60 Day Minimalist Challenge Week 3

 

DAY15// FIND A DAY PLANNER: ICAL? DIARY-WHATEVER WORKS FOR YOU

I use a diary for all household and work appointments, though sometimes forget to keep it up to date. In an ideal world I’d like to go paper free, but I don’t trust technology enough to keep my diary on a phone or online storage.

I usually buy a cheap page-a-day diary from the pound shop, but this year I treated myself to lovely diary  that includes pagan seasonal festivals, moon phases, as well as poetry, art and inspiring writing. While it might not count as minimalist with it’s colourful and busy pages, it does allow me to multitask (that’s minimalist isn’t it?). I can organise my life, whilst keeping more in touch with nature and the seasons, and be more mindful.

DAY16// TURN OFF SOCIAL MEDIA NOTIFICATIONS

My old second-hand android phone has pretty much turned off social media for me already as it crashes when I try to do anything other than send text message or make phone calls.

The downside of being disconnected from my social networks the majority of the time, is when I do log in, I find myself scrolling through a hundreds of facebook notifications and tweets for fear I might have missed something.

I have unfollowed most pages and group notifications to reduce what comes up in my newsfeed, but the main issue is my compulsion to check. I’m planning on reviewing my social media again in a while, perhaps I may be able to switch off a few more notifications so I only get updates from close friends, family and groups that are most important to me.

DAY17// SWITCH TO PAPERLESS BILLING

Already done! I have enough trouble sorting appointment letters and weeding out junk mail without adding bills to the pile.

I pay everything through internet banking, so checking bills online is easiest. A drawback is that I’ve got lazy dealing with post and tend to ignore any snail mail unless it looks like a council tax bill. Letters might go unopened for a while when some companies insist on sending paper correspondence.

DAY18// JOURNAL YOUR WHOLE DAY

This is so I can find out what I’m spending my time on to identify where I can make extra time.

I have pretty much same routine every work day. I think it might be mild OCD; If didn’t stick to a regular schedule I’d be completely disorganised, anxious the world was going to end, and not be able to drag myself from under the duvet.

Looking at my day, I can save at least an hour by:-

Getting out of bed when I wake up -spent half an hour hitting snooze, despite not being able to get back to sleep

Not getting distracted watching youtube videos between sets during work-out (was to check my form, so not 100% wasted time, but still…)

not stressingwasted 20 minutes worrying about what I’d written on a job application

Going to bed by 10:30 (to avoid  morning snoozefest) -fell asleep in armchair,  walked dogs stupidly late as too lazy to drag myself out into the cold night.

DAY19// PLAN OUT THE NEXT 7 DAYS IN YOUR PLANNER

Already done. I’m fine at scheduling things in, but often end up with tasks not done by the end of the week. I haven’t time to do stuff like DIY and gardening during the week, and come the weekend I’m too exhausted or just plain lazy.

DAY20// SET GOALS FOR THE NEXT 6 MONTHS

To make things simple, I’ve linked this in with my main goals

Health:

Gain enough strength to do a chin-up Seems easy enough, but I’m finding it impossible; hanging onto the bar and flapping about like a dying fish -it’s a girl problem!

Finance:

Keep up to date with budget realistically should get me towards black

Happiness:

Walk the Tolkien Trail Will need to get walking to work again as practice

Knowledge:

Finish editing at least 1 story For possible publication in e-zine or competition entry

DAY21// SET UP A SAVINGS ACCOUNT & DIRECT DEBIT TO PAY INTO IT

I already have a savings account, which I will set up a direct debit for once I have paid off my overdraft. There’s no point paying interest on debt if there’s money sitting in a savings account. All goes well, I can make this a 12 month goal.

This challenge week has helped me set goals and find ways to use my time more efficiently. I’m only hoping I can keep focused and put what I’ve learned into practice.

