This article was published on October 6, 2017

How to declutter both your personal and professional life

How to declutter both your personal and professional life
George Beall
Story by

George Beall

Let’s face it, a lot of us feel we could do better. If it’s not with our finances, it’s with our health. If it’s not with our health, it’s with our careers. And if it’s not with our careers, it’s with our friends and family. Yes, the balance of life is no easy task, leaving a lot of us feeling burnt out or stressed quite a bit. But what if I told you this didn’t have to be the case?

While I’m not out to say that you’ll be happier or richer or even in amazing shape, I will say there are ways to organize your life to take some of the load off. By following a few of the simple steps below, you too can start to restructure things for a more productive outcome. Check it out:

Start with organization

It’s no secret that most of us have some little things we want to do but never make the time for. These include small tasks from making our bed in the morning to more important decisions like what type of direction your team should go in at work. Sure, once in awhile we end up doing one or two of these things, but we have a hard time keeping it consistent. Why? Because we tend to neglect the small stuff until they develop into big problems. However, eliminating this habit can be incredibly easy; all you have to do is organize tasks based on importance and keep at it.

Your time is one of the most valuable assets you have. While that might sound cliche, it is the honest truth. As such, you need to budget your time to maximize your efforts, including prioritizing what’s most important versus how long it will take. For example, while you might not have a chance to hit the gym for a two-hour workout, that’s not to say you can’t exercise daily. Defeating yourself in this way will only hold you back, not move you forward. Additionally, the same could be said about your work life, like making the decision if your company should switch to AI for some of its processes. However, we tend to fall behind on our expectations, leading us to instead work off borrowed time, something almost everyone hates. The goal here is to be realistic, but more importantly, stick to this stuff every single day.

Look at what you can do one day at a time

As our own worst enemies, we continually beat ourselves over the smallest details without realizing the bigger picture. An excellent note of this is with exercise, which according to the CDC, approximately 80 percent of us don’t get enough of. It’s not that people are lazy (just look at any gym after New Years), it’s just that people give up when they don’t get the results they want. Yet, there are two problems here. First, a poor education on how losing weight, dieting, and exercise work. And second, we lose focus on this as an activity performed daily to truly see the benefits months down the road.

While it might sound like advice you’d hear from a high school guidance counselor, write down your goals for the day every single day. This is a tremendous help in keeping track of time, knowing your limits, and even managing your personal and professional lives to a T. As noted in a study on Harvard MBA’s, participants were asked if they’d written down their goals prior to graduation. The result? The 13 percent who had reportedly written down their goals made twice as much money versus the 84 percent who hadn’t. Now, that’s not to say every single one of them followed that trend, but it’s clear that those who write down their goals have a better shot of sticking with them.

Study as much as you can

On a final note, take the time to learn as much as you can every single day. I know, it might sound silly, but the informational resources both in your personal and professional lives are going to be a huge help in your growth and development. Plus, there’s no shame in asking someone for insights or advice, especially if it can help you develop a stronger bond with that person.

If you haven’t already, try to find yourself a mentor in your field. This is something that will almost always lead to a more successful career path, as even many C-Level employees have a consultant around. In fact, according to a study of 45 global CEO’s published by Harvard Business Review, 71 percent reported that the company had performed better with a mentor around. And if you’re looking for a new person to guide you, try to find a superior or someone within your company that you feel as though you’d connect with. If this makes you uncomfortable or you aren’t interested, then there are plenty of networking events with the sole purpose of mentorship. All-in-all, an outside voice can almost always be helpful, and something you should cherish with great values.

What are some helpful ways you’ve decluttered your life a bit? Answer with your insights below.

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