Simple Tips to Help Simplify Your Life! - Make it Great!

Quote of the week

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Why are we all so stressed out these days? I would argue the reason for the stress is because we our lives are too complicated, and they need to be simpler. Don't believe me?

Quick 2 part quiz:

1) How many remote controls do you have in your house?

2) How many devices do you have that use remotes have buttons you could use instead of these remotes?

Do you really think you need these remotes? Do you really think you need these devices? Now I'm as guilty as the next. I have 6 remotes I can see right now without really looking, and probably another 3 or 4 I can't find or don't know about. I am working towards making things simpler in other parts of my life. I only have 1 bank account where I keep money, I only have 1 place where I get all my insurance, and I try to write all my notes in only 1 notebook. I'm also working on saving all my computer files in 1 place, and just bought a new computer that will allow me to keep these files all on my PC, with a backup already made so I don't freak out if something crashes. I encourage you to do the same.

Now if I could just find the remote to shut off my TV, I could go to bed. MUST...GET...SIMPLER!

Article of the week - Ten Tips to Cyber-Simplify your life

Technology is supposed to make our lives easier and simpler. How many times have you heard that? Now ask yourself, is your life easier? Do you feel more relaxed and/or productive?

If the answers are a loud NO, then you are not alone. The reality is, as our interactions with machines increase, we must realize the importance of 'turning on' our human selves.

Here are ten tips on how to Cyber Simplify your life:

1. Time management
Learn to organize your time. Ask yourself before doing a task, is this the best use of my time? And what will happen if I don't do it?

2. Prioritize
Make a list of what you need to do. Number the list. Now go back and put an A by the items that are the most important, a B by those somewhat important and a C for minimal importance. Pick three A items and do them. Then pick three more. When finished with all of the A's, move on to the B's etc.... You should assess and complete tasks by importance to maximize your time.

3. Communicate clearly
Effective and clear communication is one in which there is an exchange between two parties. This is in contrast to efficient communication, which is simply the relaying a message. Before you initiate communication, you should understand what kind of communication is called for (context) i.e. face to face, e-mail or fax. You should also have an idea of the type of response that is required.

4. Take a break
Studies show that we are most productive and less likely to make a mistake, when we stretch for five minutes or breathe or relax every hour.

5. Create down time
Turn off your cell phone in the car. Switch off your beeper. Find a way to create time and space to think and plan your day.

6. Arrange regular face to face meetings with your colleagues
It is important to create a venue for the sharing and exchange of ideas, thoughts and knowledge. These can be formal or informal. Make a conscious effort to share time and space.

7. Exercise, exercise, and exercise
Nothing is as effective in busting stress. Park your car farther away than usual and walk to appointments. Take the stairs when possible. As you are walking, learn to focus on what you hear, feel and see. For example, say to yourself, "Now I am aware of..."

8. Carry a yellow notepad
This is commonly known as an external brain or peripheral memory. You can jot down notes and make lists. They are great for organizing your items and scratching them off as they are accomplished.

9. Find a structure
A structure is an object that you can place at your desk or around your workspace that will remind you to breathe, meditate or stretch. It can be a little sticky on your computer, or a rock, or picture. Associate a meaning to it that is in tandem with an action and just do it.

10. Relax
As you are reading this, take a deep breath. Breathe from deep in your gut and through your nose slowly as you count to 25. As you exhale, focus on releasing tension and stress. You can practice your deep breathing anywhere and everywhere, at the traffic light, waiting for a fax, or standing in the elevator.

Book of the week

Man's Search for Meaning - Victor Frankl
The book begins with a lengthy, austere, and deeply moving personal essay about Frankl's imprisonment in Auschwitz and other concentration camps for five years, and his struggle during this time to find reasons to live.

Frankl epitomizes a "Make it Great!" personality. He took his life, what was left of it, and made it the best he could. What an inspiring book!

Action Items for Your Week

1) Simplify your life - Try to get rid of any remotes you don't know what it does anymore. Try to get down to 1 or 2 bank accounts. Use some of the cyber-simplification tips found above. Share some of your most successful tips with loved ones in your life.

2) Organize your life - Write things down so you don't forget what needs to be done. Store things in 1 place and 1 place only.

3) Clarify your life - Figure out what's really important, and make sure you are making time for it. Doing what's really important is one of the best ways you can "Make it Great!"

Until next time...Make it a GREAT day!

Phil Gerbyshak
[email protected]

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