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Speaking of e-mails, this week I took on a mini project to help me with my goal of minimalism. I minimized my e-mails. It is fun to see a lot of e-mails. I feel wanted, needed, important. But being bombarded with e-mails is not an efficient use of my time. The first thing I did was not check my e-mail every five minutes. I know, crazy. For some reason, I think we convince ourselves that if we see that "1" on the Mail icon, that we absolutely MUST check that e-mail IMMEDIATELY. Or the entire world will implode. When really, if something was actually that urgent, I would get a phone call, or someone would personally come interrupt me, or Bruce Willis would star in a movie about people missing their e-mails and the world imploding. Instead, I checked my e-mail every four hours. WHOA. FOUR HOURS WITHOUT E-MAIL, PEOPLE. The first few days were rough, and I'm not joking. I can't tell you how many times I was on auto pilot and picked up my phone without even thinking. But I got through those days. Chocolate was involved.
At the end of four hours, I had 18 e-mails. They were all for shopping websites. Flash sale! 50% off! Kohl's cash! Blah, blah, blah. The normal course of action is for me to open the e-mail, covet the stuff, and either delete it and feel badly that I can't afford to buy every single thing I want. Or I would click and open the site, feel tempted to make a purchase I cannot afford, close the site, and continue to feel poorly about myself and my current financial situation.
Does this sound productive and healthy? NOPE. Additionally, it is taking up my precious time. Time that I could be spent working on my business to MAKE money, which is a positive thing, and makes me feel happy. It was time to end the negative cycle.
I went through each e-mail and asking myself the following questions:
Does receiving this e-mail benefit me?
Does it provide information that I cannot live without?
Does it make me wish I had something I can't afford?
Is the information formatted in a way that is quick and easy to absorb?
Does this contribute to the overall well being of my life and my family?
Will this save me money?
Will this assist me in growing personally, or growing my business?
If the answer was "no" to two or more of these questions, I unsubscribed to the e-mail. Sometimes it wasn't about money or growth, but the site no longer applied to my life (i.e., newborn newsletters, that one time I thought I wanted to give up coffee HAHAHAHA, etc.) I wanted to make sure I was receiving relevant, positive, and efficient information. It took about 30 minutes every four hours. I did this twice per day, for one week. At the end of the week, I only had 5 e-mails at the end of an 8 hour period. Each of those e-mails is contributing something that will help me become a better person. They are providing valuable information, and not tempting me.
But wait! I signed up for those e-mails at some point for a reason! What if my financial situation changes? What if I need the perfect gift idea? I NEED to keep these e-mails! Fear not. As I went through each e-mail, I did ask myself if I thought the website offered something I didn't want to forget. If so, I wrote down the website on a list of websites I keep. I also wrote the category (i.e., children's clothing, pet supplies, etc.). So if I do need to refer back to them, I have them logged in my family planner, but they aren't taking up cherished brain power on a daily basis.
Google searches! I know you were wondering if I was ever going to get to this.
"YouTube poomse cutting edge"
"how do you get rid of an earworm" (my son had a song stuck in his head)
"iSpy Vision" (for work)
What did you research today?
Yesterday, we basically made a gift list of new make up we need. Christmas is just around the corner. Your loved ones will be thrilled, I'm sure. Today we get to update our wish list again! Let's tackle nail polish and perfume.
Before my first daughter was born, I think I had one bottle of nail polish. Partially because I am not too into girly stuff, and partially because if I wanted nail color, I would just go to a salon and get my nails done. My daughter is three now, and she is a total girly-girl. She LOVES having her nails painted. Occasionally, I will let her pick out a polish at the store. This is much less expensive than going to a salon! We have about ten polishes now. Nail polish doesn't really go bad in a set amount of time. Some can last for years. Take out all of your polish. Check them to make sure none are goopy or gluey. If they are, toss them. Group them by colors. If you are missing some obscure color of the rainbow that you just can't live without, like "Misty Mint" or "Obo Ebony", then add it to your gift list/shopping list with your list of make up essentials. Organize the polishes in a basket or container. Make sure they are all standing upright so nothing spills. Store them in a place that is not sitting directly in the sunlight. Add a bottle of polish remover, an emery board, a pair of nail clippers, and a bag of cotton balls to your container, and put everything away. Perfect! This will be useful in November, when we do our own spa day. I can't wait!
As a side note, I (and by "I", I mean my husband and my kids) am forever misplacing/losing scissors and nail clippers. I keep several in various areas around the house in order to minimize this loss. The bathroom, garage, kitchen, desk, etc. Keep the scissors out of reach of the kids. Not just out of reach of their height. Add their height to the height of a stool, to the height of the counter, to their height again. Pretty much on a satellite in space.
Thanks to Google, I know how to store my perfume, and how to know when it is no longer good. Check here for tips. Now that you're an expert, too, check all of your scents (and your husband's while you're at it). Toss anything that has gone bad. If it was a favorite, write it down! Always make a list. Never assume you will remember later. It has taken years for me to really believe this. When I was younger, I could remember everything! I think my brain is still 18. It's not. It's more like 99. And I'm 34. That math sucks. So I write down everything.
Now that you have a list of your favorite make up, polishes, and perfumes, you will be at the ready as soon as your mother-in-law asks for the billionth time what you want for Christmas. And this way, you know you won't be receiving Christmas kitchen towels and underwear. Really. That actually happened.