To achieve a less stressed and well-run life, don’t only restrict decluttering and organizing to your physical possessions, à la Marie Kondo. You can practice minimalism in all areas of your life, to get down to the bare essentials and manifest your dreams.
We buy too much stuff, sign up for too many emails, watch too many TV shows, have too many bills, download too many apps to the point of overwhelm and distraction. But life doesn’t have to be overwhelming; you can manage it any way you want to, you have the power to make life one you enjoy living.
I’ve been busy before, and when I’m busy, I’m less productive. “Busy” implies that one’s life is out of control, with no clear priorities in the forefront of their action plan.
You can be less busy, less stressed, less overwhelmed. You can choose calm, peace, and get more time doing what you genuinely want to be doing. Time is the one nonrenewable source we all value and can’t seem to get more of. Even Bill Gates can’t buy time, but he maximizes his time with what is essential to him.
You can maximize the time you do have by concentrating on what is important.
The first step in decluttering your life and prospering in any area is to clarify your essential goals.
Ask yourself what the top one to three goals you want to accomplish in the year ahead are.
Go after them and leave the rest behind.
For the next year, I’m prioritizing making money and practicing minimalism. I’m well on the road to minimalism. I don’t like stuff cluttering my home, I never have. My minimalistic nature comes from temperament and upbringing. Yes, I buy too many shoes and only wear about 20% of my clothing, but for the most part, I don’t collect stuff. The possessions I own are ones of value to me, but I do have clutter in other areas of my life I need to organize to increase prosperity.
Maybe you are the opposite, maybe your email and your financial life are organized, but you need to declutter your stuff.
My essential goal: Make more money from writing
In one month, I was able to make money on this platform. In four short months, I’m making a good bit of income to add to what I’m already making on my online business. I get to work from home, and I love it. The only thing I did to achieve this was to concentrate on writing more than any other one thing.
It is that simple.
What results would I achieve if I pared down all areas of my life to fit this one goal? My dreams would manifest sooner; I’m sure of this.
What if I unbusied myself in all areas of my life, leaving only room for what is important to me? I would accomplish my goals much faster.
I have one goal for 2020 — make money. I’m a single mom with a daughter who is eventually going to college, not anytime soon, but soon enough, and I would like to help her pay for it. That is my goal.
Here are the areas to declutter to pare down to the essentials
Filter out all nonessential emails. What if I filter out every email that doesn’t get me closer to my goal of making more money writing online. I know I have to keep some emails, correspondence from my daughter’s school, and email from family and bill reminders, but what if I filter out everything else except email specifically targeting the achievement of my goals.
Going forward, I’ll filter all emails that lead to making purchases I don’t need into a spam folder. Never seeing Anthropologie’s “last call for 50% off” email and the Nordstrom “40% off for the holidays” email will save me money.
I won’t be tempted to click and see what is on sale if I never see the email, giving me more time to work on my business and my writing, and more money and less debt.
Concentrating on emails I receive that help me grow my business or emails containing comments from followers about my writing will move me faster in the direction of my goals.
Those things I give my attention to grow, ensuring I will be in a different place a year from now.
What if I set up automatic payment plans for the few credit card bills I need to pay off and for the monthly utility bills I have.
I only have a few monthly bills, I’m already pared down in this area. But if I set up a monthly automatic payment plan from my bank account, I would not have to think about paying my bills each month, adding more time for writing and working on my online business.
I only receive two bills via snail mail; if I have those bills set up to be paid online through my bank, I will save time having to open anything from my mailbox and add time to my writing and my business, therefore making more money.
Take all notifications off your phone. When you receive a notification from Facebook, Twitter, even CNN news alerts, it takes away from your focused effort.
Notifications are distractions. They are Mark Zuckerberg and Jack Dorsey and the CNN gods trying to get you onto their product. Feeding you bits of adrenaline to keep you hooked on their platform via likes and red dots, to make money from your time.
Taking all notifications off your phone will add time for you to work on your essential goals.
Since I took notifications off my phone, I spend more time writing, and those lights and peeps and red numbers no longer pull me from my essential goal. They no longer interrupt me when I’m in the middle of learning a new skill I need to know for my blog or when I have reached the flow state of writing. I’ve gained time for the essentials, my goal — making money.
wWhat are your essential goals for 2020? Leave them in comments if you’d like to share. I would love to hear them.
Jessica is a writer, an online entrepreneur, and a recovering type-A personality. She lives in Los Angeles with her extrovert daughter, two dogs, and two cats.