Less is More
I have spent the last quarter of this year very silent on my blog. Welcome back!
I have spent most of the last three months in quiet reflection (although I have been sharing my insights on work over on IGTV and nuggets of wisdom with my Facebook group). Life is like this - waves of up and down with calm moments in between.
In October, I manifested two speaking engagements that put me in front of total strangers. Then I became a published thought leader in my profession. Bam! Bam! Bam! This is what happens when you get clear on your vision and in a positive state of flow. This month, I slowed myself down intentionally.
And as we near the close of 2018, I am setting my intentions to live fully in 2019 - and with more simplicity.
Well, if I didn't mention it, I moved this summer. (Another manifestation of my vision). Before me and Mr. moved, we decided to go through our storage unit to see what we could clear. I can't tell you how many trips we made to Goodwill. From February through August, we packed and purged our belongings. After all of that purging, I still ended up with boxes in our new garage. Sigh.
Several weeks ago it dawned on me that I have lived with these boxes packed for nearly four months. I have only had to go hunting a couple of times within that timeframe. This made me wonder how much I really "need" those items. Probably not as much as I thought that I did when I packed them.
So I am on this journey of going to "simple." Uncomplicated. Minimal. Well, not completely minimal but somewhere in between comfortable clutter and bare necessities. The man paving our driveway said when he walked in "this is cozy." Yes!
And all of this got me thinking about how much "clutter" I have learned to tolerate. Surrounded by all of these things that I don't really need. I'm over it!
I am making an oath to myself to create an environment that nourishes me. This includes everywhere from my car to my desk. Can you feel me?
Here is what I plan to do:
5S My Life
What is 5S?
It is a simple framework used by Lean experts to organize a work environment for efficiency and safety. And you can use this framework any where that you want to clean up.
Here are the basics of 5S:
Sort: Go through your environment and remove any unnecessary, unused, or broken items.
Set-in-order: Take the remaining items and place them where you need them.
Shine: Clean up your environment.
Standardize: Create a "standard" for how you want your environment to look.
Sustain: Create a routine (frequency) to Set-in-order and Shine your environment.
Simple to understand. But it takes discipline to do it. This is why most Lean initiatives start with this framework. If you have the discipline to maintain this, you have the discipline to succeed.
And since I am looking for more success in my life, I am making an all-out effort to implement this in all areas of my life including:
I am in the process of unsubscribing to any publication that I am not consistently reading. Then I am creating a folder system to keep my inbox organized.
Folder structure is EVERYTHING with electronic files. I am reviewing my folder structures and removing old content. And I always keep an "archive" folder in all of my active folders. Anything that I have completed get moved to archive. And I clean my archive folders routinely.
I am setting Friday afternoon as "desk sweep" at work and Saturday morning as "desk sweep" for my home office.
Hint: Organize your area and take a picture of it while it looks its best. Post the picture near the area where you can see it. Whenever your area does not look like the picture, it's time to Shine!
I started earlier this year with the "make my bed" challenge. It's like second-nature now. (OK, if you already had that down, don't judge me!). Don't leave your house in the a.m. until you have made your bed!
Hint: Invest in a beautiful comforter or bedspread with matching pillow shams. No one wants to see a beautiful comforter all crumpled up!
In 2018, I did fairly well keeping my calendar up-to-date. For 2019, I'm doubling down and going back to my Weekly Review (which includes a mind dump). I am dusting off my copy of David Allen's Getting Things Done and starting all over. Of all the productivity systems I have tried, his is the most practical and effective.
Hint: Google is the easiest to use, "access anywhere" calendar I have used. It has both email and popup reminders that will keep you on task.
If you have followed me, you know that I am a voracious reader. I am at two to three audiobooks per month and I have finished six books. I am going to get more strategic with my plan; I may even put some on repeat to get deeper with the concepts.
Hint: If you don't have time to read, try subscribing to Audible.com
In addition to 5S, I will be focusing on getting more consistent with these two practices:
I have talked about my Sabbat practice in previous posts. I can't say enough about how this has changed my life. If you are new, Sabbat is my intentional practice of not working for a full day. I intentionally relax including meditation, massage, casual reading, a long bath, etc.
This has been the second life changing practice that I have adapted within the last couple of years. Again, I can't say enough about how this has helped me focus and become more peaceful...and productive. I am currently weaving prayer and gratitude practices in with my meditation practice.
What do you see here that you want to try?
I encourage you to reach high in 2019. The best is yet to come!