more posts and announce it on Twitter and here on Zen Habits.Three days, and I was at Done. And getting it public was a big motivator, making it exciting and making me want to work quickly and get to completion.

It doesn’t work this way with large projects. Writing a book, for example, often takes at least six months or even more than a year. Which makes it incredibly difficult, so many writers fail. Lots of large projects work this way — they’re hard to finish, hard to motivate yourself, hard to stay excited about.A couple other examples: I’m writing a new book, called Focus, by writing it in small chunks (I call them beta versions) and making it public. Each version is a small project, but they can all be done quickly.

Also, I released the theme of mnmlist.com by tweaking the theme I was using and making it ready for release, in just one day (see below for more info). Quickly got to done, and released it to the public. It was satisfying.Keeping tasks and projects small means they have less friction, and it’s easier to stay motivated. Keep things simple. Narrow your focus. Do less, have less features, offer less services. Small is better, because you’ll get to completion.

Sage advice even for us non-tennis players

In Serena Williams memoir she shares “Training early in the morning can give you an edge – knowing the other girl is sleeping while you are out there training“.

Sage advice even for us non-tennis players.

We all are playing to win. Playing to do the best we can with what we’ve got.

So Serena gets up early to train, what are you doing to get your edge ?

Are you eating well ? Taking care of your health ? Planning your day for maximum productivity ? Arranging your space for clutter free empowered living ? Working on those cognitions ? Being positive ? Taking time for you ? Exercising more ?

Whatever you do, commit to doing it for yourself just don’t sleep while the other girl is out there training.

The Clutter Whisperer

You’ve heard of the Horse Whisperer, consider becoming a clutter whisperer.

Each item in our home and work place should be functional or make us smile.

Catch your thoughts as you walk through your space.

If an item makes you frown or even worse – gives you a negative thought – then pass it on to a new home.

By surrounding yourself with happy items you will tend to feel more confident which will in turn increase your productivity and happiness.

There is no ‘one size fits all’ for this one, you have to customize it to what works for you.