Thursday, September 11, 2008

Minimalistic Stress Reduction


Most of us are pretty organized at work. We walk in, check over our emails, create a list of things we need to get accomplished, enter deadlines into our planners, etc. As we all know, if we fail to do these things, we will certainly hear about it. (Oh, sorry I forgot about that meeting doesn't cut it at work.) Yet, it is all too easy to feel like we've had enough of this ultra organization by the time we get home and just want to relax, as if our personal lives would just flow along without any organization at all.


But we can use the same tools we use at work at home without over organizing our lives. Take email for example; we can set up many bills to come to us as emails and then pay them with on line banking which gives us a record of when they were paid. This is a huge time saver and cuts down on paper mail which helps me to be a better tree hugger!

Sadly, we spend less waking hours at home than at work,  so our to do lists for home should be much shorter, say two items. This may not sound like a lot, but after a week, you will have crossed off 14 items that you may have been putting off for months! It may be sending a thank you note, making an appointment, or making a phone call, etc. You may have to make a call during business hours and thus accomplish this on your lunch break. You still get credit for this though, because if you assign yourself too many of these things to do you will get even more stressed out. As you clear these types of items off of your list you may want to add items that help organize your home such as go through one drawer, organize your wallet or purse, or list an item on eBay, Craigslist or Freesell.

Just as you use a planner at work to make sure you are where you should be when, you can use a home calendar in the same way. Just like at work, when you make an appointment you write it down. You can go one step further and write a detail that gives you a record of what that appointment was about. You can note phone calls as well, giving you a record which may come in handy in the future.

I challenge you all to try my two item personal life "to do" list for one week and see if you can declutter 14 items from your stress list. Good Luck!

6 comments:

Caf said...

how true...how true....
your post reminded me of an amusing video i saw recently, hope it makes you giggle too :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXziurFkQxM
-Caf

Tod said...

Hi minimalist, thanks for visiting my new blog. You and Paula have a lot in common. She is constantly weeding stuff out. When my socks get holes in them I wear them upside down so that the holes are on top. Does that count as conservation?

The Minimalist said...

It sure does! I suppose you could mend them though.....

firerobin said...

I'm a pretty big neat-freak and that definitely transcends into my organizational habits -- which is why I couldn't live without my personal to-do lists.

My iPhone is a savior when it comes to my lists. Before, I would have an actual piece of paper somewhere (usually on our study desk) crossing things off when I got the chance, now I just reach into my pocket and add and delete whenever I need to on-the-go. :)

The beauty of technology.

lamborghini diablo said...

this is really true thing

The Minimalist said...

I watched your post it video Caf. Pretty funny.
Hey Firerobin, they say being neat is the sign of a sick mind, but I find it clears my mind so I can be creative without guilt!