If you remember from last week, we were in Glacier Park for a week and coming home from that pristine environment complete with no wifi, phone or postal service, I had a dramatic collision with what was waiting for me! (378 emails, 13 text messages, 5 voicemails and about 10 pounds of real paper mail.)
Some of it was important! By my estimation, though, only 10%, or less, served me in any real way. And, this must be the NORMAL amount of mail per week, I just don’t notice it because, like a good little monkey, I keep up.
It really got me wondering about how much time we spend every day clicking “delete” on email, recycling paper junk mail, or managing our calls and texts. It took me a long time to get through that list of emails! AND I felt a teeny bit queasy just seeing them all!
So, I decided to take action and thought I’d share…
EMAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS: Every “subscription” type of email has an unsubscribe feature in tiny print at the bottom. This is one option to delete unwanted email but it can be tedious and often involves a few different screen changes.
Check out Unroll.me to manage these quickly! I had 165 automatic subscriptions coming to my inbox daily/weekly/monthly. In a matter of 3-4 minutes, I “unrolled” from 132 of them and now the ones I want to keep will be delivered to me weekly in a “rollup”. Nice! (I did have to “share” on social media...I put it up on Pinterest...to get past 5 deletes, but thought it was well worth it!) They have a fun video to get you started.
PAPER JUNK MAIL:
This company (41pounds.org) will take the necessary steps to eliminate your unwanted junk mail for you. It costs $35 for 5 years of service. They had some great facts on their website, if you’re interested.
I found an app, though, PaperKarma, with very good reviews that will (supposedly) stop your junk mail before it ever gets to you. YAY! I got it (it’s free) and am trying it with an unwanted Athleta catalog that arrived yesterday. PaperKarma claims to “get rid of junk mail and save the earth – all from your phone (androids too).” It works by taking a picture of the junk mail that you’ve been sent. The team behind it will send a request on your behalf to the offending companies so that you’ll be added to their block list. I will keep you posted!
AND, if you’re really serious and this is only for those with nerves of steel and possibly a Long Cold, Winter ahead (sorry Kelly!!!!!)…
GO PAPERLESS: This is the best book, Paperless, by David Sparks, that I have found on the subject. It costs $9.99 on iBooks. Sparks takes you through (sometimes in excruciating detail) the process of going completely paperless. He has DONE THE RESEARCH for you, and updates regularly (it’s only an ebook, of course). By the time you are finished, he says you will be an efficiency ninja with everything (except your paper documents with seals on them) electronically filed. He is very practical and at times, a little beyond my skill set. I was skimming but little by little I will learn more! I want to keep heading in this direction.
One easy step to take is to enroll yourself in paperless billing/statements from your utilities, bank, and credit card companies. It usually takes a few minutes and can be done on their webpage.
I would love to help you find that extra 70 hours of time you have coming to you this year! Please give me a shout if you need support sorting it out.
Pick one of these ideas and give it a try! And then find me in the comments below to share how it goes.
Keep your questions and comments coming,
Lots of Love,
Cartoon by: Left Eye on the Media
If you also receive my newsletter (and if you want to, sign up here) you already know that Bob (darling husband) and I spent a wonderful week tromping around + backpacking in Glacier National Park. We soaked in the mountain views, wildlife (saw a bear!), fairy tale waterfalls with moss, mushrooms and wildflowers, met cool fellow hikers, AND lived with nothing but what was on our backs.
Now, I know this is not everyone’s cup of tea, however, it did highlight (and underscore) my values. As we flew home, I contemplated how living with so little and being SO HAPPY was possible for me. (I like my shoe collection! And also my jackets!) And yet, I have noticed this feeling of joy and freedom on just about every trip we take, whether we camp or not.
What it boiled down to (and this after a week on the trail and lots of journal writing) was that I was lining up very clearly with my values of Health, Love, Freedom, and Beauty. I use these as my check-in for nearly every decision I make:
Try this exercise for yourself and no, you don’t have to visit a national park to get it done :)
Those four values are mine and you’re welcome to use them but maybe you value:
Or any number of other choices...those are just a few to get you started. If you want to peek at a very comprehensive list of 400, CLICK HERE. And, as we grow and change in life, our values may also change. Is it possible that you are operating with values that you embraced 10, 20, or 30 years ago? Is it time to investigate what motivates you right now?
Try this exercise for yourself. Write your top 3 or 4 values on a post-it and put it on your computer, fridge or car dashboard. (no right or wrong answer AND you can change them at any time!) Then NOTICE for one week what happens when you use your values to guide you.
