Edit Your Life, Part 5: Your Wardrobe | Zen Habits Quick note: Every Wedneday is Simplicity Day on Zen Habits, and for the next few weeks, these posts will be a series called “Edit Your Life,” looking at ways to simplify different parts of your life. I’m a former newspaper editor, and one of the things I learned was to edit brutally (no sarcastic comments about why I don’t do that with my blog posts). Cut out everything that’s not necessary, and you’ve got a more meaningful story. I highly recommend editing your life. Today’s edit: Edit your wardrobe. Take a look at your closet — is it stuffed full of clothes you don’t wear? If so, your wardrobe may be in need of editing. To edit your wardrobe, here are some simple steps: Pull out all the clothes from your closet. Personally, I simplified my wardrobe years ago. I still need to edit my wardrobe, though, on a regular basis. Simplify your wardrobe, and your life will be much simpler and stress-free. Related articles elsewhere: See also:
Inbox makeover (Gina Trapani) Each e-mail message in your inbox demands your time and attention. Filters and rules are great for reducing some of that demand, shunting easily defined mail such as e-newsletters and personal notes to their appropriate folders. But important e-mail messages are often hard to define and organize with automatic, rules-based management. They require filters and rules that reside only in your brain. The key to managing these important messages is to evaluate each one for the response it requires and then quickly convert that evaluation into action. Setup Start by stripping your e-mail directory structure down to seven basic folders, each defined by the action that its messages require (See screenshot): > Inbox For unread and unprocessed items only. > Respond For messages requiring only short responses that can be ticked off in five minutes or less. > Action For e-mail that requires anything beyond a quick response—work, research, or a detailed answer. Triage Timing Keep It Short
Top 10 Email Productivity Boosters SExpand The first message one could consider email was sent more than 30 years ago, and that's probably when people began associating angst and uncertainty with the words "Inbox" and "unread messages." The tools available to read and send emails have advanced considerably since then, but what you actually do with all that chatter, without eating up entire days of work time, is up to you. Luckily, we've covered a wealth of filtering and processing methods and software tweaks that make email less stressful and time-consuming over the years, and a list of our top 10 productive email boosters is after the jump.P 10. If you're inside a big firm, or just part of a big email group, you probably get a lot of messages that aren't really addressed to you directly, but they land in the same bin as the others. 9. 8. 7. Sometimes we're our own worst enemies when it comes to email clutter. 6. 5. It might sound obvious to some, but far too few people utilize and harness the power of contact grouping.
How to feel better now What makes you happy? I find directly pursuing happiness is difficult to do. Many times the things we think will make us happy fail to do so. But what about feeling good right now? Hack One: Goals Nothing creates a bigger jolt of enthusiasm than a new inspiring vision of the future. Hack Two: Chores Procrastination sucks. Hack Three: Laugh Don’t take yourself so damn seriously. Hack Four: Aid Help someone who needs it. Hack Five: Socialize One of the leading evolutionary theories for explaining the size of the human brain is our complex social structure. Hack Six: Inspiration Find something to get you inspired, even if just for a short time. Hack Seven: Exercise Exercise releases various chemicals into your brain which leave you feeling good. Hack Eight: Posture Change the way you hold your body to reflect someone who is happier. Hack Nine: Music Music is a fast way to boost your happiness. Hack Ten: Nature Hack Eleven: Hug Hack Twelve: Meditate Hack Thirteen: Flow Hack Fourteen: Game
Seek Seek has graduated! The Seek project has graduated and moved on with its life. Visit the new home page for more information on how to join the new mailing lists, synch with the new code repositories, issue tracking, etc. Please excuse our mess during the transition. “Seek” adds faceted browsing features to Mozilla Thunderbird and lets you search through your email more effectively. Feedback / Contribute Send questions/comments/ideas/discussions/etc. to our mailing list (archive/sign-up) Log bugs/issues in our issue tracker (sign-up) Licensing Seek is open source software and is licensed under the BSD license. Credits This software is sponsored by The Andrew W. David François Huynh, dfhuynh at csail.mit.edu
A Guide to Creating a Minimalist Home | Zen Habits Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter. I can’t claim that my home is completely minimalist, but it surely isn’t cluttered, and most people I know would call it a pretty minimalist home. One recent visitor saw my kitchen and remarked, “I’ve never seen a kitchen that looked so clean, so clear of stuff!” For example, on the floor of my kitchen/dining room area are just a few essentials: dining table (clear of any clutter), chairs, some counter stools, a high chair, a step stool for the kids. Is this kind of minimalist home devoid of character and fun and life? Benefits of a Minimalist Home I could probably go on for awhile about this, but let me just list a few key benefits: Less stressful. What a Minimalist Home Looks Like This would vary, of course, depending on your taste and how extreme of a minimalist you want to be. Minimal furniture. One room at a time. —Read more about simple productivity, focus and getting great things done in my book, The Power of Less.
