12 Things to Stop ‘Putting Off’

These are 12 things you don’t want to think about or don’t think about until things go wrong. Some of these tips are life saving, others will just make things much easier if things do go wrong.

Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

These are things you either don’t want to think about, or don’t think about until things go wrong, some of these are life saving, others will save you time, hassle and additional stress.

1.  Making a Will

Almost everyone should have a will, even if you have no assets to leave behind, you can still let your wishes be known, make things easier on those you leave behind by leaving a will.  At the very least leave each loved one a personal letter expressing your love for them, these words may just comfort them in their grief.  Don’t be selfish, one day the inevitable will happen, unfortunately for some, it happens much sooner than expected, protect your family, they are going to have a difficult enough time dealing with losing you.  Having a Will in place won’t make them grieve any less, but it won’t add to an already extremely stressful time, they will appreciate your thoughtfulness.  If you have assets, I do recommend doing a will through a Solicitor, trust me, it will be easier on your family when you’re gone.

2.  Life Insurance

Now I know many of us don’t like to think about the inevitable in life such as our death, but as already implied in number 1, you do need to consider those left behind.  At the very least you should have life insurance that will cover your funeral costs, don’t leave that up to those you leave behind, they will have enough to deal with.  Apart from the funeral costs, there are often other costs, such as wakes, get togethers after the funeral including food, clothes for the funeral, the obituary, phone calls, travelling in order to arrange everything.  I do recommend getting independent financial advise (if you can afford it), as different plans suit different ages and circumstances, and if you can’t afford professional advice, do your own research.

3.  Protecting Your Property

Fireproofing important documents, documents that in a fire / flood would cause you a headache.  If you can afford one, you could get a fireproof safe, if not, then a fireproof / waterproof document bag should do the trick, these are reasonably cheap, the link shows you the cheapest, but you can get various size bags to meet with your requirements, depending on how many important documents you want to protect.

Put all insurance policies, property deeds, bank books and cash, passports, birth certificates, national insurance documents, personal accounts, any document that you may miss if it wasn’t there, these could be personal letters or even photographs that are important to you.  At least you will have one place where you can find all your important documents.

4.  Protecting You and Your Family

In my humble opinion, these are the minimum types of equipment you should have in your home; fire escape ladders, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors.  You could take it a step further, such as drafting a plan for the family in the event of a fire for example, install in them the best route out of your home in different scenarios.  Another thing you may want to consider, particularly if you have a violent ex in the background, is to ensure there is somewhere in your house both upstairs and downstairs that is lockable, where you could go to to buy yourself some time to call for help.  I know most people don’t like to think of such things, but having a plan and even doing practices, might just save your or your nearest and dearest their life.  At the very least, it should give you reassurance should the worst happen.

5.  Decluttering

Don’t be a hoarder, if you have stuff you don’t use but would leave to a family member, give it to them now, see the appreciation on their face whilst you can.  Make decluttering part of your weekly routine, I constantly declutter, sometimes I will just do a drawer, other times I will have a major overhaul of my kitchen cupboards or wardrobe for example.  I am currently decluttering my books, I literally have hundreds of them in my loft, those that are unwanted by family and friends go to a local charity shop, I do this on a weekly basis as a minimum.  When you’re gone, again this may be another headache for family to have to sort through your junk, make it easy for them.

6.  Your dreams / goals

What dreams do you have? what do you want to experience in life? write down just one dream / goal and dedicate as little as one hour a week working towards that, even if you start just brainstorming.  If money is stopping you from achieving your dream, what can you do to change that?  cut down on spending? get rid of debt? save? have an additional income source? or a passive income?  Whatever it is do it, life is too short, we are here to accomplish, don’t let fear stop you, fear is natural and once you start moving towards your goals, it will gradually diminish.  Write a list of 6 things you want to change in the next 12 months, now write the actions needed to change these 6 things.  If there are major changes you want to make, you may only want to choose 1 thing, and master that.

