A Guide to Shopping

If you find that you spend too much time or money shopping here are some ideas from “Don’t Agonize Organize your Office” by Diane A Hatcher.

Buying for the Wrong Reasons                                                                                           

  • It was on sale
  • Too good a bargain to pass up
  • I may find a use for it some day
  • Someone else I know may need it one day
  • It feels good to shop

How to Buy

  • Shop for things you need not want
  • Shop for things that fit into the space you have
  • What am I going to use it for?
  • Where am I going to put it?
  • When you buy something new, give 2 things away.

Whenever you shop, make a plan first.

Signs can encourage to purchase items, so follow your plan not their plan


A Cluttered Life – Middle Class Abundance

This 6 minute video is a great look at our society and our relationship with “stuff”.  It is easy to collect “stuff” but it is hard to know how to get rid of things.

http://www.uctv.tv/shows/Stuff-A-Cluttered-Life-Middle-Class-Abundance-Ep-1-24699

How does this make you feel?

How do we decide what to keep?


Managing E-Mail

Harold Taylor is a time management expert.  He produces a monthly newsletter.  Here is one of his articles.  I hope you enjoy it.

Taylor’s Time Report – December 5, 2012

Managing E-mail

Do you respond to a lot more email messages than you originate? Are you deleting emails unanswered or unread? Are you spending so much time reacting to email that you don’t have time for creativity, relaxation and renewal? If so, calculate your “Reactive Ratio.”

Count the total number of email messages you receive during a day. Include spam, egroup messages and newsletters whether you still read them or not. Divide the total number of incoming email messages by the number that you send during the day. The resulting ratio should be as low as possible.

You can easily calculate this ratio if you don’t delete or move anything until the end of the day – even those that you have answered. The next morning, quickly count the total number of emails received the previous day as well as those sent the same day.
If the ratio is high, take action by cancelling newsletters that you seldom read, get off egroups you don’t participate in, place spam filters at higher levels, and get off mailing lists. Consider using a different email address for purchases to avoid spam. Question whether all incoming messages require a reply. For instance, don’t thank people for thanking you. Consider adding “No reply necessary” to many of your outgoing messages. And investigate apps such as “unroll.me.”

Your outgoing messages also consume time and generate incoming messages. So question whether a quick phone call is better. Don’t copy people who have no need for the information.

Even more important than your “Reactive Ratio” is the total time you spend on email each day. Keep messages brief. Use text replacement software for longer & repetitive replies such as instructions or directions. Allocate specific times to check and respond to email. This could be one hour late morning and one hour late afternoon. If you can get by with less time, so much the better. But don’t fragment your day by checking email every few minutes or every hour.

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Time Management Expert

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Keep or Toss?

Most of us keep more than we will ever need.  This costs valuable storage space, makes retrieval of the items we actually need more difficult and adds to the stress of daily living.  Ask yourself the following questions when deciding to keep something or not.

For Paper:

  • Are there any tax or legal reasons for keeping this?
    Shred personal data
  • Can I easily get a copy elsewhere?
  • Does someone else have this information?
    Shred paper with personal data on it, recycle other paper and file your keep papers.
  • Can I identify a situation in which I would ever refer to this information?
  • Is it still relevant to my life?
  • What are the implications if I didn’t have this?

 

Should I donate it?

Have containers available as you start to sort through your items.

For belongings:

  • Is it out of style, the wrong size or colour or mismatched?
  • Does it still work?  DO I have all the parts?
  • When was the last time I used this item and when would I need to  use it in the foreseeable future?
  • If  it is something I use rarely, could I borrow one from someone else?
  • Do I use it often enough to make it worth  the cost to store it?
  • Do I have more than one? Do I need more than one?
  • Has the collection outgrown the space or the container originally allocated to storing it?  Has the collector outgrown the collection?