When we simplify our lives we are free to spend more of our time doing the things we love and being with the people we love and less time dealing with day-to-day details. Below are three easy ways to simplify your email, postal mail and meals.
#1 – Simplifying Your Email. There are three types of emails.
2. Emails that require an action or response from you
3. Emails that you are interested in reading or using as a reference (these emails do not require a response or action from you).
First, delete the junk emails immediately. Then respond to the action items. Finally, move the emails you want to read or reference in a “To Read” folder. If possible, clear out your inbox at the end of every business day.
* If possible, only check email 2-3 times a day at specific scheduled times. Start by scanning your inbox and deleting the junk.
* Do important action items immediately
* Don’t feel obligated to read or respond to forwards. If you are interested in a particular one, but don’t have time at that moment to read it, move it to your “To Read” folder. Schedule time in your week to clear out your “To Read” folder by reading and deleting what’s in there.
* Never put any emails that require an action or response in your “To Read” folder
* When possible, respond to personalized emails right away
* Stop responding when an interchange has served its purpose
#2 – Simplifying Your Meals
Each time you make dinner, consider double or tripling the recipe. This typically takes less time than making 2-3 separate meals on separate nights. Divide up the extra portions into containers, label and freeze. If you were to triple your meals everyday for a week, you would have two weeks worth of frozen meals that just need to be heated up and served. Some meals aren’t good frozen so another option is to plan ahead and make meals that can easily be turned into different meals the following night. For example, you can make several different easy meals out of one rotisserie chicken.
You could also make a new triple sized recipe two nights per week and simply heat up and serve already prepared meals the remaining days of the week. Just add a fresh salad on the side. Your family gets the benefit of delicious and nutritious homemade meals and you get the benefit of only cooking two nights per week plus saving money.
#3 – Simplifying Your Postal Mail
Set up a place in your home where you deal with your mail. Keep a recycling bin, garbage can and paper shredder handy. When the mail first arrives take just a couple of minutes to toss, recycle and shred. All credit card applications and any other documents containing your personal information need to be shredded. 68% of identity theft happens as a result of documents being stolen from recycling and trash bins.
Next, set up an “Active File System”. It’s were you keep all of the papers that you need to take action on, bills to pay, forms to complete and so on. This “Active File System” is different than your long-term file system where you keep things like policies, owners’ manuals, taxes and that sort of thing. The “Active File System is just for the day-to-day paperwork, most of which require actions from you. Keep your “Active File System” in a small portable file box in the area that you deal with your mail. This will keep your organized and help to eliminate piles of papers on your counter tops and tables.
By simplifying your life, you will free up some of your time and you may even feel calmer and happier.
“How we spend our days is of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard
Heidi is a professional organizer, creator of The Fast-Filing Method home filing system, & publisher of Life Made Simple e-Magazine. Heidi energizes her readers’ lives by teaching effective organizational systems to help you accomplish more & GAIN peace of mind! Visit ClearSimpleLiving.com to get a complimentary subscription AND a FREE Home Organization Kit.