When we clear the physical clutter from our lives, we literally make way for inspiration and ‘good, orderly direction’ to enter.
Yesterday I attended a workshop on how to right-size your living arrangements as you age. You know, the kids are gone, the steps are too steep, and all the other stuff that happens when your living space loses some of its friendliness. The consensus of the group was downsizing is harder than it sounds primarily because our living spaces are filled with the things we accumulate over a lifetime. Much of what we keep is where our memories are stored but much more of it is clutter that we seldom if ever visit.
As I thought about it I started to realize that the clutter has a tendency to hide the things that are really meaningful to us. I now see the value of eliminating the distractions we have in our lives so we can focus our thoughts and energy on that which is truly important to our enjoyment.
As I thought about I remembered this article written by Stephanie Shirle a while back, here in part is what she wrote;
The 80/20 Principle: How to identify the clutter in your life
The 80/20 Principle or The Pareto Principle is by no means new. In fact, it was concocted by Vilfredo Pareto, an Italian economist who lived from 1848 to 1923. The boiled down back story is that through mathematical formula Pareto discovered that 80% of the wealth and income was produced and possessed by 20% of the population
At first glance I found this theory to be merely intriguing, but at further thought I realized it to be scarily accurate about my own life. The numbers 80 and 20 are the minimum ratio, but you too might find that some aspects of your life are more like 90/10, 95/5 or even 99/1. This concept made me take a critical look at my business and personal life. As I applied Pareto’s Principle, I had to answer some tough questions about clutter, time wasters and frustrations that were holding me back.
Applying 80/20 to Life – The Pareto Principle easily lends itself for application to economics or business, but what about personal life? To do this, I had to change the question I was asking myself. Instead of using money or clients as the measurements, I used happiness and stress. Which 20% of sources are causing 80% of my stress? And which 20% of sources are resulting in 80% of my happiness? I examined all the ways in which I use my free time. This includes hobbies, friendships, exercise/health, relaxation, etc. This principle helped me to personally identify the things that give me the most joy and the things that I could stand to eliminate. In doing so, I immediately reduced some of the stressors and time wasters in my every day. I even found areas within my budget where I could save money as the result of these eliminations.
We have just enough time each day to get done everything we need and want to do. We just have to learn how to identify which few inputs produce the greatest results for our time and energy. The 80/20 Principle doesn’t deter me from adding new things to my life, but it does make me regularly evaluate everything I have going on, prioritize the things that bring me happiness or fulfillment and eliminate the rest. Evaluate, prioritize and eliminate – this is the cycle that will help me to work smarter, not harder and to keep all aspects of my life uncluttered.
Getting things straight in your head is a major achievement because there’s so much clutter out there. You’ve got to push aside the static to really hear the music.
How’s your business coming along?
“I’m looking for a new cashier.”
But you had a new one only last week!
“That’s the one I’m looking for.”
She said: My husband wanted to renew our vows…I told him I don’t want to make the same mistake twice.
A guy told his buddy, “I called the local insane asylum yesterday to check on who has escaped from there recently.”
His buddy asked, “Oh? Why do you wonder about that?”
“Well, somebody ran off with my wife this week!”
What if there were no hypothetical situations?
Bernie says to his friend, “My Sadie and I, we are always holding hands.”
“Why do you do this?” asks his friend.
“Because if I let go, she shops.”
Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.
The local sheriff was looking for a deputy, and a blonde went in to try out for the job.
“Okay,” the sheriff drawled, “What is 1 and 1?”
“Eleven,” she replied.
The sheriff thought to himself, “That’s not what I meant, but she’s right.” Then the sheriff asked, “What two days of the week start with the letter ‘T’?”.
“Today and tomorrow.” replied the blonde.
He was again surprised that the blonde supplied a correct answer that he had never thought of himself. “Now, listen carefully, who killed Abraham Lincoln?” asked the sheriff.
The blonde looked a little surprised herself, then thought really hard for a minute and finally admitted, “I don’t know.”
The sheriff replied, “Well, why don’t you go home and work on that one for a while?”
So, the blonde wandered over to the beauty parlor, where her pals were waiting to hear the results of the interview. The blonde was exultant. “It went great! First day on the job and I’m already working on a murder case!”
Midlife crisis is that moment when you realize your children and your clothes are about the same age.
There was a very gracious lady who was mailing an old family Bible to her brother in another part of the country.
“Is there anything breakable in here?” asked the postal clerk.
“Only the Ten Commandments.” answered the lady.
“I’ve been getting rid of some clutter — anything that doesn’t serve a positive purpose in my life and making room for things that feel happy to me. Because I get to make my life whatever I want it to be. I get to make the room feel however I want it to feel. I get to make the closet as full or as spacious as I want it.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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