How Decluttering Helped Me Be More Productive 89

How Decluttering Helped Me Be More Productive

Clutter is something that’s very sneaky. It slowly builds up for years until you’re suddenly up to your ears in things you didn’t even know you owned.

I remember the moment I first noticed that I had accumulated a surprising amount of clutter over the years. The house felt smaller and smaller but I didn’t exactly know why.

Getting rid of that clutter did wonders for my productivity. Though it was something of a process sorting things out for storage, donation, or recycling I found that it was a fantastic use of my time.

By getting rid of everything that I no longer needed in my life, I was able to make the most of my time and accomplish more each day.

I Found Space for a Home Office.

When I had work to do at home, I’d usually wind up setting up a small station at the kitchen table. I’d plug in my laptop, set my papers up all over the place, and do my best to accomplish as much as I could at my impromptu desk.

By decluttering and organizing myself I was able to find a better option.

I had a small area in the back of my home that no one was using. It had some furniture in it but it was more or less a defunct family room full of things that were gathering dust. I found community storage on Spacer and moved all of my antique furniture to someone who had extra space that they weren’t using.

I was able to set up an office in that unused room so now I can work a little bit from home or even focus on voluntary academic pursuits. I have my own space to learn and grow outside of my dining room.

I Was Able to Meet my Health Goals.

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It might seem weird to think that I was more productive in my health journey by decluttering but that’s exactly what happened. I get very busy and I eat a lot more convenience food than I’d like to. A deep clean and declutter of my kitchen encouraged me to make better choices and stick to them.

I got rid of some old appliances (like my deep fryer) and I purged my cabinets. Some of the things in my pantry had been in there forever since dry and canned goods have very long shelf lives. I got rid of everything but the vegetables and healthy grains, and I replaced a lot of the junk with healthy snacks.

I wound up making my kitchen a place I love to spend time in. I love cooking nutritious meals, even if I pre-prepare and freeze them for the week if that’s all my schedule will permit.

I Simplified My Household Chores.

It’s hard to clean with all of that clutter in the way. It took me longer to mop, sweep, and do the laundry when I was having to work around all the things I didn’t need anyway.

I can clean my whole house in an hour or two, and then I’m set for the week. This means I can spend a lot more time focusing on my personal and professional goals.  I no longer dread dealing with the mess – I can get ahead of it before it becomes a large task.

If it’s been a while since you’ve done a major declutter, I would recommend that you do it. Setting aside a day or two now can save you infinitely more time later on down the road, and you’re free to use that time to accomplish something meaningful.

***

This is a guest post by Emma Lewis, a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.

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The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success 4

The Importance of Exercise to Your Professional Success

In today’s world, most jobs are demanding both physically and mentally. Competition is not always based on the best resume, education, or experience. Having the upper hand in your profession is most likely linked to your ability to think quickly, act appropriately, and carry out difficult duties with the utmost quality.

You need to be able to bring something new, different, and maybe even better to the table. So, how can you get the edge? How can you maximize your professional potential and output?

Believe it or not, the answer to that question might be found outside the workplace. It may be what you do when you are not at work that makes the difference in your work. What is it? EXERCISE, that’s what!

Replace Some Screen Time or Other Time Wasters.

Everyone needs to take a break from the workday. Television, gaming, social media, and video-viewing are what we often go to for this.

Try replacing some of your downtime with exercise, or trying exercising while you are in front of the screen. Exercising instead of sitting will not only help relieve some stress from your day but also help release some built up tension so you can actually rest better at night, helping you be better prepared for the next work day.

Exercising a few hours before bedtime elevates your body temperature. When your body temperature returns to normal, your brain and body are ready to sleep.

Exercise Sharpens Your Thinking.

It is a fact that as we age, our cognitive abilities decline.

While researchers may not have found the cure for dementia-related disorders, they do know that exercise helps delay onset or slow down its progression. Exercising during the years of 25 – 45 can boost the brain chemicals that prevent shrinking of the brain. It has also been shown to create new brain cells and increase proteins found in the brain that help keep thinking skills sharp.

Exercise Reduces Sick Time.

Exercise improves general health functioning and helps build your immunity to illnesses.

It has also been shown to increase our ability to think and work under stress, rather than giving in to the stress and being more susceptible to illness.

This keeps you reporting to work on a regular basis, and taking less sick days. The more you are at work, the more productive you are, and the more your employer values you.

Working Out Increases Your Stamina.

Long work days can leave you drained and listless. If you know you are facing long meetings, strenuous work sessions, or overtime for increased production demands, you can prepare to meet these challenges head-on.

As you exercise, over time your stamina will be able to withstand longer and more strenuous workouts. It also translates into helping you stay sharp during those long, arduous workdays.

Yes, How You Look Does Count.

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While it may never be mentioned, your appearance is noticed by employers, co-workers, interviewers, etc. You do not necessarily need to look like a buff bodybuilder, but having a svelte, strong appearance is a benefit.

Other’s first perception of you is of great importance. Think about interviewing prospective employees. Honestly consider the impact of their first impression on their employment outlook. Healthy looking is definitely a check in the “yes” column.

Energy levels are also higher when you are exercising regularly, and your energy is part of how you are perceived overall. When you start to feel better about yourself, you begin to present a more positive image to your coworkers.

It Boosts Your Confidence.

When you have conquered a goal in your exercise plan, like being able to run an entire mile instead of having to stop and walk some, you know you have accomplished something. You are on your way to bigger and better goals.

There may have been times along the way that you felt like that milestone would never come, but here it is. You feel proud and motivated to keep working toward your next goal. You see the fruits of your labor. You are energized and begin to feel better about yourself overall.

You begin to feel a sense of accomplishment that does not leave when you exit the gym doors. You carry that as a boost in your confidence as you go into work.

Bring the Habits of Exercise to Work.

What else do you learn through exercise? Goal setting, resilience, perseverance, learning new things, taking chances, organizing and managing your time, just to name a few. These are great skills to boost your performance at work, too.

You begin to realize that you can take what you have learned through setting up and sticking with an exercise plan to the workplace. You can use all these skills in your career. As you do, you will become more confident and thus, more effective in your daily tasks.

All of these are learned by starting, committing to, and following through with a fitness plan, and can become more of a life plan.

If you are looking for a job, being physically fit might not get you the job, but it will definitely help your chances. Your first impression is incredibly important, so do not brush off exercise and fitness lightly.

Exercise has so many benefits like sharpening thinking, building stamina, increasing energy, reducing negative effects of stress, building immunity, and boosting self-confidence. This can really help you in your professional success.

The benefits extend beyond your exercise time.

They stay with you day in and day out. If you are not currently exercising regularly, just start today, doing something small. Some sit-ups in front of the television, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, cleaning up your diet, or increasing your walking pace as you move around the office are good ways to get started. You will feel the benefits, even with these small steps.