D. CREATING MORE TIME AND MONEY
(AND GETTING ORGANIZED)
25. Create the Life You Want.
Don't just let life blow you around like a leaf in the wind. You can manage your time, money, and activities. First of all, who isn't overbooked these
days? We fill our lives with so many activities that we practically live in the car, en route to one more event. So how does it feel? Exhausting? Unfulfilling?
Frantic? You can change this pattern. You got yourself into it, now get yourself out. Take control and be deliberate. If you are thinking "How?" keep reading.
26. Reprioritize Your Time.
Start to keep track of what you do in a typical week. Do you work outside the home? Commute? Taxi kids back and forth? Chair or participate in committees,
clubs, organizations? Take classes? Volunteer? Provide elder care or child care? Do you have shopping, menu planning, laundry? What are your obligations
and commitments? What could be dropped, and what can't.
Now, get brutal here. Are all these activities enhancing or burdening your life? Some things you can't change, but most you can. Maybe you need to start
out small, or maybe you need a giant life makeover. You decide. In any case, if you are not living the life you really want, then you have to make some
changes, now. (JE)
27. Simplify and Be Deliberate.
Decide which activities in your life are valuable and which are not. Eliminate all the extra activities that take your time but do not enrich your life.
Set limits for yourself and your family. SAY NO to burdensome committees or engagements. Allow your kids to each have one extra activity during the school
year (unless they can get themselves there). If you have ten kids, then they will have to do an activity together. For example, they can all take the same
art class or go swimming together. Kids suffer just like you do when every minute is booked up with activities. We all need more "down time," or unscheduled
time in which to take up a hobby, read, or relax.
To put it all in perspective: if you moved away, would your community cease to function? If you quit your job, would your employer go out of business?
You are not indispensable, and you are free to make choices for your own good. (JE)
28. Save Time with a Strategy. Get Help.
Can't get it all done? Did you eliminate some activities yet? Here are a few more suggestions: if you spend hours commuting to work, why not move closer
to your job, or get another job closer to home? Hire a housekeeper, cleaning service, or gardener. Order your bulk groceries over the Internet. Have your
kids take the school bus. Arrange carpools with friends. Hire an enthusiastic teenager to watch your kids while you clean the kitchen. (Pay these kids
well,they deserve it.) Join a dinner co-op, or swap dinners with friends. Double recipes and freeze half for later. Figure out what chores you least like,
and find a way to minimize them. All kinds of services are springing up out there to help families. For example, laundromats often wash and fold. Maybe
you just need some help on occasion. If your job is not worth it, maybe you can provide a service for others who work outside the home. Child care providers,
dog walkers, housekeepers, and elder caregivers are in big demand. How about home-delivered dinners? All those frantic working people out there need help.
29. Don't Burn the Candle at Both Ends.
You can't do it all, and you don't have to. Others will probably pick up the ball if you drop it. And if they don't, it won't be the end of the world.
Keeping up a frantic pace puts people in the hospital, or else their relationships suffer. Something or someone will pay the price.
30. Budget Time to Do Nothing.
You don't have to fill every minute with some activity. Nothing spontaneous can happen if you're all booked up. Sit outside for a few minutes, or listen
to some music. Let your mind unwind. If you're a real control freak, schedule some time to do nothing.
31. Turn Off the TV.
Some people find they have more time and can be better organized when the TV is off.
32. The Stuff Trap.
Most people have too much stuff. Some of us have it lying all over the place or stuffed in our closets. Others have it boxed up for future use (never to
be seen again). Saving it just in case we might need it sometime is generally a bad reason. We usually don't need it, can't find it, or don't even remember
we have it. So don't buy another thing until you read #33. Okay? (JE)
33. Dejunk, Unclutter, Weed Out, and Organize Your Home.
You'll have more room, spend less time looking for lost stuff, and your home will be much easier to clean. You'll feel more rested, tranquil, and happier.
When people drop by, you won't have to hide. You might be shocked when you start to realize how much money you have spent on useless stuff you don't even
want anymore. Give it away. Your old stuff might be useful to someone else.
34. How to Get Started at Dejunking.
First of all, do not be intimidated by a huge mess. There's an epidemic of junk junkies out there, so don't feel bad. Plan to spend a considerable amount
of time on this project if your mess is big. You want to keep at it, too. Be determined; your sanity is worth it. Play the "Rocky" theme song if you have
Some people start with their junk drawer or closet. I say start with your living room and public rooms because you will see results faster. Get three big
boxes (or trash bags). Mark them: "Give Away", "Throw Away", and "Undecided." Now put all items in their proper place in your house or in one of your boxes.
You can have a garage sale and make some money. Start giving more stuff away all the time. Some people make a trip to their local charity every week. People
will love your generosity. You'll feel freer and freer as you start to see some space returning to your home. And your stuff will no longer own you . .
. you'll own it!
About that undecided box . . . time to get rid of that stuff. too. (JE)
35. Want More Money? Quit Buying Stuff.
Get out of the materialism rat race. Advertising has convinced us that we need a ton of stuff. Then, when we have it, all we do is trip over it. "In fashion"
is a big hook for a lot of us. Be much more selective. And sort first. For all you know, you might have one of those in the closet already.
36. What Do You Really Need?
Besides some self-control . . . do you really need a new, expensive car; a big new house; a new CD player; and all the latest electronic gadgets known
to humankind? You really can live without most of those things, especially if you are trying to save money. Eating out and vacations (try camping) are
big money pits, too. So if you spend all your time working and not enjoying life, just so you can buy stuff, then whoa--- slow way down and reprioritize.
Work less, spend less, enjoy more. (JE)
37. Are You a Shopaholic?
This sounds funny but really isn't. You know how much money you are spending, and you still feel miserable. You are trying to fill up a hole in your soul.
It's like any other addiction, so feed your spirit. Seek professional help if necessary. Get help because you deserve it and you've suffered enough.
38. Don't Spend More Money than You Have.
Cut up those credit cards. You know that the instant gratification is not worth the stress. If you keep one credit card for convenience or emergencies,
charge only what you can pay off each month.