60 Day Minimalist Challenge Week 2

Apologies for the delay in posting. I have fallen so behind on this blog, and also slipped a little behind on the challenge too. I am currently on Day 33 (yes, this blog is very late). I am still doing CampNaNoWriMo this month, plus I  had the added distractions of job applications, interview and starting my new job role this past month. Anyway, here now…

DAY8// CLEAR ALL BENCH/ TABLE SURFACES IN YOUR BEDROOM

I’ve cheated a bit here as I de-cluttered this room not long ago, though there were still a few items lurking in my bedside cabinet that belonged elsewhere. It’s only a small room, with enough space for a double bed (stored boxes underneath), cabinet & chest of drawers, so hopefully no room for me to horde.

DAY9// CHECK YOUR BANK DEBITS & IDENTIFY WHAT YOU NO LONGER NEED.

I don’t have much if any disposable income. After paying rent, utilities, internet and insurance there are only a couple of non-essential direct debits.

Pact Coffee is caffeinated bliss that I don’t want to give up; it’s easy enough to reschedule delivery or skip an order.

Second is my subscription to Metal Hammer magazine. I’m finding I have less time to read this or listen to the accompanying cds, so have cancelled. I’m hoping the money saved will cover the cost of my contact lenses every few months.

DAY10// GET RID OF UNHEALTHY FOOD FROM YOUR CUPBOARDS

I have a few bags of chilli chocolate hidden away (best with a bottle of ale). Throw out chocolate? No chance!

I’m an advocate for everything in moderation, I’m not on a mission to eradicate all junk. Instead, I have gone through my kitchen and thrown all out-of-date food. It wasn’t so bad; the worse I found was a bottle of mustard with use by date 2014.

Other people in my household have junk food, which I don’t touch.

I rarely have biscuits in the house. This is not because I’m virtuous and healthy, but because I’d scoff the lot.

DAY11// SET 1 GOAL IN EACH CATEGORY:

FINANCE

Stick to my budget. Long term this will get me back in the black.

HAPPINESS

Walk for fun The last few years I keep planning to do the Tolkien Trail, but never get round to it. This summer I am going to set a date to plot into my diary for definite. I find mindful walking is great for clearing my mind; many of my story ideas have come about from wandering aimlessly.

HEALTH

Get out of bed on time.  I’ve always been a morning person, waking up at the break of dawn, but I’ve been hitting the snooze button too many times; often crawling out of bed an hour after the alarm. 6-6:30am may not seem like a lay in for most people, but for me it’s wasted time when I could be writing, plus I feel lethargic when I hide under the duvet too long.

KNOWLEDGE

Write. Of late I have not been prioritising enough time  for writing. If I get up in time, I will have a good hour free in the morning. A writing course could make me more disciplined, but feels too much like procrastination.

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DAY12// WRITE DOWN 5 THINGS YOU ARE GRATEFUL FOR.

1 Family & friends

2 Good health

3 That I have a job

4 That I live in a democratic country with good public services, health care, and plentiful food.

5 Having the strength to face challenges; the ability to learn from mistakes and grow.

DAY13// TAKE ALL HANGING ITEMS OFF WALLS & ONLY HANG UP THE ESSENTIALS.

Living in rented accommodation, photos and pictures are a way to personalise my space. While I love clear off-white/ magnolia walls, I also want some living spaces where I can have family photos.

I have taken this as an opportunity to properly dust the few portraits I have on the walls.

I still have a few more photos to frame, but am restricting the amount of frames and making sure they fit with my chosen black/ white/ wood theme.

DAY14// UNSUBSCRIBE FROM EMAIL MARKETING

Since I first got my email account, back in the old days of dial-up modems I have never read all of my emails, or deleted any. I have a second email account that I use for surveys, prize draws and anything else that’s likely to result in spam marketing emails, so my main email is kept relativity clear. Clearing up either account would take near forever, going through years of emails, so instead I’m setting rules to send any new marketing emails to the spam folder as they come in.

I found week 2 easy to fit into my schedule, with small tasks achievable in a couple of hours after work each day. This also gave me motivation to do a deep Spring Clean of my whole house in my week off work, though it’s meant I now have another garage full of rubbish to take to the tip.