E.R.A.S.E Everything Part 3

ELIMINATE…REDUCE…AUTOMATE…SCHEDULE…EXTERNALISE ©

Part 1 and Part 2 can be found here.

AUTOMATE

Automate is actually the easy one.

It is exactly what is sounds like. Anything that can be automated, ought to be. Anything that you spend money or have to pay regularly you want to automate. You can eliminate unnecessary trips, late fees because you forgot to pay the bill or just stop doing and paying the same thing every 2 weeks, monthly etc. When you are able to set it up or organise just once to last till eternity if you wish.

This is especially useful for financial targets. Starting here consider some of the following in relation to your own home and life as examples and build from there….

  • Increasing your savings.
  • Making credit card and loan payments.
  • Paying bills. Rates. Water. Electricity. Insurance etc
  • School Fees. Day Care. Sport / Gym fees
  •  A regular grocery, bread, meat or fuit and vegetable order.
  • Vitamins.
  • Magazines. Papers or Industry journals you buy

The perfect partner to this for when Automation isn’t an option is Scheduling.

SCHEDULING

Now I have an absolute, undeniable and ongoing adoration for Scheduling. This one thing one in my opinion is the one that enables you put your life as close as is possible to set and forget. With the aid of a Calender. Planner or Word document, whatever your personal preference is where you write down everything that needs doing and give it a place in your year or life. Out of your head onto paper and then filed in your home manual. You can schedule basically any part of your life and have multiple schedules for different aspects of your life, although for the sake of simplicity and ease I’d keep them to a minimum. It may sound regimented and it is but the effect of that is actually increased ease, productivity, brain space and decreased stress, forgotten or not gotten to jobs, appointments or projects.

There are lots of jobs that may only need to be done a few times a year and scheduling is just as perfect for those as it is for the things we need to do regularly. The schedules or events and jobs I usually have in my home manual include the following

  • Home Maintenance Schedule
  • Cleaning Schedule
  • Menu. Groceries. Shopping
  • Personal / Family
  • Weekly. Fortnightly. Monthly
  • Financial
  • Business
  • Goals
  • Birthdays
  • Christmas Cards and Shopping.
  • Clean Gutters
  • Service Car
  • Service Airconditioner
  • Financials
  • Menus  [3 months worth]
  • Dental / Doctor visits
  • Windows.  Dooners. Skirting boards. Curtains/ Blinds [Cleaning of]
  • Washing. Clean the Washing Machine. Dryer. Drains
  • Lawns. Garden. Weeding ~Yard/Farm maintenance
  • Shopping ~Food. Clothes. Back to School. Christmas
  • Goals ~ Personal. Business. Financial. Home. Family/ Friends.

These actually boil down into only a few pages it’s not as unwieldy as it sounds

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These are just a couple of examples of very basic documents which is what mine are most of the time. You can make them prettier and more detailed but it is just about useability and getting it done. I always had 2 months of menus planned out and on rotation and was about to implement a third which allows you to just keep rotating without worrying you’ll become bored with the meals. You could also do it seasonally if you wanted to incorporate the heavier or lighter meals of summer and winter. You’ll notice not all the week is filled. This is because we always left at least one day but usually 2 free per week where we were using up left overs or had been invited out. There was always at least 1 super easy meal as well .. eg cheese toasties that we might put a salad with or not. Once you get this in place meal time and shopping becomes easy. What’s on the menu ?? … then put whatever you don’t have on hand on the shopping list. Done. Always make extra if you can for lunches or leftovers.

The above yearly calendar again is just an example of some of the things that can be put on it and how it can be used. The yearly calendar is one of my favourites. I never have to remember a thing. If something new comes up onto the calendar it goes and it makes sure you, your family including all pets get scheduled dental and medical visits and that machines (cars / aircon/ mowers etc) are also maintained which in the long run saves you time and money as well as getting better performance and helping to eliminate any problems or catch them before they get too big. Check it regularly, book in anything you need to and those appointment times go into your planner. The jobs you fit into your month either at a set time or when you can. Car cleaning and pet washing / clipping was always the first Saturday of the month for me. Financials the first of the month.. you get the idea. I programmed everything. My cleaning schedule I had on a weekly list that included family commitments etc. Sports. Meetings etc. The cleaning list was tacked on the end. I had a birthday list so I knew whose was coming up and planned ahead. Your life can pretty much be on remote control. Nothing forgotten. Everything planned for, done or checks in place, maintained. This in turns gives you the time and head space to start improving any areas you want to improve and / or giving you more free time and importantly working towards any goals you have.

We’ll finish off with the nice quick one Externalise in a couple of weeks.

Ever x

 

 

New Year. New You.

Here we are. Welcome to 2017!

