Cheryl Richardson in her book Life Makeovers: 52 Practical and Inspiring Ways to Improve Your Life One Week at a Time urges you to become aware of the habits and behaviours that keep you hooked on adrenaline. She asks you to consider the following questions:
- Are you drinking a lot of coffee during the day?
- Do you spend to much time on the computer?
- Do you Rush from one appointment or task to another?
She then asks you to write down in your Daily Dialogue the three habits that keep your adrenaline pumping. For example mine would be:
- To much caffeine
- Checking my phone, emails, social media etc. far too often
- Double booking myself (saying that I can fit things in, when I’m busy, and then trying to make it work)
Now this week pick one new behaviour from the list below and practice it faithfully for the next week.
- Go to the GP and get an adrenal stress index test (a simple saliva test taken throughout the day) if you physically feel as though you cannot slow down.
- Schedule regular 15 minute relaxation breaks during the day to practice being still.
- Change your work habits. Instead of checking your voicemail, email several times a day, challenge yourself to cut back to twice a day. Clear your desk and only work on one thing at a time. Turn the ringer off on the phone. Tell others you’ve extended your return message policy from within one day to one week. If work begins to pile up its time to get help. Either hire an assistant, request support from your boss or decide to let go of certain aspects of your work altogether.
- Breath deeply. Start taking mini self care breaks throughout the day by breathing deeply throughout the day. Place your hand over your abdomen and as you breath feel this area move in and out. To help you remember, link this practice to daily events like settling your self at your desk, before you leave for lunch and again before you leave for home.
- Take a good multivitamin to support your bodies immune system.
- Give up caffeine and cut back on sugar and junk food too.
- Get regular exercise, get up and take a brisk walk to work off excess energy when you feel anxious or overstimulated. Start walking to work, taking stairs or using your lunch break to get your body moving by going for a walk.
I already take a good multivitamin and walk during my lunch break so the new habit that I’ll practice this week is breathing deeply. I will try to practice this when I sit down at my desk , before I leave for lunch, when I get back and before I leave at the end of the day.
Build on success, remember each little change made over time will make a big difference in your ability to slow down and improve the quality of your life.
Trinny & Susannah in their book The Survival Guide: A Woman’s Secret Weapon For Getting Through The Year, suggest that you make sure the tree and all decorations are down on the 6th of January.
Kim Carruthers in her book Less Is More: How To De-clutter Your Life offers a bit more instruction. She suggests the following:
- Put your gift list in next year’s diary, so that you don’t buy anyone the same gift twice.
- Have a post Christmas fridge cleanout. Go into the fridge and toss/compost all the Christmas leftovers. They are now officially past their use by date & you don’t want a case of food poisoning.
- Turn your Christmas lights off and unplug them. Now box them up & put them all away.
- Sort wrapping paper. Now the wrapping is done it’s a good time to revisit your wrapping station. Her theory is that you should have no more than 3 rolls of wrapping paper on hand at most. She has 1 roll of gold for unisex birthdays/housewarmings/baby sowers etc. 1 roll of blue for boys & 1 roll of pink for girls plus a roll of green ribbon & she feels she is set for the year. She then suggests letting the kids use the rest for craft instead of keeping & using reusable calico bags for presents for those you live with. (Personally I am all about going the extra mile to wrap & present gifts, so will not be following this suggestion.)
- Clean up Christmas cards & letters. Make a list of who you received Christmas cards from & pop it in your December section of your diary so that you have it for next Christmas. Use Christmas card information to update address book. Decide which cards you would like to save for use with scrapbooking. Put them with your scrapbooking supplies & ditch the rest.
- Unused Christmas ornaments. Take a hard look at the ornament & tinsel still in the box. If you didn’t like them enough to put them up this year, will you need them for the next. Now as you take the rest of the decorations of the tree, decide if they are still in good enough condition to be kept for next year too.
- Take down the Christmas Tree. If your Christmas tree is real, cut it up and put it in your garden waste. If your tree is artificial it needs to go back into its box & back into storage.
- Lessons learnt. Even though you think you will remember , you don’t & as there’s no point in making the same mistake twice, write yourself a quick note of what worked well this Christmas & what you’d change next time. Now put it in the August section of your diary.
- Put away stray decorations. Go through the house, collect the stragglers & put them away too.
Sarah Ban Breathnach in her book Simple Abundance; A Daybook of Comfort and Joy says that January is the perfect time to go through your personal papers at home and organise your desk to get a fresh start on the new year. Discard as much as you can. Hang your new calendars. Try to make your personal space at home where you do your paperwork as inviting as possible.
Kim Carruthers in her book Less Is More; How To De-clutter Your Life gives step by step instructions on how to stop your paperwork problem getting worse in the future and what to do with the backlog.
- Get a “No Junk Mail” sign or sticker for your letter box
- Get a lock for the mailbox so you can stop emptying it every time you go past and switch to getting it when you are ready to deal with it.
- Switch your bills to automatic payment/direct debit and email statements
- Buy a shredder (put waste in the compost bin)
- Go through all bills, spend 15 minutes learning how to pay a bill using your smartphone if you have one. If you don’t, put any remaining bills on automatic payment.pay them.
- Collect up all reminders to attend something, such as dentil appointments, wedding invitations etc., Make calls to schedule any appointments, write information in your diary and schedule buying any necessary gifts.
- Go through all your insurance documents and shred all polices except the newest (in future shred old policies when the new ones arrive)
- Attach all receipt of warranty to instruction manual if it has one, circle date on warranty and only keep for 1 year per $100 cost up to max of three years then shred.
- Stay on top of health claims. Get a copy of the forms you need to regularly submit, fill in your standard details like name, account number, bank deposit details and photocopy a dozen copies. pop each copy except the master in a stamped addressed envelop and every time you go to the doctors take one with you, finish form attach receipts and post on your way home.
Dawna Walter in her book New Leaf, New Life; How To Do Everything And Still Have Time For Your Life, says that when you are working from home you still need the office essentials to work successfully. Here is her top 10 list of essential items for every home office to get you through your working day.
- Telephone (mobile smartphone)
- Comfortable Chair & preferably desk
- Good lighting
- Supply of fine tip black pens & sharp pencils
- Flowering plant