Out with the old, in with the new!
As the New Year is quickly approaching, it’s the ideal time to consider the things in your life that are taking up space. Much like clearing out some items you no longer need just before holiday gifts arrive, taking time to clear some space in your life allows you to make room for what you want to pursue in the New Year.
Carving out time in your schedule can also help you stick with your plans!
If you’d like to make time in your schedule for things that you’re hoping to accomplish in the New Year, here are some tips that will help you to get off to the best start possible.
1. Be Aware of Your Time
Can you account for most of your day? Identifying and eliminating “time drains” in your life—areas that you spend a lot of time that produce minimal results or benefits—will save you a significant amount of time. Things like social media, Netflix, browsing headlines, and mindlessly checking your email are often key culprits. Being aware of your time and conscious about how you are spending it, regardless of how much or how little you have, can help clear up your life and schedule. Make every minute count!
2. Outline Your Big-Picture Goals
Now is the perfect time to start thinking about what it is that you want to accomplish in the New Year. Is it to spend more time with your family? To cultivate meaningful relationships? To finally write that book, or start a business? Whatever it is, be sure to write it down. Putting it down on paper is a great start toward helping that dream to become a reality.
3. Break Things Down
After you’ve pinpointed your main goals, you’ll want to break them down into actionable steps. If your goal is to write a book, this means outlining the steps that you need to take to make it happen. This includes a deadline for completing the outline, as well as dates for each chapter, and plans for editing and proofreading, cover design, and publishing. One of the best ways to do this is by jotting tasks down into a schedule or day planner so that you have a timeline to hold yourself accountable.
4. Learn to Say No
Do you constantly find yourself pressed for time? It could be time to start saying no. Being able to say no allows you to free up time for things that are important to you. Instead of feeling pressured into saying yes when you’re put on the spot, simply say that you’ll have to check your schedule. If the task isn’t something that’s meaningful to you or something that will enrich your life, then don’t feel bad about saying no.
5. Keep a Journal
While it might sound odd, keeping a journal can help to free you up mentally. Taking just a few minutes every day to journal your thoughts, can help you to organize them. When you give your chaotic thoughts a place of their own, you can free your mind up for more productive things.
Speaking of clearing out space, clearing out your physical space is important as well. When you declutter your space—be it your countertops, a closet, or your desk—you’ll be able to think more clearly. You won’t have as many perceived obstacles, and you will be able to save time looking for things as well.
7. Practice Efficiency
Finally, another way to make more space is by ensuring that you’re completing tasks as efficiently as possible. Instead of walking through the door and throwing your keys on the counter, tossing the mail on top of them, and then having to spending twenty minutes the next morning looking for them, hang them up as soon as you walk through the door. Completing tasks as efficiently as possible, with an eye on the long-term as well as short-term time-saving benefits, can help you save time.
When it comes to making space, it’s all about taking small steps in the right direction. Get the ball rolling by having a good clear out of your space or desk, and then work to identify what it is you want to accomplish this year. Create an action plan, jotting down the steps that you need to take in your day planner. Look to reduce time drains and practice efficiency. Don’t be afraid to say no. Soon you’ll find that you’re spending less time on things that you don’t enjoy and offer minimal reward; and will have more time for the things that matter most.
What do you want to make more space for in your life? Share in the comments below!
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