Sunday, 12 April 2020 12:42

9 Ways to Start Fresh

So here we are in lockdown, and for South Africans it’s week THREE. Cabin fever has set in and our dogs are digging their way to Australia!

How many of us have said “I wish I had more time on my hands!” “If only there wasn’t so much to do!”

Well here we are with nowhere to go (other than a quick trip to the grocery store), not much to do and plenty of time on our hands. So why not think ahead, plan a little, prepare a little and be ready for a new way of doing things going forward.

Here are 9 ways to start fresh, simplify your life and have time for the important things, things that matter to you:

1. Have a To-Do List

I’ve said before that I love lists, and I do. I love them because they work for me. I keep them simple and short. I tick things off as I go, which makes me feel good. Creating a to-do list can definitely keep you focused. It’ll remind you of what you need to do and not get behind. It’s also encouraging at the end of the day to see what you accomplished.

MY TOP TIP: I only have 5 key tasks on my to do list at a one time.

2. Clean Up the Clutter

Now is a great time to clear out and clean up (inbox or email me if you need help). Once it’s done, keep it that way. Having an organised home can help you be more productive and definitely open up more time to do the things you want to do.

MY TOP TIP: Do a quick roundup at night before you go to bed. It makes such a difference in the morning!

3. Simplify Your Clothing

People like Mark Zuckerberg wear the exact same thing every day. Why? Because it gives him more time to focus on things that actually matter. I have a very small wardrobe and a small palette of colours that I wear, and it’s just so easy in the mornings to get dressed and get on with the day. I am not saying you have to ditch the colours, or get rid of your shoe collection (you could, of course!) but simplifying your wardrobe will definitely simplify your day.

MY TOP TIP: Have clothes that ‘mix and match’ or work with each other, and accessorise.

4. Live within Your Means

Budget, budget, budget and stick to it. Don’t live above your means and don’t buy on impulse. Think about what you are buying and why. When grocery shopping, go armed with a list (me with my lists again!)

MY TOP TIP: If there’s something you really want, walk away and go back in a few days. It’ll give you time to think about it.

5. Become Debt Free

This is a biggie! We live in uncertain times, in a very wobbly world economy. What better time to reduce your debts, tighten your belts and save for a rainy day or even better, a holiday!

MY TOP TIP: Start a rainy day/holiday fund in a separate bank account and deposit something into it every month.

6. Go Digital

Sign up for online banking. No more standing in queues or making special trips to the bank. Get all accounts and statements online. No more losing bills in a pile of un-opened post. Doing this will save you money, save you time, and give you peace of mind.

MY TOP TIP: Always check your credit and debit card statements against your slips before throwing the slips away.

7. Skip the Social Media

We spend so much of our time at our computers working, researching or just browsing. Our phones are our constant companions and ever calling us to check WhatsApp, Twitter, SMS messages, Facebook, Instagram and other Social Media.  Limit your time online and rather spend that time interacting personally with family and friends.

MY TOP TIP: Put your phone on silent at a set time at the end of every day. Then check it when you want but it’s not buzzing all evening.

8. Learn to Say No

Why do we find it so hard to say no? There are too many reasons, but now is the time to stop saying YES to everything and start saying NO to some things. Choose what you want to do, where you want to be and how you want to spend your money. Say NO more and you will have more time, more energy and probably more money.

MY TOP TIP: Just start somewhere. Saying NO gets easier the more you do it.

9. Plan Me time

This should actually be right at the top of the list. Me Time. This could be time for sport, for a walk, time with friends, time on your own, meditating, reading, anything you like. Just something you like and something that will lift you and revitalise you. Taking a little time every day for you will keep you balanced and keep you healthy.

MY TOP TIP: Plan your Me Time FIRST, then add everything else. If you don’t, you won’t find the time.

Now is the time to evaluate what really matters to you. So often, it’s the small changes that make the biggest differences. Perhaps these tips will help you move forward to a simpler but far better lifestyle than before this dreaded disease turned out lives upside down. What do you think?

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