Let me say here straight up, it’s ok to be fine with where and who you are. Actually that is the goal isn’t it.  If you’d like a year of just going with the flow, seeing what happens, no big plans or goals. Good for you! It seems there very few people out there saying.. “You want to chill – that’s fine. Good even. Go do that.Come back if you change your mind” If however you’d like to make a few improvements or set a few goals and intentions. This is a great time to do it.

As many of us are  preparing to or already have done. Goal setting is usually high on the agenda for this time of year. Although any time is good really but flipping over the calendar to the new year in January is symbolically a time of fresh starts and new beginnings.  I’m not one of the nay sayers of this area and so I both do it myself and would encourage it for others. Goals. Ideals. Plans. Intentions. Write it down. Laminate it. Frame it. Put it in a binder. Tape it to your wall. Whichever, just put it somewhere where you’ll see your goals regularly. You can’t hit a target if you don’t know what you’re aiming for and the studies all show that writing goals down increases our chances of achieving them. I have mine in my home manual and refer to it often. The kinds of things I usually have goals for tend to fall under these categories. Health. Financial. Home. Personal. But the list is endless obviously of what it could entail.

My only recommendations would be make sure it’s a real goal. Not just something you think you should or would like. I’d like my house to be clean, fix it up a bit, reduce my debts …. I want to be fitter, healthier.. spend more time with my family, have some me time blah, blah. But something specific and that you’re really committed to. The ones I listed are too wishy washy and vague. Make them meaningful but I’d also suggest make them few. You can always add if you’ve achieved them early but picking a dozen or more especially if they are chunky, meaningful and worthwhile will overwhelm you and increase the risk of failure or abandonment. Write all your goals down by all means in a list but then just pick a few at a time to focus on for this year. You have next year as well etc So a better option goal wise so that it’s more specific would be something along these lines .

  1.  Design a weekly cleaning schedule to start Jan 9th.
  2. Renovate laundry this year
  3. Eliminate credit card debt. Reduce by $–, cut up all but one emergency card
  4. Monthly family date for movies, park, road trip first weekend of the month.
  5. Eliminate soda from my diet. Half hour daily walk
  6. Schedule Dr and Dental visits. May and November
  7. Yoga class weekly.
  8. Half hour reading before bed etc
  9. Learn Spanish

You get the idea.Of course your goals can be much grander than this, much more personal or smaller. Maybe you want to address a personal matter that is effecting you negatively. Maybe you want to build a business. Start charity work. It doesn’t matter. If your goals are more personal and less tangible say. When you’re looking for a feeling rather than an event or thing…. “I want to feel more joy in my life or adventure” say. A good place to look for help with that scenario is Danielle Laporte she is all over the desires of the heart and literally calls it.. “Desire Mapping” Other desires and wants are often a bit more straight forward to find help with. Behavioural change you can look for help with life coach’s. Things like Hypnotherapy, meditation, NLP. Phsyc K. All look towards helping you change unhelpful habits and thought processes or aid in discovering new ones. Some of the bigger names you might check out in this are people like Tony Robbins.Brendon Burchard. Tim Ferris. Jonathon Fields. There are dozens though. Other things like health, business, money there are some very targeted specific sites out there that are just great. I won’t list the options here simply because there are so many but if you’d like some hints or pointers let me know in the comments and I can throw some resources together for you all.

Scheduling these things is also hugely important. Get out your calendar. Mark out exactly when you want these things by. Ideally you want everything organised up and running by mid January. So break it down into chunks. If you have multiple things I will often break them up into 2 monthly periods of time. Not too long or you never get around to them. For eg you may have payments of $200 a week automated to go to your credit card debt. Doctors and Dental visits scheduled for May and November. Research for the new Laundry will be done March and April then  booked and Scheduled for May/June. Spanish classes you will start in July. Spread them further apart during the year or bring them forward earlier if opportunities present. It’s not set in stone but does give you a strong workable, not overwhelming calendar to achieve your aims. Simple but efficient systems are always the best and most productive. The more complicated, the more working parts, the more things that can break down, get lost, forgotten, go awry. Always aim for simple first.

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There are so many resources out there and bloggers, youtubers, life coaches, inspirational speakers, good old fashioned books and magazines. It is merely a case of finding one that resonates with you if you’re not sure how to go about it, need some ideas or inspiration. You can look for people in the area you are most interested in eg money, health, minimisalism, sports or life in general and look to their guidance or suggestions. Or it really is as simple as writing it down yourself. Some use smart targeted goals, some focus on desired feelings, manifesting, NLP, practicality and action steps, a word for the year a mixture of a few different things. It really is just finding one that aligns with your beliefs, goals and personality and that you connect with. Look up hash tags, ask friends for recommendations or google it. Have a look, see if it fits what you want. If it speaks to you in a way that motivates and helps you and then just go for it.

