Simplify for Success [lifehack]

Are you always busy?

Dashing from here to there and back again, with your never-ending to-do list clutched in one hand, your phone clutched in the other as you frantically send out another FB update or  tweet or  text?

Does  housework feel like the labours of Hercules?

Are the important people in your life are getting less of your full-on attention than they deserve?

Do you fall into bed, exhausted at the end of the day, knowing that tomorrow the whole wretched merry-go-round starts again?

Do you always/often feel less than 100% physically?

Do you feel overwhelmed or that you’re failing?

Do you want it to stop?

If you’ve said ‘yes’ then here are some suggestions to help you simplify your life.  You might find it challenging at first – that’s OK – do what you can.

You’ll feel better, have more time, feel fresher and more productive. Success and simplicity go hand-in-hand.  And remember it’s an ongoing process – you may wish to revisit some of the items on the list again in the future

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Do as much as possible this week and chances are you’ll feel so energised you’ll keep finding more and more ways to simplify for success!!

How can you declutter your home? 

Keep all the items that have sentimental value but generally I think that most of us have way too much stuff – from furniture to ornaments and gadgets – that we hardly ever use. Grab some bin bags and go round your house and decide what you genuinely need and give the rest to a charity shop or a friend and let someone else appreciate it.

What about all those things that are going to be mended some day? It’s time to either mend them or dispose of them in some way – do you have a friend who might love the chance to fix it?

Lots of toys that the kids no longer play with? Send them to a charity if they’re still in good condition.

How many clothes do you have lurking in the back of wardrobes that aren’t going to be worn again? [Be honest 🙂 ] Pack them off to a charity shop or give them to friends.

What about paperwork – shred or bin all those old, useless documents and receipts for something that’s been broken for years etc

How can you declutter your time?

Is there any social activity that you can drop and not really miss doing?

What can you delegate? Are there tasks at work that can be handed over to someone else – at least some of the time? What about chores at home? Can you delegate any of those? Are you able to pay for a cleaner to come in once or twice a week and take some of the load off you?

Maybe you could have a gardener come now and again to do some of the heavy work in the garden?

What about food shopping online? Once you’ve set it up it’s fairly easy to redo it each week and still take advantage of any special offers.  And don’t forget you can book tickets on line as well.

Cook simple meals in the evening and, if you can, make enough so that you can freeze some for another day.

Start saying ‘no’

It’s easy to fill up our time with things that we don’t really want to do or don’t really have the time for. Say ‘ no’ to events and invitations unless you’re excited about going or it’s really important to the other person.  But if  you don’t really fancy that  BBQ on Saturday, then simply say apologise and politely turn down the invitation.

Spend less time on the internet

Isn’t it amazing how 5 minutes checking emails or face book mysteriously turns into an hour or more? 🙂 Limit your sessions on social media and see who/what you can delete from your lists.

Stop trying to multi-task

Multitasking is counterproductive as it burdens the brain and slows us down. Read more here.

Instead of multitasking, group similar activities together and tackle them one after another. For example, set aside time to send all your tweets and emails. Or lump all your errands together and do them in one fell swoop,  so that you don’t need to keep driving to various places.

Once you start simplifying your life, you’ll discover new ways and ideas. Make a start and see how much more productive, happy and successful you are!

Thank you for reading this blog post.

Please share your comments and questions below.  And, if you found this post helpful, please share it with your friends.

Nina is a qualified life coach who enjoys learning and sharing about flourishing.  She is a novice blogger.

 

 

 

 

 

Why you CAN’T Multi-Task [life hack]

Ok. Hands up if you do any of these…..

  • read & reply to emails while talking to a colleague
  • text while you’re walking from one place to another
  • discreetly write out a shopping list during a meeting
  • study while you’re watching the match or your fave series
  • send business related tweets while you’re writing a report or number crunching
  • check Face Book during the sermon

…..and you can probably add a few more.  We live in a world where being over busy has   gained a status that it doesn’t deserve. Forget the designer clothes, posh house – being ‘too busy’ is the sign of success.

Busyness

Our lives are packed these days – literally thousands of new items of information  land on our desks or devices every day.

Plus the usual work-related tasks, housework, shopping, caring for children and/or parents,  walking the dog, fitting in exercise or seeing friends, finding time to read the Bible, pray…….

It’s not surprising that we turn to multitasking to be more productive and to  save a few precious minutes here and there – after all, cognitively we seem able to follow several threads of thought at a time. Right?

Not exactly.

It’s possible to perform ‘background tasks’ – eating and watching TV, running several loads of washing while reading a report – because the background task requires little cognitive effort.

Multitasking refers to when we try to perform two, or more, actions simultaneously that each require attention and full brain power.

And the truth is,   you can’t multitask effectively. Multitasking is a myth.

And a dangerous one.

Failures of Multitasking

We all know that texting and driving can have disastrous consequences.

But did you know that, “Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.” [Institute of Psychiatry, University of London, 2005 – emphasis mine]

The same research indicated that multi-tasking is akin to performing tasks when you haven’t slept for 36 hours!

It’s clear from this that trying to do two or more things at once is totally counter-productive and not likely to lead to successful job completion.

Why Multitasking Doesn’t Work

Without getting too technical what happens is that your brain can’t do two things at once. So, it switches back and forth between the tasks, using up energy and reducing your attention. This negative effect is apparently worse the older we get, and has been researched by Adam Gazzaley.

To put it another way, you’re not able to fully focus or concentrate on any of the tasks you’re attempting. Hence  a loss in efficiency and effectiveness as you’re likely to make more mistakes, especially as the day goes on and you start to be tired.

And here’s the real blow – multitasking actually slows you down!

It’s far faster to fully focus on one action then move onto the next.

How Multitasking Affects Health

Dr Andrew Rosen of South Florida’s Centre for the Treatment of Anxiety Disorders states that multitasking:

  • “overloads the neurons
  • depletes the brain chemicals we need
  • overloads the central nervous system”

Multitasking can result in:

  • stress
  • anxiety
  • feeling overwhelmed
  • reduced memory
  • burn-out

Ways to Cut Back

  • reduce the amount of people/groups you follow  on social media – stick with the ones that really matter. If you hardly ever read those newsletters. unsubscribe.
  • organise your day so that you have strict time-slots for dealing with social media, meetings with colleagues. phone calls etc
  • delegate what you can
  • to avoid interruptions try to find  a quiet corner away from people
  • politely but firmly rebuff people who try to interrupt you unless it’s urgent.  If you can, put up a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign and make it obvious that you mean it
  • focus on one job at at a time – it may take a little practice but you’ll find that you’ll be able to concentrate harder and for longer
  • if you do find yourself slipping back into multitasking, stop, take a short break and then decide which task you’re going to tackle first

If you want to read more about multi-tasking, have a look at  ‘The Myth of Multitasking” by Dave Crenshaw

Multi-tasking is counter productive. It  exhausts you and contributes to impaired performance.  I hope these tips will help you  – let me know! If you have questions, I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments or at ninafcoach@gmail.com & also connect with me on twitter.