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NO-NO-November Week 1: Minimize Now, Party Later

THE No-No-November 2023 pre-holiday life declutter has officially begun. THIS year I’m gonna make a plan & work the plan to bring joy, peace, and connection to the holiday season. You are invited to come along on my quest – NO need to RSVP.

Implementing a NO philosophy means different things to different people. It can be choosing free time over a packed schedule, getting enough sleep to better appreciate each day, enjoying the peace of organized spaces instead of the chaos of cluttered, replacing stress and anxiety with calm, generating a smaller environmental footprint, and so much more (or would that be so much less???).

To start No-No-November off with a bang, I hereby dedicate Week 1 to minimizing time commitments. Ditching pointless, unrewarding, or redundant tasks will free up time for more traditional decluttering in No-No-November Week 2. Week 3 will focus on removing virtual clutter leaving Week 4 to top off anything still needing attention.

For week 1 - quit, reduce, or postpone these 6 activities:

1.) NO phone scrolling – Are you one of the last people in America still addicted to Candy Crush? Do you doom-scroll on TikTok for hours? Is Insta your Achilles’ heel? Have you ever texted “what’s up?” to 10 different people in a row? Be a quitter… at least where scrolling is concerned. Studies show you’ll be happier & less stressed with a little less phone time.

2.) NO nonproductive meetings (Zoom or otherwise) – It isn’t a stretch to suggest most meetings are unproductive. If you are in a position to cancel nonessential meetings - do it. If there are meetings that you could skip without penalty, skip them. Consider incorporating a strategy of SCRUM-inspired 5-minute standup meetings which keep meetings short and focused because no one wants to stand that long anyway.

3.) NO TV time – It doesn’t have to be all or nothing. If you watch 2 hours a day, consider cutting it down to 1. If you are a Netflix binger, limit yourself to weekends only and for a set amount of time. Resist starting a new series immediately after finishing your current one.

4.) NO unnecessary housekeeping – Does it really make a difference if you make your bed perfectly every morning and put ALL 10 decorative pillows back in their perfect formation? If it doesn’t bring real joy or function to your life – stop doing it. Don’t put dishes in the sink only to put them into the dishwasher later. Skip the middleman & put them directly into the dishwasher. Place a moratorium on any meal using more than 5 ingredients.

5.) NO waiting in line – Do you find yourself waiting in lines? Stop shopping during peak hours. Plan to avoid rush. Make appointments or reservations when possible. Always shop with a list so you don’t have to make a return trip. Make a personal policy to avoid shopping until you have at least 10 things to get. Explore more online ordering options so you don’t have to go to the store at all.

6.) NO “fast” food – Going through drive throughs or carrying out is usually not really so fast. By the time you decide to go, get your coat, get to the restaurant, order, wait, wait some more, get the food, return, set the food out, and realize they forgot napkins you probably could have spent less time, money, and effort by either proactively packing a lunch, microwaving something out of the freezer, or leaning into “girl dinner.”

There you have it. Commit to all six NO’s, just choose 1 or 2, or come up with your own time savers now to reap the benefits later. The holidays are nearly here. Let’s be ready to make them amazing.

What strategies do you use to free up time?


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