Time management expert
Is it just my noticing, or are you also seeing an increasing commentary and focus on de-cluttering and simplifying? It’s not just things: it could be activities or even people.
Can you reduce driving time?
I know many working professionals who get clients to come to their offices, but since I moved to the country nearly an hour out of Auckland, I’d been in the habit of going to my clients’ premises. I realised how much time was being wasted driving around Auckland. From that day on I started to shift all my clients to Skype or an equivalent medium – and no one minds! With Skype’s video camera and screen sharing functions you can still read the body language and see anything they want to show you.
• What unnecessary driving are you doing?
• Could more of your meetings be done online?
• How else can you get information?
I’m not suggesting that we forego all ‘in the same room’ meetings, but let’s save them for the times we really need to.
Reduce space and you’ll find you don’t need so much stuff
One of my tenants sold her large four bedroom home and shifted into my small one bedroom rental flat while she looked to buy another property. ‘Do you miss your big house, Donna?’ I asked her.
‘Not at all,’ she replied. ‘It’s amazing how much more simple life is now. I’ve realised I don’t need anything like the size of the old house. My things have been in storage for six months and I haven’t even missed them. My next place will be small.’
The following clever wardrobe de-clutter trick was popularised by Oprah Winfrey, although she didn’t dream it up. Reverse all your hangers. When you wear something, place it back with the hanger facing in the normal direction. After six months it will be obvious what you can let go.
When something new comes in to your office, home or garage, remove two things you don’t now use. Put them in the recycle bin or donate to a charity shop.
The space closest to you is your most precious. Think of it as your ‘interruption zone’.
If that valuable real estate is cluttered, it slows down your thinking. At a sub-conscious level, you’re constantly sifting and sorting to seek the next task.
If possible shift everything you’re not working on to a desk, shelf or table to the side or behind – out of your direct eye line. Keep in front of you only the task you’re engaged with and your focus will significantly increase.