THE WAR ON PAPER
For me one of the biggest time sucks, is the clerical life that many of use when it comes to paper. These next few posts, I will share some of the ways I try to combat the mountain of paper that can accumulate in our lives.
Scan it! I use an app called "Scannable" for critical papers. When I scan it, it can become searchable in tools like Evernote. I believe Apple Notes, Bear, and Google Drive have similar abilities. I could just say scan everything and it will solve everything. It won't, but it's start. I recommend scanning documents you may have to reference or access via a device. I once scanned the warranty for battery for car. The battery died. I took it back to the store (short period of time, a couple of months). They had no record of me or my warranty that I purchased. I shared my clear image and they honored it. I know it's a bizarre example, but it was better than having a file folder draw (The old Winston), that I would have to dig through to find a piece of paper.
Next I will tell you a thought (or two) on what to do with the images.
Finding ways to save you minutes at a time, it adds up -Winston
I'm really good at some social networks (LinkedIn) and not so good at others (YouTube, but I will get better), but I found a new clutter spot. I was looking at my Twitter and realized I was following stuff more than I was following people. This must have happened over time. I unfollowed over a hundred brands, personalities, or cities. I realized something cool. I started to see the feeds of people. I'm interested in people, not stuff. It was cool to actually find out what people were doing on Twitter. Get rid of ads masquerading as twitter handles.
Love people, manage stuff. Not the other way around. -Winston
Today marks six months since I changed my diet and my exercise routine. I haven't had any thing that walks, swims, or has wings to eat. I also decreased the intensity (no more two hour marathons for me) of my exercise but increased the frequency. Today is the fiftieth day in which I have done exercise for at least thirty minutes. Focusing on a healthy life is so important to your personal productivity and goals. Make a plan for your life. It is so important to you and the ones you love.
One of the cool things about the CONQUER productivity system, it really allows me to accelerate milestones. It helps to look at life in a view that captures my health, finances, relationships and goals. I am so proud that tomorrow (12pm) David V. Wilson and I will be launching Season 1, Episode 1 of "SURVIVING BUSINESS". It has been in the making for some time and it will be a ton of fun. Check out the link for some info on our first juicy industry ( Hint: Kids and...the two of us enjoy it ). Keep painting your masterpiece!
What do take your notes with?
I used Franklin planners many years ago. I then migrated to Palm Pilots. Then it was my first smartphone ( Treo 600 ). Then I used OneNote, Bullet Journals, and general journals. I share all of this to let you know I've tried them all. I have most of these notes from long ago collected by using Dropbox as a repository for the last twenty years. Dropbox hasn't been around that long, but I have scanned many of the critical ones. These days I use an iPad with an Apple Pencil. I have used this for the past four years in combination with an app called Notability. It allows me connect my love of handwriting with being able to keep one universal record that is accessible via any device.
Notability costs like nine bucks ( I think ) but that is better than all the journals etc. The cool thing is that it is not just a note taking tool but a research tool for writing, papers, essays, brainstorming etc. Look for a video on this soon.
"Saving you minutes with each message" -Winston
Meditation is an important part of my life. It allows for us to expand our thoughts, conceive unique solutions, and authentically relax. In order to integrate it into my productivity system, I use an app called "Abyaasa". There is a great session called "Calm" that I turn on in the morning. I know there are other great apps like "Calm" (pun intended), but this app works for me. You don't need an app, you can just find a space where you are one with your thoughts and breath. You deserve time with you and your soul.
I love technology. It is without a doubt my weakness from a purchase and potential clutter perspective. Some people have cars, or suits, or shoes, I have tech. Good tech gets me going and releases a decent amount of dopamine. I’m focused on having the technology work for me and not the other way around. Most of the time when we install an app on a device it asks us if we want to allow notifications. DO NOT allow this as the default response! I know this is controversial for some. I have upset some “Group Me” or “WhatsApp“ groups that insist that I monitor all day long for messages. “Manage Stuff and Love people” is something I believe in. I definitely don’t believe in the reverse. Anyway, notifications can be addictive and create a perception that you are doing something.
I do have some notifications. Phone texts. Airline apps (for boarding type things), alerts from my bank, fitness apps, and delivery services are some examples. I turn most everything else off. Another tidbit, if you have a watch that is connected to your phone (e.g. Apple Watch), they can create even more notifications. I go into the watch app and disable most except some of the examples I cited above.
I ask you to go into your device(s) and find your top ten that you want to keep receiving notifications and disable the rest. Try it for just a few days and see how it feels. You may instinctively be looking at your phone or wrist anticipating the notifications. After a while you may feel more free and in control. Then you can put in your calendar time to check your device, respond, and post. I know it is not super simple to do this, but trying one step at a time can get you back control of tech and your time. I love technology!
“Your time is your life!” - Winston
Last year I did the minimalism challenge in February. Each day I pick something to give away, recycle or discard. It was unbelievably freeing to my mind and my productivity. The way it works is each day of the month you have that many items to engage with. On the first day of the month, you have one thing. On day 28th, you twenty eight things. I think I expanded it last year and I eventually went from physical things, to digital items (e..g. files, apps), and to personal habits. It was amazing. I can accumulate so much stuff in one year without even trying. For day one this yearI picked a shirt that I used to wear on vacation. I used to love it as it hid my stomach etc. It is 2X (not going back) and it may be later in the year before I go on vaca. What is one thing you can minimize today?
This weekend I needed to get a rug for the creative office. In keeping with the philosophy of bringing in one thing and letting something go, I chose some books I've read or have had duplicates. Years ago I would keep my favorites in my office by buying at the Library's semi-annual book sale, Then if someone asked to borrow it, I would freely give it and not anticipate seeing it again. Now that I don't have anyone walking in, I realized that I have many lingering on the shelf. Books are for the world once I read them. I do make a notebook in Evernote ( Just started this last year ) and capture any quotes from them there. Remember Evernote ( Apple Notes and BEAR as well ) allows you to search by words as it makes images searchable.
In a nutshell, you may have purchased something this weekend. Let something else go by giving it away, recycling it, or discarding it.