I have recently moved house after being in the old one for around 18 years. I had never really thought of myself as a massive hoarder, preferring these days to spend my resources on life experiences and travel rather than accumulating loads of stuff. That said, a number of skips later, I have to admit the sense of letting go of almost two decades’ accumulation of stuff felt rather good.
It got me wondering whether I should be decluttering my work life as well.
Obviously this is a bit trickier given the regulated environment in which we are required to keep records for umpteen years. So, I have instead turned my attention to what can I do to make my working life that little bit easier.
The first thing I have done is relatively simple, in that I get my work clothes ready the night before. It has saved me loads of morning stress and just makes me start my day happier.
I have also purged some of the unnecessary things at the office. I used to keep so many articles, believing I would get round to reading them someday and invariably didn’t, so I have just stopped doing this. If I am that interested in something, I read it then and there. If it is useful, I keep it as a valuable resource; if not, it gets binned.
We do have a memories box in the office, which includes mentions the business has had in print, as it is important to keep some tangible items for future reference, if only to reflect on progress.
I am also getting better at running a to-do list. Within this, I will list five things I need to do each day as a priority, which keeps me focused.
Then, when I have some downtime, I have started to listen to audio books. One that has helped me immensely is Eat that Frog by Brian Tracy, which has taught me to get the tasks you are least looking forward to out of the way first. A simple but practical bit of advice. Indeed, the mantra of the book is very basic but effective:
- Select your most important task
- Begin immediately
- Work on it single handedly
- Finish it.
As someone who has a tendency to procrastinate on occasion, I have found these few things have improved my work life considerably.
Tracey Evans is joint business owner and principal financial planner at Juno Wealth