7.  Career Change

Are you happy in your job? are you doing what you want to do?  If not, then start a plan of action to change this, do you need qualifications to do the job you want? or experience?  Make enquiries around how you can get these, gather costs, if you can do part-time whilst staying in your current job.  If experience is more valuable to what you want to do, look for ways of getting that experience, volunteer, offer services for free, start with just a couple of hours a month, do things that add to your C.V. to show future employers how serious, committed and able you are for your dream job.  Don’t let any obstacles deter you, keep working towards it and you increase the odds of that career change.

8.  To Do Lists

Get those important jobs done on your to do list or those jobs that have been on your list for way too long, schedule them in your planner, be realistic, even if you only get one thing done a week or even a month.  For those big or overwhelming jobs, start by writing  a step by step list of actions needed to get the job done, write them down in the order the actions need doing and do one  at a time.

9.  Breaking a Bad Habit

Do you have a bad habit, that is or will affect your health or wellbeing, we all have some bad habits, it could be anything from procrastinating, negative thinking, bitching too much about other people, smoking or drinking.  Whatever your habit is, vow to break it, having a bad habit is often damaging to us in some way, either your health, psychologically or your relationships.  Make this year the year to bin that bad habit that affects your daily life.

10.  Forming a Good Habit

Do you want to form a good habit? have you always wanted to learn yoga? go for regular walks or runs? get fit and healthy?  start with one small daily change, such as doing one yoga pose a day, do that for a week or a month every day, then add a second yoga pose.  The key is to incorporate an easy achievable action in your daily routine, until it is second nature, then add to this until that becomes second nature and so on.

A good habit doesn’t have to be something physical, it can be something that benefits your wellbeing, such as learning to express your feelings in a positive way, this may be telling someone you love them, a family member, someone you have your eye on, or just a friend, let them know they are loved, not only will this make you feel good, they will feel good too and may reciprocate.

11. Backing up Computers and Phones

This tip comes from very recent experience for me.  About 4-5 years ago, my laptop crashed, I got the dreaded blue screen, it could not be fixed, at the time I was doing a degree and I lost an assignment that was due to be submitted, yes I cried, I tried to replicate it but I was not in the right frame of mind and submitted a load of rubbish.  Did I learn my lesson then, No, unfortunately I didn’t, and just one week ago my phone broke, I went to Apple and they said the phone could be restored but they cannot guarantee my data would be saved, I have pictures and videos of my dog that died last year.  They weren’t backed up because my iCloud was full, I was devastated to be told this, I have found a company that say they can recover my data, so I am about to try them.

12.  Fix Those Broken Things

My home phone broke about 1-2 years ago, I had no incentive to get it fixed because I had my mobile.  It was only when my mobile phone broke, that I felt completely cut off from the world, then by sheer bad luck I was locked out of my mac for one day.  Try going without your mobile, house phone or computer, it feels very isolating, these are the  technologies that are my lifeline.  Don’t delay getting things fixed or replaced because you never know when you will need them.

 

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Ways To Simplify Your Life ‘Reduce The Traffic!’

These are some of the things I do to be more organised and make life that little bit easier

These are some things I do, partially do or aspire to, which help me to be more organised, therefore making my life just that little bit simpler, these are mainly recent things I have implemented.  Some of these are just common sense, but sometimes we all need reminding.  I hope you  take on board and apply some of them to simplify your life, if you don’t already:

Go Paperless

  • Go paperless with any online accounts such as banks and utility bills, most have the option to turn on paperless.
  • Write to the companies / organizations that don’t provide the online paperless option, advising them you do not wish to receive correspondence via post but want to receive via email, advise them that you want to reduce your carbon footprint on the environment, they should do this as it will save them money in paper, postage etc.  Click to download Email Correspondence Template for my free template to get you started.
  • I have created folders in my email account, e.g. Bills, then sub-folders e.g. Gas, Water etc. and as correspondence comes I simply move to the appropriate folder.  I now have copies of all correspondence that is super easy to find.

Top Tip

You can also get a door sign from Amazon, requesting no junk mail, cold callers etc.  I like this one, it’s clear and discreet, £5.50 with free delivery, click link ‘No Junk Mail / Cold Callers Sign’  

Digital Storage

  • For those physical documents you already have or can’t go paperless with, invest in a small home scanner. You can scan and save documents electronically, don’t forget to back up in case your computer crashes.  Alternatively you can take a photograph of the document on your phone and download on to your computer.

