Pick 4-6 things that you truly care about. That truly add value to your life. Make a conscious effort to prioritize those over all others.
2. Say No.
Stop overcommitting. This could entail projects at work, planned events with friends, and even goals you have set for yourself. It’s okay to let some of those things go in order to help focus on what’s most important to you.
SIDENOTE: I know that saying ‘no’ to goals you have set is a bit counter-productive. I find that people have far too many goals set for themselves. I was horrible with this. I’d have 20 goals and accomplish none of them because it was just far too many. Prioritize the goals, pick 1-3, and focus on those. Once completed, set another goal and start working toward it.
3. Rid yourself of clutter
Clutter = a busy mind, needless stress, and wasted time. At least that’s what it meant for me. Start to eliminate the things you aren’t using. Don’t fall victim to the, ‘I may need that one day’ thinking. If you haven’t used it in the past 9 months, you can most likely live without it.
4. Let go of the 24/7
It’s okay to relax. Your brain actually needs it. You cannot be actively engaged for all hours of the day. It’s a fallacy that people who take time for themselves are lazy. It’s the contrary. People that are able to shut down for 1-2 hours a day are usually more productive when they are active.
5. Mental AND Physical
Meditate. Practice mindfulness. The brain is just as important (if not more) than your physical self. Make sure you are spending time with it.
6. Consume Less
Buy less stuff. Eat less junk. When you buy, make sure the object brings value to your life. When you eat, make sure the food is portioned correctly and adds the proper nutrients your body needs to remain healthy.
Information overload is never a good thing. Pick the newsletters and e-mails that bring you value and dump the rest. You can always go and opt-in again should you miss it. There are many services out there that can help with this, but make sure they actually unsubscribe you vs. just block those messages from entering your inbox.
8. Turn Of Notifications
We live in a society that expects immediate action. This is digital clutter. Turn off your notifications. It’s an unneeded distraction that gets in the way of everything else more important.
SIDENOTE: I use Apple’s ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature. I have a handful of people in my ‘favorite contacts’ list. I get notified when these people text and call. For all others, I am not notified. I have a cadence to check my phone’s screen every hour or so to see if I have missed anything. (If a caller needs me immediately, [e.g. calls, hangs up, calls back immediately], ‘Do Not Disturb’ will push the call through and notify me.)
9. Stop Multi-Tasking
I’m sick of hearing, ‘I’m an awesome multi-tasker.’ Hell, I used to say that all the time. Technically I was, but I am an even better single-tasker. I now prioritize my projects and work on them until finished. That way each project gets 100% of my attention. If something more pressing arises, I adjust my prioritization.
10. Don’t take yourself too seriously
It’s okay to be silly. It’s okay to crack a joke. Life it too short to be serious all of the time. Go with the flow. Don’t waste your energy on trying to be something that you’re not.