Tag Archives: Productivity

5 Steps to Organize Your Mind Without Computers

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This post is in lieu of the recent and popular article in the New York Times entitled Your Brain on Computers: Hooked on Gadgets, and Paying a Mental Price about a family who is digitally connected beyond the average American. Their lives are absorbed within technology, and every possible moment is filled with some form of screen stimulation. This is characteristic of many of the Gen Y and Millennium kids. From the article:

Mr. Campbell loves the rush of modern life and keeping up with the latest information. “I want to be the first to hear when the aliens land,” he said, laughing.

In his defense, he probably will be one of the first. As connected as he is, it will take only moments for the message to get to him. Is that really the goal of life though? To be the first to know? The article continues to discuss the effect of multi-tasking, both positive and negative. It’s a fascinating read for those who know someone like Mr. Campbell.

The connectedness of the Campbells is my segue into purposely disconnecting your harmful habits and putting order into the way your mind works.

How do we stay organized without computers?

I’m writing about organization in a broad term. The following steps will help you get to the organization of your honest thoughts and true feelings. It may (but most likely may not) give you tips on how to organize your closet.

Step 1: Unplug

Entire sites exist to help your kids unplug, and there are efforts to go as far as setting up an intervention for those addicted to staring at a screen (Unlplugyourfriends.com).


Step 1 removes anything that provides entertainment or social connections. Phones, computers, and televisions should be turned off and unplugged. Simply turning off your device will not work. You may already do that a couple times a day. The step of unplugging, removing the battery, or donating means you are taking this extra serious.

It must be a decision from the inside, or you will quickly resort back to the clicks and the stares.

Step 2: Decompress

Here is where the withdrawals start. The goal is to un-froth your mouth of digital rabies and revert back to a simpler way of thinking.

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5 Tips for Starting a Fresh Work Week

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When Friday rolls around, the weekend is your only thought. During the weekend you are mentally preparing for Monday—what to wear, who to talk to, what is to be accomplished. Let Monday be your springboard for the rest of the week.

Here are some tips on how to do that.

1. Inbox Zero

Inbox Zero is when you have no emails staring you in the face and causing stress.

Many times, our email inbox is our to-do list, idea bank, and main communication. When you first turn on your computer in the morning, start with getting to Inbox Zero. This is a literal accomplishment. We want to achieve an empty inbox, and settle for nothing less.

Before plugging at your excel page, writing your blog post, or making the first call, you have to free your mind from the number that haunts your sleep; the stressing ‘emails ’ count.

Move the Necessary

An unanswered email, phone call, or contact sheet should not be in your inbox. Most of your emails have a place other than the inbox. Move the necessary emails where they belong, making sure you have not lost any important data.

Archive

References, pictures, and funny work emails should not be in your inbox. Archive them into appropriate folders and move on.

Delete the Rest

Unless it fits in the above categories, delete it. If you are afraid to lose the item, it should have been moved or archived. Delete the items you can do without.

2. De-Clutter Desk

desk

Your desk clutter does nothing good for you. An important mental step is to stop making excuses. Your desk clutter is the worst kind of to-do list possible.

Spending 10-15 minutes each Monday (or every day) de-cluttering will be a worthwhile investment in your time.

Productivity501 recently published a post called “5 Questions to Help Organize Your Desk.” The questions they ask force readers to think about the real reasons behind desk clutter. You can read the entire article here, or read my summary below:

Reading Materials

Be honest with yourself, and rid of the stuff you don’t need to read. Other tips include the use of RSS, getting a bookshelf, or listening to the audio version.

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