Top Tip

It works out cheaper to purchase a printer with built-in scanner than a stand alone scanner for home use.  I have this one, it’s cheap and does the job ‘Canon MG3050 All in One Printer’

Journeys

  • Try to plan your journeys to do your errands in one go, plan your week and put in your diary, phone, calendar or whatever method you use to remember things to do. This will not only save on petrol, but time also.  This is even more efficient if you haven’t got a car.  By doing this you will be super productive, a top achiever some might say, well mainly me!

Top Tip

If anyone else is going your way, for example the post office and you need stamps, ask them to get them for you.

Online Shopping

  • Order your shopping online, create a favorites or shopping list in your favorite online supermarket. This reduces petrol, time, you don’t forget essentials and you tend not to be tempted by extras such as cream cakes, as if I would!

Top Tip

I have a complete list of all foods, toiletries etc. that I order and simply add to trolley delete off what I don’t need that week.

Pre-Scheduling Appointments

Okay, this is for the obsessive compulsive organizer, don’t look at me!

  • Book your regular appointments for 6-12 months in advance, this will work for hairdressing appointments, dog grooming, dentist, health checks etc.
  • Type them out to give to your hairdresser for example, put them in your diary, phone, or calendar. This avoids not being able to get the appointment date / time you want.

Top Tip

Set reminders in your calendar / Phone just so you don’t forget because they were booked so far in advance,

Meal Planning / Prepping

  • Plan your meals at least one week ahead if you can, you can then prep to make your working week easier. I often cook 2 or 3 meals in one go, for example if I make cottage pie, I make three, have one that night, one for dinner the next day at work and one for the following evening, some people would not like the same meal on the run like that, but I don’t mind it because I enjoy the meal.
  • Also prepare your work lunch the night before, this feels so good knowing you are saving precious morning time and money too.

Top Tip

I also prepare my smoothies by putting my frozen fruit and veg in a smoothie cup in the fridge, so in the morning I just have to add the liquid, blend and take to work, I have as soon as I get to work, easy, healthy and delicious too!

Birthdays and Occasions

  • Go to the card shop and buy all your birthday cards in one go, you have them in then for the year.

Top Tip

If you gifting cash or gift cards buy one each payday and put in relevant card, just make sure the expiry date on the gift card won’t expire.

Planners and Diaries

Oh my god, don’t you just love planners!

  • Plan your week ahead, I have a notebook where I brain dump everything, this evolves over time, some I add some I remove because I have changed my mind or simply don’t need to do anymore.
  • Use a planner or diary and once a week go through your brain dump and schedule some ‘to do’s in your diary.  For sheer beauty and to increase productivity I recommend the Deluxe Law of Attraction Planner by Freedom Mastery, it is undated and I use Frixion pens, so writing can be erased, click link ‘Deluxe Law of Attraction Planner’ and this link for ‘Frixion Pens’
  • Some people put three tasks a day in their planner, it really depends how big the tasks are (even after they are broken down).  I find I work best if I put one task in that is aligned with my goals, if I am having a particularly productive day, I will do things scheduled for other days.

Top Tips

I tend not to use my planner for menial must do things like cleaning tasks.  I put these on one sticky note in my planner so it does not fill my planner.

De-cluttering

  • Try to make de-cluttering part of your weekly schedule, Some people like to blitz the de-cluttering, this doesn’t work for me, I am little and often as clutter periodically builds up again.
  • De-clutter by category, e.g. clothes or books, this keeps it simple and ensures you don’t make more of a mess trying to sort everything at once.

Top Tip

Keep a bag in your wardrobe (out of sight) for charity, so that whenever you have a little de-cluttering session, put it in,then when a charity comes to collect you have items already sorted or you can drop off at the charity shop whilst out on your errands. 

Emails

  • Unsubscribe from emails you don’t want and schedule in deal with, file, delete or junk your emails at least weekly, you can even do this on your phone when you have some downtime, in a queue, waiting for a bus, the doctor’s surgery etc.

Top Tip

Stop over-subscribing to websites, add a site to your reading list if you want to revisit, don’t subscribe just so you remember to return to it.

Pomodoro Method

  • I use the pomodoro method to do things I really don’t want to do, for example I set timers on my watch say for 10 mins, 20 mins, 30 mins or 1 hour depending on what I am doing.  So when I really need to iron (because I have no clothes), I set my timer for at least 10 mins, sometimes 20 mins, you iron quicker as it’s a race against the clock, I find this method works very well for me, occasionally I even keep going once the time is up (Yaay me!)
  • To find out if the Pomodoro method can work for you, click link https://www.lifehack.org/articles/productivity/the-pomodoro-technique-is-it-right-for-you.html

Top Tip

Use the timer on your phone to apply the pomodoro method.

Create a Capsule Wardrobe

  • I admit this is still on my wish list, once I started to research it seamed more complicated than I thought.  However I have implemented some aspects, my colour palette has reduced from the colours of the rainbow to black, white, blue and pink and everything coordinates much better.  I have also sold about 40 items of clothing, shoes and bags on Ebay, so my clothes don’t need ironing again once hung.  I have lost count of how much I give to charity but overall I have taken the first steps to a capsule wardrobe.

Top Tip

Start selling on Ebay, if you don’t already, it’s not a great way to make money, but it’s a great way to de-clutter.

Social media

  • I must admit, I am not a great fan of social media, I just find unless you are extremely disciplined, you can waste a lot of hours with no output.  Whatever social media platform it is, ask yourself do you use it? is it good for you? or do you waste time?  I recently deleted my Facebook account, because it didn’t add any real value to my life so after saying for a long time I would delete I finally did.

Top Tip

Facebook allows you to save all your content into one file including pictures before you delete your account, so you won’t lose everything

Learn to say “No”

  • Learn to say no to things you do not really want to do, if other people are regularly taking up your time or you feel obliged to attend an event or accompany someone and you don’t want to, learn to say no. This is your life, do what you want to do.

Top Tip

Practice saying no in a nice but assertive way, have excuses ready.

Simple Minds

  • Apart from the physical stuff, it is important to reduce the mental traffic.  The world we live in feeds our brain with stimuli overload.  The best way to do this is through mindfulness, particularly meditation.  I did an online course for ‘Wellbeing and Peak Performance’ on Future Learn  it’s completely free,
  • I also like the apps ‘Headspace’ and ‘Calm’
  • Get rid (and I don’t mean kill) the people who drain you, you know, the negative people who drain your brain or at least reduce the amount of time you spend with them.

Top Tip

Make your bed every morning, I don’t know why this reduces the traffic in your head but it works for me.

Prepare the night before

  • Pick out, lay out or hang out your clothes the night before, again I don’t know why this works but it does, it gives you that organized feeling first thing in the morning, what better way to start the day.

Top Tip

Check the weather forecast the night before, so you don’t put that dress on that easily rises with a gust of wind :O

Be an Early Riser

  • I am usually up by 6.00am, for someone who when I was younger used to sleep until midday, this is major for me, but it just goes to show people can change with practice.
  • Although I do slip at the weekends, my aim is to eventually get up at 5am, 7 days a week and use that time for me; meditation, exercise, yoga, journaling, gratitude, walking, all things that are not only good for me, but make me feel good.

Top Tip

Choose an ideal time you would like to get out of bed and slowly work towards it, start with getting up 10 minutes earlier than usual for one week, then 15 minutes etc. until you reach your chosen ideal time.

Final Tip

Only keep things you want, love or need!

# Challenge

My challenge to you is to choose one of the above ideas and start to implement, for example, if you want to write to companies to request they correspond by email, start now by writing a list who you want to write to.  Choose an idea that you feel will have either the biggest impact or you find the easiest to do, it doesn’t matter, it’s up to you. Take action, any action, just make a start.  Taking action feels so good, especially if it makes your life easier, because lets face it, life can be pretty overwhelming at times.  Good Luck!

Final Thoughts!

Don’t forget with all the free time and head space you clear from doing the above, make time for yourself, read, pamper yourself or let someone else pamper you, whatever it is you like to do to relax, do it!