30 seconds to an empty email Inbox (LifeCleve We all want to control the barrage of emails hurling at us everyday, but often the task is just too daunting. Perhaps, you read Merlin Mann’s Inbox Makeover tutorial or Gina Trapani’s Trusted Trio system for managing email. You might have said, “Wow, this is great and makes a lot of sense. I’m gonna do it now!” Before you give up hope, there’s an instant way to clear your inbox of old emails in about 30 seconds. 30 seconds to zero Put it all in one folder: Create an archive folder In your favorite email program, create a folder and name it “Archive” followed by today’s date. That’s it! You won’t read 95% of it again Most of the emails festering in your inbox are messages that you’ll never ever read again. Now what? Ok, so you’ve you banished all your old emails, what’s next? For more email tips, check out Merlin’s Inbox Zero series.
DivineCaroline: Relationships, Health, Home, Style, Parenting, and Community for Women Top Thunderbird Addons Mozilla Thunderbird has lots of great features including search, customizable views, IMAP, RSS support and more. Contacts Sidebar – displays the address books in Thunderbird sidebar. This lets you easily access all your contacts from the main window, quickly edit contact details, drop files on top of a contact to send it as an attachment and more. GMailUI - is an extension to Thunderbird which add concepts inspired by GMail to Thunderbird, like archiving mail and powerful message searching across all folders. a folder to be your sole “archive” folder, or choose to have an archive folder in each of your multiple accounts. Quicktext – is an extension for Thunderbird that lets you create templates that can be easily inserted into your own emails. Quicktext is the perfect tool to help you quickly answer routine, repetitive emails. Signature Switch- allows you to create multiple email signatures (Private, Business, etc.) Text size adds text size (increase/decrease) buttons to the main toolbar.
Seven steps to overcoming procrastination | Top Stories IF YOU'RE constantly leaving work to pile up on your desk, there's a very good chance you might just be on the avoidance treadmill. Procrastination shouldn't be a long term strategy, but sometimes we all treat it as though it is. It happens to the best of us. The harsh reality is that procrastination is just a nice way of saying avoidance. So instead of succumbing to the dreaded beast – try these tips for overcoming procrastination: 1. Is it fear, is it that you don’t get on with someone, is it because you have to deliver bad news and you’re not sure how to go about it? 2. I usually do the things I'd prefer to avoid in the morning, so they are out of the way. 3. If you need to write yourself a script, do it. 4. 5. But only when you are finished. 6. See how good it feels to get something done that would normally sit in your in-tray for ages. 7. There are some things that we just aren’t suited to, or that we don’t have the expertise for. ARE you guilty of avoiding work like the plague?
Multitasking Muddles Brains, (Wired) Some people suspect that a multitasking lifestyle has changed how they think, leaving them easily distracted and unable to concentrate even when separated from computers and phones. Their uneasiness may be justified. In several benchmark tests of focus, college students who routinely juggle many flows of information, bouncing from e-mail to web text to video to chat to phone calls, fared significantly worse than their low-multitasking peers. Other studies have focused on multitasking’s immediate effects — children doing worse on homework while watching television, office workers being more productive when not checking email every five minutes. “We wanted to ask a different question,” said Clifford Nass, a Stanford University cognitive scientist. “What happens to people who multitasking all the time?” First, they had to remember the briefly glimpsed orientations of red rectangles surrounded by different numbers of blue rectangles. “The causality question is enormous here,” he said.