The fab ladies of the SELF Magazine's SELFMade Collective and I have been taking part in SELF's Time Makeover Challenge since the new year, and it's been a huge help on living out my theme - to simplify.
There's a lot of productivity propaganda out there and it can be tempting to get lost in it all. SELF has been shifting its content towards a more holistic look at making time to create your best self, and the Time Makeover tips are something I look forward to reading up on.
A huge reason why we abandon our resolutions soon after the new year starts is because it can be hard to make time for them. When the going gets tough, we're more likely to stick to what we know for the sake of making it through another stressful day.
I am dead set on sticking to my simplify theme, plus the goals and resolutions I've made for myself this year. Sure, I've already strayed a few times, but I always come back to them.
Here are a few things I've been actively working on simplifying this past couple of months, to create space and make time for the things I want to do:
SELF has a fun quiz with the four personalities to the Time Makeover program. I'm a "time philosopher," and hoping to change that this year!
Cutting down on social events
For many years, I was a social butterfly. I love meeting new people, learning from them and seeing if I can help or connect them in some way. All those meetups, blogger events and happy hours take a toll on the schedule and the body. Saying 'no' to the majority of invites that come my way has created more time in my life for focusing on my job, cuddling with my bulldog, reading and getting more sleep. I still love meeting people, but it has been so nice to not have obligations that take me away from 'me' time. I've been struggling with the afternoon slump as I learn to juggle 6:00a.m. workouts and a full day at work. After a couple of years of freelancing, it's a culture shock I'm still trying to get used to!
Less shopping + purging the closet
I'm proud to say that, so far this year, more has come out of my closet thanks to Poshmark and purging than I've put into it! I'm finally acting like a grown woman and putting my finances first. For too long, I've had a fear of taking control over my finances. If I'm not doing it, who will? Saying no to attending events makes time for reading Suze Orman's The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke and on personal finance blogs. All of these reads have put my spending in perspective - a money 'Come to Jesus', if you will. Shopping just doesn't seem as appealing after updating my budget and measuring up against my financial goals. Talk about turning a new leaf!
Email is a necessary evil that I'll be writing a lot about in my year of simplifying. I check my email way too goddamn much, as if I'm just itching for my next stress bomb or some new thing to come and distract me from my goals. I check it when I don't have the time to properly respond, which leads to a lot of forgotten emails. I'm the worst at email, and I'm trying hard to fix that.
Unroll.me has been a HUGE help in consolidating my newsletters, and I'm currently trying to stick to checking it at 3-4 specific times a day. It's definitely a work in progress, but little steps and consistency will eventually make email less of a stressful experience and more of a productive tool in my day.
Social media, blogs, news articles, that latest viral sensation. There's so much to take in, but that doesn't mean I have to consume it all. I've been working on checking social media less, creating a posting schedule for my blog posts, reading a few articles every day and otherwise cleaning out my Pocket, and keeping my Feedly maintained only with blogs I enjoy reading. More on those two apps later!
"Whatever your resolutions for 2015, you need the time to make them happen!"
Sign up for SELF's transformative Time Makeover program here, and let me know what you've been working on this year in a comment below!