There are three things that you can do today that will make a profound impact on your life. These will not surprise you. Not a dramatic revelation. But if you follow these suggestions, your life will truly improve.
They are about organizing and managing. But (important note) having an organized life is not the goal in life. It’s not the primary vision and purpose to live uncluttered. These three suggestions are indeed critical pieces in life but they are a means to the end. The real goal is relationships.
With a relaxed brain and breathing space in our days, we are able to deepen relationships. We enjoy and serve one another, God’s creation, and God Himself. This is truly life!
1. Plan two weeks out. Take time to review the calendar for the coming two weeks. In addition to the regular rhythms of life, take special note of meetings, appointments, birthdays, and all dates & projects that require your attention. Then pick up the birthday gifts, poster board for projects, and dry cleaning in your new calm and stress-free life.
Bonus: When you’ve done the errands two weeks ahead of time, then a crisis in your friend’s or child’s life does not derail everything. You now have the space to reach out and help without concern for the other upcoming demands on your life. Take care of the people around you!
2. Manage online time. I am the first to admit my love for the cyberworld: Blogs, twitter, facebook, instagram, ebooks, MOOCs, and more and more and more! One tweet leads to a blog that opens to an article that informs the newest infograph that I want to tweet. My Google reader accumulates dozens of unread posts hourly. Messages flood my email inbox with things to do, deadly hazards to read about, and eLetters to stay informed. And, of course, friends send “must see” youtube and vimeo videos!
Before your fingers touch the keyboard or the mouse, decide how long you’ll be online. Set a timer. When it goes off, then log off. Get up. Resist the temptation to open one more blog! If not, you know what will happen…that blog leads to an article that informs the newest infograph that you’ll want to tweet but you’ve signed out of Twitter so you log back into Twitter and are lost in the twitterverse for another hour!
3. Touch everything once. We spend so much time moving the mess around! Decide now to touch everything only one time. The mail (snail mail and email inbox): trash, file, or act upon. Children’s papers: keep, hang, or toss. Magazines: read, clip, recycle. Toys and games: find the shelf. Clothes: put in the dirty clothes bin, wash it, fold it, put it away.
The key is to move everything along and do not allow the piles to grow. As the stacks gain vertical inches, their information becomes essentially useless anyway. Filed, shelved, and put away your stuff is accessible and valuable to you. Touch everything once… otherwise all other efforts to manage the clutter will be utterly fruitless.
Why Make the Change?
Life is about the journey. It becomes more relaxed when we are not frantically moving from one event to another. We can enjoy friends and family. We gain significant time to spend with the Lord. Prayer and Bible study become intentional instead of sandwiched between other activities.
Stress steals patience and peace. Making these three small yet significant adjustments can bring life-changing margin into the day. They will give the ability to respond to unexpected needs and crises with grace and compassion.
Decide now: plan two weeks out, manage your online time, touch everything once.
Then please share….Which of the three changes are the most significant for you??