D!NCHACK LIFE

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Posts Tagged ‘unclutter’

Less stuff = more happiness

Posted by Mush Panjwani on January 21, 2012

I’ve lived with this mantra for over five years now, so I was obviously very interested to watch Graham Hill’s talk on TED with that title. He has summarized the benefits very well, but he doesn’t tell us what did he do with all his collections, possessions and stuff. Here’s my story and tips:

When I started the process of reducing my possessions and simplifying my life, I started with the biggest chunk – my collection of books. I realized I wasn’t going to re-read most of them. My hope that my kids would read them all one day wasn’t realistic because they don’t have the same interests as mine. So I gave them all away to friends or charity. I also got rid of the book shelf, so that the books I continue to buy must be given away soon after I finish reading them. Since the iPad, I only buy digital books. They are cheaper, easy to store/backup and environment friendly. You can increase the font size and brightness; you can highlight passages; you can call up a dictionary by just touching the word. And if you really miss the touch and feel and smell of real books, you can visit the book store once a while and get all that for free. I have also tried audio books, and they have their benefits too.

Then I was able to simplify my entire wardrobe to fit into ten hangers and one drawer – plus a small suitcase with winter stuff on one side and special occasion stuff on the other. I took most of the unnecessary clutter out of my life – excessive suits, shoes, belts, ties, watches (I’ve actually stopped wearing a watch), videos, CDs etc. I still need to finish scanning the photos and get rid of the albums. All of this means, I need less space for my possessions and less maintenance time. I can focus on quality instead of quantity/variety. I only buy things that I really need and have space for. If I buy a new shirt, an old shirt has to go.

My travel bag has got smaller and smaller, regardless of the length of the trip, and is now down to a small carry-on, without the additional backpack that used to go with it. I still take all the photos and make all the movies with my pocket Canon Ixus. That means I can pack easily and quickly, travel much lighter and move around easily. I have applied the same principle to my work i.e. office space and desk. It’s all easier said than done, but extremely rewarding and worthwhile. I believe it makes you more productive, more efficient, lighter and happier!

[Photo of my travel bags taken just now in the hotel room. The shoulder bag has the camera, spare battery, spare SD cards, phone, wallet, passport, charger, pens and few other essentials]

Posted in Happiness, Life, Productivity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Clutter is Procrastination

Posted by Mush Panjwani on February 3, 2011

An excellent post by Leo in Mnmlist.com – one of my favorite blogs:

When our houses or offices get piled with clutter, much of the reason is procrastination.

We all procrastinate — let’s just get that out in the open. There’s not a one of us who doesn’t, to some degree. But while our tasks and projects can pile up, giving us some anxiety, the clutter is a visual sign of that procrastination, and carries with it just as much anxiety.

When we put down an object, a piece of paper, an article of clothing, a stack of mail … and we leave it there, undealt with, saying that we’ll put it away or deal with it later … that’s procrastination.

Unfortunately, this piles up, accumulates over time, and then we’re stuck with a mountain of clutter that’s too overwhelming to deal with. You’ll need to deal with that mountain. I’ve shown you some methods. Get it down to minimal, and enjoy that.

But once you’ve dealt with the mountain, you need to stop it from happening again. That’s where beating your procrastination habits becomes so important. When you’re going to put something down, deal with it right now. It only takes a few seconds.

How long does it take to put dirty clothes in the hamper, or hang up a shirt that’s still clean? Like 15 seconds. How long does it take to sort through some mail, opening the envelopes right there, setting aside a few bills to be paid, filing a couple things, tossing the rest? Three minutes. How long does it take to put a book or magazine away? To put a piece of paper in the right file, or toss it? Seconds.

When you deal with things in tiny little bits like this, before they build up, it’s easy. Deal with them while they’re easy so you don’t have to deal with them when they’re hard.

Also read: 7 Tips For a Clean Desk and 4 D’s of Time Management

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Posted in Productivity | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Hamza’s Recommendations

Posted by Mush Panjwani on May 6, 2009

I wait for, and read with great interest, Hamza’s weekly recommendation of reading material. Here, I have expanded parts of few of last week’s recommendations:

From Uncluttered Aphorisms:

  • The less you own, the less you have to clean. This applies to quantity of objects as well as square footage in your home.
  • One in, one out. If you buy something new, you need to get rid of whatever it’s replacing.
  • If you get it out, put it back. An especially great rule to implement to keep your home and office orderly.
  • Guilt is not a reason to keep something. This one is self explanatory.

From 9 Lists to keep Updated:

Gift Ideas list: If I think of something that would be a great gift for a person I might some day buy a gift, I write down something like “Mom – Rollerblades”. That way, when my Mom’s birthday comes up and I realize I haven’t been paying attention for a whole year, I’ve got some backup ideas. This one, more than all the other lists here, has come in handy over and over in my life.

Watch, Read, Listen List: Another critical one for me, as a music and movie junkie. If a movie gets suggested to me, or I’m told I absolutely have to hear a particular band, they go on the list. If I have some time, I’ll go through the bands and see if there’s anything good. If I’m in need of another book, I try to pull one from my list rather than just reading whatever is nearby. These lists are populated by friends, blogs, and any other source you can think of, and they’ve provided me with a ton of great movies, music, and books.

Posted in Happiness, Productivity | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Why You Should Unclutter, Play, and Keep Lists

Posted by balanceiskey on May 4, 2009

Here it is, your weekly fix of useful posts on everything from uncluttering (is that a word?) to the swine flu.

For the week ending Sunday, 03/05:

Enjoy.

Posted in Happiness, Health, Productivity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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