Does anything change? How do you feel?
How does this impact your environment and the things you choose to buy, hold on to, or let go?
If you need support to untangle your decisions about your stuff, I’m here for you!
And I would LOVE to have you drop down into the comments below and SHARE! It’s fun to get to know all of you...keep your questions and comments coming!
Lots and lots of love!
(And a big bear hug, straight from Glacier Park)
Just an internet bear...not a photo from our trip! (But she looked like that!)
(All other photos taken by husband Bob with his smartphone :))
Take the quiz, be honest with yourself, may it prompt a little action and magic in your life…
Keep score, How many of the statements below are TRUE for you?
If your score is:
Drop down into the comments below and let me know if you had any insights or inspiration!
Have a wonderful week!
Love, from Glacier Park,
In my other life, I was a teacher. I taught Math. And I LOVED story problems, always have! So let’s crunch some numbers to make this REAL!
If you saved 30 minutes a day each year by tightening up your organizational systems and increasing your productivity, you could gift yourself 23 work days (8 hour days) a year!
That’s OVER one month of vacation. Hmmmmmm, where would you go? What would you do? Or, maybe you’re one of the I-don’t-have-enough-time-to (FILL IN THE BLANK) types. Have you ever wished you could find the time to...climb a mountain, read more, or fly off to Paris, mon petit chou?
By getting clear about how you are spending your time (and this is especially important if you are an entrepreneur), supporting your work with systems that function, and feeding your soul, you can be living your dreams in no time!
Let’s start with your schedule and how you “spend” your time.
If you don’t work set hours how do you block off your time? What are your priorities? Productivity isn’t about doing more, it’s about leveraging your time for maximum traction. (Most people save the most important things for after they do the least important things leaving only scraps of time.)
Office systems to support your work are critical!
Put in (the aforementioned) calendar, a block of time to tackle your office space, and if you need help, give me a call I would LOVE to make this easy for you!!
Feed your Soul!
Contact me if I can help make your dreams come true!
Until next week,
Sending love and happy office vibes,
Bob and I celebrated our one year anniversary this weekend. YAY! We were having a lazy morning coffee at Tuvalu, a cute little coffee shop near us when I saw this African Proverb hanging on the wall:
“There are three things that one must know to survive long in this world:
What feels like too much,
What feels like too little, and
What feels just right.”
I realize that this is relative. I’ve been to Africa and the people I met had few material possessions.
Somehow, I think the proverb is about MORE than “stuff” but STUFF is always a good place to start. It’s tangible, and it represents our beliefs and thoughts about the world. It tells a story about our hopes and dreams and how we show up for life.
What feels like too much? Well, look around! Give yourself some perspective. Back up as if you’re observing your home from the clouds. Detach (as much as possible) from your own opinions about your things. Take a scan of your space. Where are you holding on to things that are no longer loved or needed and WHY? Where do you stuff your stuff? Do you have way too many papers kept for way too long? Are there countless sweaters, pairs of shoes or jeans that don’t fit or never get worn? Are any of the drawers, including kitchen & workshop, crammed with things that you don’t need? This kind of “too much” often impacts health and wellness in some way or another.
What feels like not enough? In terms of possessions, clients I work with rarely have this dilemma. What I often see, however, as we continue to work together (usually to clear out from too much!), is that the “too much” is a cover for “not enough” in another area of life. It may be that you’re lonely. It may be that you’re not taking care of yourself: physically, emotionally or spiritually. Or maybe you’re not shining your light and sharing your gifts with the world. BUMMER! We need you!!!!! Working with the “stuff” in your space, can often open doors in new and unexpected ways.
What feels just right? Just like Goldilocks, the “just right” feeling is always what we are desiring. And, it’s a moving target! What felt “just right” 10 years ago, may not fit you anymore. The key is to access your own personal GPS and feel into what’s just right. For you. Right now. Your space is never finished. Your life is never finished. (Until it is!) And as you grow and change and stretch into new places, remember to bring your environment along with you, it is a critical piece of the puzzle that is YOU!
I hope this inspires you to action! Let me know in the comments below what sparked for you. And, as always, I would love to be a part of your transformation, please contact me if I can help.
With much love,
PS: If you know someone else in your life who would be interested in learning more about my work, have them contact me, sign up for my free weekly newsletter, or just have them give me a call! 608-235-9023
Photo credit for Kampala, Uganda goes to Oleg Znamenskiy, Thank you!