Isn't it great when the little things in life can give you a lift? When you allow yourself 10 extra minutes to leave work rather than rushing out the door. When you see your best friend for dinner on Wednesdays. When you actually do your dishes at night after dinner. There are plenty of things in our lives that will never be in order, but by habitually taking care of small tasks, we can change our outlook.
"Remember, it takes 21 consecutive days of repeating an action before it becomes a habit," author of The Zen of Organizing Regina Leeds says. "But, these particular habits, such as making the bed or even putting keys in the same place every day, will help create and sustain a nurturing environment."
From investing in a paper shredder, to writing in a gratitude journal, to throwing away the sponge and using Clorox Clean-ups, here are seven ways you can take control of your life.
Invest in a Paper Shredder
I come from a long line of pack rats. I purchased a paper shredder, and my daughter and I have been shredding old statements from 1998.
Give Yourself 10 Extra Minutes
I've decided to actually stop what I am doing 10 minutes before work ends. That way I can clear my desk before leaving, and hopefully stop the clutter monster taking over at work, the way that it has at home. When I arrive the next day, I feel more relaxed, I no longer worry about the state of my office, and I find myself not searching for things that haven't been properly filed.
Write in a Gratitude Journal
I started a gratitude journal, and I write at least five things I have to be grateful for every night. Sometimes it's a great day and there are a lot of special things to write about, such as a rainbow or a compliment from a stranger. Sometimes it's a bad day and all I have to be thankful for is the day and my family.
Stop and Think
One thing that has helped me take control of my life is to stop and think. Before I just shove something into the closet I think, "How much longer will it really take me to fold this?" So then I take the few seconds to put it away properly. It sure beats having to straighten out a mess later.
Cut Down on Your To-Do List
I used to put way too many things on my daily to-do list. Even if I got a lot of them done, I still felt overwhelmed and scatterbrained. Now I only pick three or four things, and really focus on trying to get them done. It is a challenge not to get sidetracked, but typically I feel like I have accomplished much more at the end of the day! And I don't feel overwhelmed.
Exercise Every Day
I set aside time for some type of exercise every day. I find it puts me in a positive frame of mind and gives me the energy I need to accomplish what I want.
Throw Away the Old Sponge
My new way of taking control of bathroom grime is using Clorox Clean-ups. I know that might sound shallow -- but watching mold build up and having to pull out a sponge and disinfectant really bugs me. This small product has made my life so much easier.