When our homes and lives become full of clutter it can be overwhelming. There are so many places for our energy and focus to go that nothing seems to get done and our brain never has time to “power down”. At the same time committing to living more simply can seem impossible. There is nothing that can just be cut or removed from our life! Surely we need it all. Here are five steps to help to reach Zen living in 2012.
1. Know What is Most Important in Your Life.
We all have core values, things that are most important to us. Our lives should focus around these things. Write them down if that will help you stay focused. You should make a list of 3 to 5. Common sense says we should direct the decisions we make to focus on these important values, but life can get murky. Without re-evaluating this from time to time you may find yourself spending a lot of time and energy on things that aren’t truly important to you at all.
2. Realize the Consequences of Saying Yes.
Many people have a hard time saying no. But if your goal is simplified Zen living, you are going to need to get better at it! By taking on more and more you have no down or free time in your day. This means no time for you to do things you truly enjoy. If you are already overcommitted really consider the consequence of saying “yes”. What are you giving up? What are you not going to do as well because of your new time limits?
3. Empty the Top of Your Desk.
Having a clean workspace is going to make you more productive. On top of that many of the papers piled on top of your desk likely belong in your home filing system- it’s time to put them there. Knowing where papers are for future references can be a big stress saver. Be decisive as you clear off your desk. Putting off a decision about whether to keep something, or where to put it, is procrastination. And procrastination will eat your time! Every day you think about a decision you are waiting to make you slowly throw away more time!
4. Start Small.
If you are completely overwhelmed at the thought of cleaning out your home office, then start small. Clean out a drawer in your desk. Keep the items in your drawer that you treasure and love OR that are useful to you. Everything else goes. If you have a lot of papers clean out this drawer with a paper shredder handy. Papers that you need go into your home filing system, papers that you don’t go into the shredder!
5. Have a Plan and Stick to It.
Do you check your email, twitter, Facebook, or do other tasks compulsively? Decide how many times a day you really need to do those things. You are wasting time and eating up your entire day by going back and forth between all of these things. You don’t need to stop doing them, just have a plan about how often you’re going to. Try hard to stick to your limits for a few days, see how much time you gain!
Zen Living Can Be Yours In 2012
If these five tasks still seem overwhelming start with one, and do it today. Decluttering both your physical space and your task list will leave you feeling great. Using your home filing system and clearing out what you don’t need will open up your physical space. Learning to say no and engaging in activities you truly care about will open up more time in your day. Both will leave you feeling more Zen.