Get Prepared to Streamline Your Life

Let’s face it, most of us have highly hectic lives. We juggle our work life, our home life, our family life, our personal life, etc. It’s enough to make you feel like an actual juggler in the circus, however the balls aren’t balls – they are blackberrys and iphones.

Before I learned to slow down fast, this was my life.

As a business owner, I’ve learned about several effective tools needed to run an efficient business.

I utilize systems, strategies, and support, to keep my business running smoothly and profitably. And I’ve seen how if I apply some of these same tools to my personal life, I can streamline it as well.

So whether you have your own business, work for a company, or run a household, if you manage your life like a business, I can guarantee you’ll be surprised at the results. Here are some tips taken from my experience that can be valuable for streamlining your life:

  1. Keep a calendar
    I’m amazed at how many people don’t keep calendars. You know the ones–they’re always late for appointments! And when you ask them how they remember anything without a calendar, they say, “Oh, I have a great memory.” Whether you use an old fashioned paper calendar you write in, or you use a computer based one like Outlook or Google, or you use a high-tech hand-held piece of equipment, you must calendar your life if you want to keep it streamlined.
  2. Set goals
    Most of us have goals in all areas of our life. If you don’t, you’re just drifting through life, accepting whatever comes. With goals, you can measure every choice you make for how you want to spend your time and money against your goals. A streamlined life has room primarily for the activities and acquisitions that help support you in reaching your goals. This doesn’t preclude an occasional diversion from the path, doing or buying something just for the fun of it, but don’t clutter your life with too many diversions.

  3. Learn to prioritize
    With so many choices being thrown our way on a daily basis, learning to prioritize is a skill that will keep your life streamlined. When you know your goals, you’ll be able to prioritize the choices that move you toward your goals. Say you have a goal to improve your golf game so you sign up for a series of lessons. But on the day you have a lesson scheduled, a buddy calls with a last minute invitation to a football game. You love football almost as much as golf, however, if you have prioritized your goal to improve your golf game, you would choose your golf lessons.

  4. Learn to say no
    Following along with the last scenario, you have to learn to say “no” to some things some times. If your life is full to overflowing, I’m sure a lot of choices come your way. The golf lessons, the football game, and your best friend’s backyard BBQ all fall on the same day. In order to streamline your life, you have to master the art of when to say no. Of course, you can say it in a way not to hurt someone’s feelings. I coach my clients that when they take responsibility for their choices, the other person will, in most cases, not take it personally.
  5. Delegate
    Look around your life and see what you can delegate. You might think if you hire people to take over some chores, how is that streamlining of you have to manage them. Delegating doesn’t have to be hiring a house cleaner, gardener, or personal assistant. Start by having family members share tasks. On child is responsible for pet care, another for watering the yard and mowing the grass. Split other tasks with your spouse and you won’t find yourself doing more than your share and resenting it.
  6. Set up systems
    Setting up systems for household activities would make delegating those chores go smoothly. Some of my coaching clients keep a chart on the refrigerator for family responsibilities that get checked off when done. As in running a business, you also want to set up systems to keep your important papers filed, for bill paying and record keeping, for family health check-ups, and anything else you can think of that is a recurring activity you can create a system for.
  7. Clean out your space
    Make this a fun, family event. Put it on the calendar and once a month clean your car. Twice a year, clear out unused items from the garage, the closets, and other areas in the house. Donate your recycled items to a local charity.

If you’d like to get more tips on how to streamline your life, check out Streamlining Your Life: A 5-Point Plan for Uncomplicated Living.

Written on 12/04/2008 by David Bohl. David shares the viral message Slow Down FAST and helps people raise the roof on all facets of their lives without risking implosion. Get some must-haves here. Photo Credit: notsogood

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