When we simplify our lives we are free to spend more of our time doing the things we love and less time dealing with day-to-day details. Here are three easy ways to simplify your email, postal mail and meals.
#1 – How to Simplify Your Email. There are 3 types of emails.
2. Emails that require an action or response from you
3. Emails that you are simply interested in reading or using as a reference (but don’t require a response or action).
Delete the junk immediately. Respond to the action items immediately. Store the ones you want to read or reference in a “To Read” folder. Make it your goal to clear out your inbox at the end of every business day.
• Get good at using your delete button
• Do important action items immediately
• Do not feel obligated to respond to forwards, or to even read them. If you are interested in reading it but don’t have time at the moment, simply store it in a “To Read” folder
• Never put any emails that require an action or response in your “To Read” folder
• Respond to personalized emails right away
• Stop responding when an interchange has served its purpose
#2 – How to Simplify Your Meals
Every time you make dinner, double or triple the recipe. Divide up the extra portion into containers, label and freeze them. If you triple your meals everyday for a week, you will have two weeks worth of frozen meals that just need to be heated up and served. It usually takes much less time to make more of the same recipe than it does to make different recipes at different times.
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. Your family gets the benefit of delicious and nutritious homemade meals and you get the benefit of only cooking two nights per week.
#3 – How to Simplify Your 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 taking these three simple steps you will free up some of your time and you may even feel a bit calmer and happier.
“How we spend our days is of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard