EP91: The Simplify Show
How to simplify your personal, digital and business life to reduce stress and improve focus and productivity.
Today’s episode 91
12 Steps to Simplify Your Business & Personal Life
How to Reduce Digital & Personal Clutter
Improve Focus, Clarity & Productivity
Reduce Stress & Increase Happiness
Tip #1: When starting your online business, buy only what you need and do not invest too much in gear and branding and logos, etc until you build up momentum as you will likely change directions and try new things. So get the business rolling and then purchase things as you need them.
I purchased too much gear and equipment to build a video production business before I even started making videos and then I changed my direction and found myself with too much stuff.
Less is More.
12 Steps to Simplifying Business & Life
- Clean up your Email Inbox and try to achieve Inbox Zero if only for a short while. Tip: Start by deleting all the obvious junk. Then go back and create one folder called To Do, or To Sort or To Follow Up….Put all emails in there to start fresh on your inbox. The messages will still be there, but it might kickstart you into taking action to reduce your emails. The key to everything is starting small and if it feels good, you may just keep going.
- Unsubscribe from Email Newsletters and online stores and brands. The less outside stimulus of dings and notifications the better. Less email coming in means the less you react to things and chances are you really do not need half of the emails you get on a regular basis. Use a service like http://unroll.me to batch unroll from emails.
- Unsubscribe from Podcasts (other than mine, of course, :D) if you are no longer listening. The mindset is to remove everything you do not use or need.
- Unjoin Facebook Groups and YouTube subscriptions and do a social media audit to reduce the amount of notifications and distractions. I deleted over 1500 Instagram & Twitter accounts that I had no idea why I followed. It felt great and much more meaningful.
- Delete Apps & Software on your iOS Devices & Computers. I went from 9 screens of apps to 4. Guess what, if you really need an app, you can go back and download. You do not need 10 To-Do apps on your phone or 3 movie review apps, etc. Get rid of all those trial programs on your Mac or things you do not use. Plus, your phone will run faster.
- Photo Management. Organize & Backup Photos. Ouch for many of you. Think about how you would feel if you lost all of your photos. You know they are important and you should back them up, but you do not know where to start, right? Step 1: Gather all photos from all devices, hard drives, iCloud Drive, Google Drive, iPhoto….and put them in one folder called Photo Library. This will be your master collection of photos and what you will always back up. Every photo you own will be in there. Aaaaaahhh.
Use Lightroom or iPhoto to organize this folder eventually. A great starting point is to organize by Year and any photo management tool can easily sort things using digital metadata. Start small, but start by collecting all photos and backing them up.
- Clean up your computer and back up. Start with your desktop! A messy desktop is a big source of stress even if you act like it is not. The desktop should only be for active projects (things you are working on). Then go to your downloads folder. Start with all those .zip and .dmg files that you never delete and delete them.
Business & Financials
For business workflow:
- Consolidate your productivity and todo managers and delete what you don’t need anymore. I love fun tools and apps, but starting to think productivity apps make things more stressful and complicated sometimes because I never stick to a system. Sometimes I use Notes, sometimes ToDoist, sometimes Asana….I have tried every system for Evernote and Todoist and many make sense, but I can never remember the system and it’s more work trying to be productive than actually doing things. No more.
I use the defaults on my iPhone (Notes & Reminders) now and Google Suitefor just about everything and the key to using them is to delete everything else.
- Simplify your accounting and financials so it is easy for you to reconcile and understand your numbers. I use Freshbooks for invoicing and expenses. I use and old school bank ledger to write down my transactions and then I reconcile everything at the end of the month. I also use Mint.com as a backup. I have one Google Sheet that I put all of my expenses by Category and I give that to my accountant at tax time
- Reduce spending (personal & business). This is big. It makes you conscious of the things you really need and breaks the habit of just buying things. Pretty soon you will save money and start to enjoy the feeling of not buying stuff every time you think of something. Most times you can live without it.
- Clean your work environment (desk, studio…). I like my desk nearly empty when I work. Try it (even if you are a creative who thinks messy inspires you :D)
- Clean your personal space (go through the house room by room and chuck it if you no longer use). Do you need 2 frying pans? 20 plates/bowls…Get rid of everything you can and before you know it, you’ll see the difference. Drawer by drawer, cupboard by cupboard. Is it couscous or 12-grain cereal in that Tupperware? Is that barley and how do I cook it? You know those things that have been in your kitchen, bathroom forever and you never use?…Gone
“Take what you need and leave the rest” — The Band
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