On my phone:
- I’ve deleted most of my “extra” apps that I don’t use regularly. There are a few that I’ve kept for now, but most have been cut. I still have a bunch of apps but all the extra photo, fitness, tarot, games, etc have all be axed.
- I’ve gone into greyscale mode. Apparently this makes you feel that your phone is less interesting/distracting, thus you are less likely to pick it up. I’ll admit that at first I found it kind of off putting because it’s blah but after a few days, I find it more relaxing and less demanding of my attention. So for me, it works. Not drastically, but enough that I notice it.
- I’ve deleted all but a couple of my widgets on my swipe screen (you know, the one that you get when you swipe left). Ryan and Joshua from the Minimalists made this suggestion (they also recommended greyscale mode a while back). I don’t even notice the difference so I can’t say that it’s a win but it’s also not a loss either.
- I’ve disabled almost all of my notifications. Of all the things I’ve changed on my phone, this has been the biggest game changer for me. I highly recommend it. There are definitely ones that I turned off initially that I ended up turning back on (whatsapp notifications went back on because that’s how I chat with my husband… so if he needs to contact me quickly I see it… cause my phone is always on silent). I definitely notice a difference when I’m not constantly getting visual pings on my phone.
- Deleting facebook. I should clarify that I shifted facebook. I created a work account and moved work people onto that account. Everyone else was unfriended (forewarned and told how they could contact me off facebook) before I deleted my personal account. Best thing I have EVER done. Hands down. I was wasting so much time scrolling through useless info. I still have the app on my phone because I use my work account while running kiosks and events for my job, but I no longer am always facebook. It’s fantastic! I feel way more present in my life and am interacting with my family way more.
- I’ve mentioned before that I purged my entire house in January. It was a huge process and even as I did it, I knew that it was only round one. I’ve recently opened a few closets that have reminded me that there is still work to be done! A lot of work to be done to be honest. Something about owning a home seems to foster the idea of accumulating all the things. From the kazillion little things for crafting to bulk buying lightbulbs.
- Dividing my wardrobe into 2 seasons: Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. I’m starting to look at my spring clothing as the weather shifts (yay) and see myself doing another purge soon. I’ve spent the winter living off about 30 pieces of clothing (6 jeans, 2 pants, 5 tank tops, 5 tops, 3 blouses, 2 dressier tops, 3 skirts, 4 cardigans/blazers, 2 sweaters… ish). Some days it has felt a little restrictive but honestly, for the most part, it’s been way more than enough and I could definitely do with less. There are 2 pairs of jeans that I will likely get rid of permanently at the end of the season. The area that I noticed it the most was in the tops. There were days I wanted something a bit flashier than my plain tshirts, which will be something I’ll think about for next winter.
- Makeup. I purged SO much here and yet, I totally could purge even more. I told myself I’d give myself the season to try to use up what I had. I’ve done a pretty solid job overall with this but there are things that I see clearly now that I could do without. I still think I have so much makeup on my counter!
- Bathroom. This has been massively overhauled. It was one of the places I was the most brutal in my purging and I haven’t missed a thing. Even in terms of bathroom cleaning supplies. Our cupboards are bare. Most of what is stored is toilet paper and tissue. I’ve taken exactly 1 bath since the purge, which means that all of the bath bombs I saved, just in case, are officially going to be donated to people who will use them.
- Laundry. We shifted away from dryer sheets to rubber dryer balls. I’ve tried wool dryer balls before will mixed success. The rubber balls are a bit louder in the dryer but they work great!
- Every year I have to write these grant proposals and there’s always an unspoken pressure to get more money. But more money usually means more projects, which translates into more work for yours truly. This year I’ve done things differently. I wrote the proposals in partnership with people across the college, handing over the projects to others. This way I’ll still be associated with the projects and I’ll still have to “fund” them, but the bulk of the work will be someone else’s responsibility. It’s a win/win because it gives others access to funding they didn’t have before, ensures projects for students, fosters new creative ideas, AND reduces my workload. This is huge for me because March was a month of panic attacks for yours truly. I’ve never had panic attacks before, but in March I had 2 of them. And this is not how I want to live so I’m changing things to ensure that this isn’t the norm.
- I’m outsourcing jobs by hiring people to do the work. This is different than the above because I’m actually hiring people to do the workshops or the work instead of taking it all on myself. In some ways I’m evolving into a more supervisory role, which isn’t what I expected when I took on this job, but is how things are evolving. I’m learning to let go and embrace it because if I don’t, my work life balance won’t work.
- I’m “letting go” of surface friendships (see facebook delete) and making more time to see the people who matter. I’ve been trying to reach out to the people I feel nurture and support me more. The people who bring in positivity and inspiration. It’s been kind of awesome to shift away from people who were draining me towards the ones who fill me up. The people I’ve been moving away from aren’t exactly thrilled with me right now, but I feel the change. And I see the cycles of negativity far more quickly now having taken some time away from them. I don’t engage in the cyclic, draining conversations as quickly. I’m better able to step back from them and either change the conversation dynamic or just leave it be instead of engaging them out of a sense of obligation.
So many things. All of them little but adding up. It’s far from perfect and I’m still struggling with financial minimalism. I spent next to nothing in Jan, but every other month has been a struggle (I see how work stress can tend to foster my bad habits in this regard so there is some simplifying and cleaning up that I need to do in this area before I start up in the Fall again).
Phew… my small list just turned into a massive narrative! Thanks for making it to the end if you’re still reading 🙂