Alternatively look up areas that interest you and meander around the web following links until you find the good stuff you’re after. Bakers. Mountain Bikers. Homesteading. Runners. Gardeners. Woodworkers. Ancient battle craft. Vikings. Book clubs. Whatever it is you will find it. Just don’t waste to much time doing that. Start and upgrade later if you find a better way or site or person. But start. Don’t waste weeks or months in research and planning. If what you pick isn’t working for you just choose a different path – don’t give up on the goal. Just find a different way or person to guide you to reaching it. This is one reason meaningful goals are important. Goals aren’t always easy to hit or achieve or most likely we’d already have done it. You need to want it enough to find your way there … if at first you don’t succeed and all that.

I wish you all the very best in 2017. I’d love to hear in the comments what you are all aiming for this year.

E x

 

Lets start at the very beginning

“A very good place to start”

Lists are one of your best friends. If they’re not, they should be and we’re going to get onto that right away.

Keeping your council, making your life easier and freeing up brain space. Lists are awesome. When done well they can help streamline and run your life. If something needs doing or remembering, seriously… Get it down on paper – or electronically. Whatever suits your personality and preferences best. What we´re talking about today though is a little bit more in depth than your standard To Do, Shopping or School Needs list. If you’re not already using these regularly … stick around, I’m a big fan and you will hear, learn and be encouraged to use them in many situations. Lists when collated into a system can become a whole lot more. Designed. Analysed. Structured. Streamlined. It’s so exciting, but if you can’t see how just now… trust .. just for a bit.

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As I’ve said previously the whole point of doing any of these things, and the main purpose behind the blog, is to free up your time and energy and resources so you/we can spend more time doing what we WANT to do or to have the time to EXPLORE, research and FIND what we’d like to do… where passion, joy, fun or relaxation and contentment may lie for us. To streamline, remove or make quicker and simpler the dreary, boring or monotonous. To get organised. To get a life. If you’re just after an extra hour a week so you can read a book   or you want to completely redesign your life. I’m in for both. Good on you – lets get started.

I have been thinking how best to get the ball rolling for you. Where did I start? What was the most beneficial to me? How do I make this as simple and stress free as possible for you because no-one needs an extra job or less time or complicated systems. How did I put together the systems at work, at home that achieved these things. What am I continuing to learn and improve myself. I’m excited to bring it all together here and when I thought about one of the major things that made a difference and kept everything on track and simpler over the years it was the manual I used to run my life and home. A manual .. when broken down to its basics .. of lists. Lists of contacts. Lists of jobs. Schedules. Finances. Personal. Home. Events. All of it. There was very little I ever needed to remember. It was all in the manual. I had a lot of fun building it and tweaking it and in turn life was so much simpler and easier and like a company manual, I could have walked out of that house, someone new walk in and take up running my life and home without missing a beat.

Things get planned, improved, taken care of… and for bonus points … all with EASE. I want you to take a deep breath and now as you slowly exhale say.. EEEEEEASE. Like Omm but replaced with the word ease. This is what I want more of in your life. This word. This feeling and time. So I thought we’d start with the home and go from there. If there is something you’d like some ideas on.. by all means use the comments. I can look at addressing it on the blog or perhaps some other readers will have some handy tips. For now, I just want you to grab a binder. 2 ring. 4 ring it doesn’t matter, don’t get wrapped up in perfection – it’s the enemy here. Making it perfect will waste your time and energy which is EXACTLY what we are trying to avoid. There is plenty of time for redesign and pretty etc when we’ve saved some of that precious time we’re talking about. So, one you have lying around the house that can be enlisted for the project is fantastic or just pick up something cheap for now. Get some dividers for sections or just some post-it notes you can put at different intervals to  denote the different sections and some paper. We are just going to start from scratch for those in total overwhelm with life or who are not just not sure how to begin.

Going back to the beginning of this post I use both paper and electronic organisation and management systems. Electronics only minimally though… I am a paper girl… all the way. I may design it electronically but then it is printed more often than not. That being said, the system I will show you is paper. This also has the added benefit of others (partners, children etc) having access to this information and being able to use it. They don’t have to have access to your electronic files.  Use whatever system suits you though and that you will actually use. Don’t overthink it.

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See here the absolutely ad-hock binder I started to help keep all the balls in the air while I’ve been on the road .. a few months into my travels and I couldn’t cope with all the stuff I was trying to keep track of without a system in place and I couldn’t find a planner I found useful for what I needed. They were beautiful, gorgeous even .. but mostly impractical for what I was wanting to achieve. This folder is quite literally the least pretty thing you’ll ever see… but you know what … it’s working like a dream and that is the point I want you to remember. Just start . Do pretty later if getting it “right” or “perfect” is going to hold you up or take more time than absolutely necessary.

Go get the stuff. Next post.. we start. Big love. E

Featured picture from the absolute classic… “The Sound of Music” – Twentieth Century Fox 1965