I have to be honest. I have still – one year later – not finished reading the book 7… or the book Radical. You know, those books that inspired this whole, year long journey! I have since started reading Interrupted, Restless, The Best Yes, Clutterfree with Kids and The Japanese Art of Decluttering. They all go hand-in-hand with either decluttering or living intentionally and living out your purpose. Bringing these books all into my life at the same time again… God’s funny like that.
If you remember, we participated in the food challenge from 7. It was a fail. I know Jen will cover more areas as the book goes on, but I decided to take a break and do what I thought was actually distracting me.
As I am writing this post, I realize a lot of similarities between it and my Time Management post. Limiting distractions and managing time have a lot in common!
Jen inspired me to take a look at my own life and see which areas I could narrow down. Once I cut back on some time-sucking distractions, I had more time and less stuff! It’s simply incredible to me how much time I spend each day cleaning things, putting things away, looking for lost things, not knowing WHICH toy my kid is talking about – because there are several of the same, and STILL feeling way behind!
What was distracting me?
1. Technology– Facebook, phone time, email, blogging, Instagram, etc. I put a time limit on my screen time. My kids have screen time limits, why don’t I? I decided a total of 2 hours per day was enough. I started by vowing to only check my phone once an hour. I keep it on vibrate and when I get a minute, I check for messages and scroll through my email if I feel like it. I have a guaranteed 2 hours to myself every afternoon. That’s more than enough time to watch my shows, write some blog posts, etc.
2. Laundry was taking a ridiculous amount of time for me. I would think I was going to do a quick load and it would end up taking much longer than anticipated. At the time, I was doing laundry as needed. I was waiting too long, getting overwhelmed, then had a horrible time getting clean clothes put away. I was always behind. So I started a new laundry method where I do laundry one day per week. I simply do a load of Ava’s, a load of Adelynn’s, a load of ours, then rags, sheets, towels and blankets as needed. Not only does it take so much less time to sort everything, it made it less overwhelming to put it away all at once! I would wash it, dry it, and put it away because I had the laundry basket full of items that only needed to go to one room. So the solution has three components 1)washing more often 2) don’t do much sorting 3) put clothes away on the same day.
3. Too many clothes. Part of the reason we have so much laundry, is because we have so many clothes. How many times have you lost an article of clothing? How many times have you completely forgot an item existed? Would you say it’s because you have a bad memory? Or because you have too many things? Or maybe both? 🙂 We have cut out so many items of clothing from our wardrobes. I can’t wait to show you our closet transformations!
4. Time away from home. This is still a work in progress for me. Some weeks I do better than others. I have a friend who just told me that she was trying to decide between a yoga class or a Bible study. Both ways to meet new people, both have benefits, both on different nights of the week. For me, I would do both. But I can definitely learn from her decision to do one or the other. That’s a great example to follow!
What did I do once I eliminated those distractions?
1. Played with my kids! I have less clothing to wash + less time spent putting them away = more time to play with them!
2. I loved reading in my down time instead of surfing aimlessly on my phone.
How do you stay motivated?
1. I have Facebook accountability. I am a part of a couple of different decluttering groups that encourage each other. I have gotten some great ideas from them!
2. I also have real life accountability. I have friends I talk to who are on the same walk of life and we inspire each other.
3. I make up games for myself. I learned that if I am putting away laundry and zoning out, I will turn music on my phone, lay it down, throw clean clothes on top of it, and allow myself to have it back once I unearth it. I still have music going the whole time to pass the time and my distraction is out of reach.
4. Knowing where my things are going. I know who is on the receiving end of my items. That is a choice I get to make. Sometimes I might be on the fence about getting rid of something, but knowing someone who really needs it will receive it – that is my extra push to put it in the “donate” box.
5. Don’t let the moment pass you by! If you feel like doing it, do it! Get after it! Dave was gone for several days and boy did I clean house. Not that he stops me at all, because he doesn’t. We are in this together. However, sometimes one of us feels like working around the house and the other doesn’t. When I felt like it, I sent the girls to the backyard or turned on a movie and made progress!
When have you put down your guidelines and toughed it out on your own?