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Happy, Happy 2010!
I’ve been quiet over the past few weeks, not because I don’t love ya, but because I’ve been recharging my batteries and taking some much needed Marie “unplugged” time.
One of the dangers of loving what you do is how incredibly addictive it becomes. Especially when you have an online business and the laptop, email and social media is always beckoning.
But right before Christmas I made a conscious decision to step away from my normal routine and spend an extended period of time doing what my mind considers “non-business” related activities.
You know, tons of time with family, friends, going shopping, watching movies, doing lots of yoga, playing games, reading fun books, learning new recipes – cool stuff like that.
(Side note: if you’re into scary movies like I am, you HAVE to go see Daybreakers when it comes out. I saw an advanced screening and it was A-freaking-mazing!!)
This unplugged time has been incredibly refreshing and probably one of the best things I could have done for my business.
In fact, a few really productive practices sprang out of this time off that I want to share with you.
These three are fast and actionable and I guarantee will help bring you more money, happiness and fun in 2010 starting right now.
1. Clear your electronic decks.
Have a look at your inbox and I’ll bet you’re subscribed to a ton of random newsletters and lists that do nothing but waste your time, scatter your attention, or at worst, send you so far into comparison land that it takes you weeks to energetically recover.
(You know comparison land, right? It’s that place you go when you look at other people’s businesses or lives, then look at yourself, and inevitably feel like you suck and should just quit and crawl under a rock. )
The past two weeks I unsubscribed from so many lists it felt like I got an info-colonic.
My rule of thumb for whether or not to unsubscribe from a list is to check for two key elements:
How I feel and what are my results are after reading someone’s information. Ask yourself:
Are you inspired into action?
Do you feel like you’ve had a spiritual, financial or emotional vitamin or just ingested the information equivalent of a bag of Doritos and a Mountain Dew?
Does the information help you make more money or bring you more happiness or do you get distracted and click on 7 other sites, blink, and realize 4 hours have slipped away.
Here’s the deal. We all get the same 24 hours in a day.
It’s how you’ll spend them in 2010 that will determine whether or not you have an awesome year.
If you have big dreams and goals for 2010 like I do, you need to clear out as much space as possible and be conscious of how you spend your time and attention.
Block out an hour right now to clear your electronic decks.
Respond to any old emails that have been lingering and unsubscribe from any list that does not make you feel great and help you see powerful results in your life. Be ruthless and cut out more than you think.
If you find yourself missing someone’s communication, you can always re-subscribe.
2. Reduce your physical “stuff” by at least 50%.
The euphoric feeling from getting rid of excess junk in your physical space is almost as good as sex. (I said almost, people.)
What started out as an innocent, quick ‘clean up’ before my family arrived for Christmas eve turned into an all night purging party.
Josh and I went to town. Drinking wine, playing music and filling 6 full garbage bags with chuckable or give-a-way-able stuff.
Here’s what’s crazy. We’re pretty minimalist as it is.
So for us to find that much crap in our NYC apartment tells me that people who live in normal sized houses outside of Manhattan have ridiculous amounts of extra stuff.
So I would strongly encourage you to have your own New Year purging party today.
Best bet is to start small. One drawer; one closet; one room.
And once again, be ruthless with what you get rid off.
Go for reducing your physical stuff by at least 50%. If you haven’t used something in 3-6 months and it has no real sentimental value, get rid of it.
Donate it if it’s in good condition or recycle if possible.
And I’d highly suggest doing this with a partner or friend so you don’t get seduced into reading every piece of paper or looking at every old picture you find. Wine and music helps too.
There’s an odd, yet reliable connection between clearing physical space and proactively calling in new ideas, fresh opportunities and other unexpected “magic” into your life.
3. Practice the T.I.O. method.
A few years ago, I had a wicked habit of opening emails, pieces of mail, etc. and saying to myself, “I’ll handle that later.”
This habit also extended to things like not hanging up my clothes, not putting my shoes back in the closet, not changing light bulbs, waiting till the last minute to sign up for things, etc.
Saying you’re going to handle something later is a recipe for extreme overwhelm, clutter and a backlog of ‘to dos” to deal with. (Not to mention late fees, penalties and other silly money wasting practices.)
Just think about all the psychological time and energy we waste thinking about doing stuff. Hours upon hours wondering whether or not we should do it; trying to remember to do it; wondering if we did it . . . you get the idea.
The T.I.O. or touch it once method means making a habit of only touching something once.
Open the mail and have a bill? Pay it right then and there.
Click on an email that needs a response? Take the 10 – 30 seconds and respond on the spot.
Used to randomly throwing clothes around the house? Put them exactly where they belong the first time.
See a trip or program you know you want to sign up for? Do it now for heaven’s sake.
Before the holidays, my wicked habit resurfaced and I started to feel some serious backlog building up.
Once I unplugged for Christmas, however, I got right back to my T.I.O. practice and boy does it feel good!
Touch it once trains you to start dealing with things more efficiently. You’ll think twice about checking your email 100 times a day if you know you have to deal with whatever is there immediately.
This gives you more time and energy for what’s really important (making love; making money; having fun ;).
T.I.O. also automatically strengthens your truth telling muscles. How? Because once a request for your time or piece of information enters your world, you train yourself to tell the truth on the spot.
You’ll automatically get rid of “maybes” or “this could come in handy someday” and get real.
For example, when you’re practicing T.I.O., if you know you’re not going to a party, you’ll decline immediately rather than torture yourself (and the host) with a last minute response.
Most importantly T.I.O. helps you stay on top of your game so you can quickly take advantage of the truly important opportunities coming your way in 2010.
Don’t let the simplicity of these three strategies deceive you.
Most people have so much clutter in their life (electronic, physical, psychological) that there’s not enough “white space” to really launch their New Year goals in a powerful and purposeful way.
While this list is a good start, I’m sure you’ve got gems to add.
Any of this resonate for you?
Do you have any simple, yet actionable advice to help us all get 2010 off to a fantastic start? Let me know by leaving a comment. I’d love to hear from you.