Sometimes when I’m working on the computer and I want a mental break, I go looking for something to read for five minutes. I may have already read my handful of favourite blogs. It is inevitably at these times that I end up at Daily Mail UK, New Zealand Herald, People.com, celebrity Instagrams and other such websites. At best, they are mildly annoying and I wonder why I have killed a few brain cells reading about these people. At worst, I read the headlines of an upsetting or depressing story that I can’t do anything about and also cannot get out of my mind.
I don’t want to have these places be my go-to when I need a bit of time-out, and that is when I came up with the idea of the place where there are a ton of stories waiting to be read, all chosen with me in mind. They are focused on my favourite topics and are always uplifting. Where is that place? It’s the files on my computer. I don’t do it as often now and it has to be something really good to save, but I used to save oodles and I mean oodles from blogs and website articles, from the entire piece down to snippets in an Inspiration file.
I have folders for Homemaking, French Chic, the Yahoo group, Managing your Money, Health and Slimness, Simple Living, Beauty, Femininity, Housekeeping, Personal Style, Self-Improvement and Travel. They are all filled with documents.
And because these are all topics that I value and desire, I feel really happy and content spending time in their company. Motivated too, as often they spark off an idea that I can’t wait to try.
I made the decision to stop saving so much information a while back when it almost got to be a mini-obsession. I would often think to myself ‘why am I saving all this stuff, I actually hardly ever read it’. But I didn’t want to just delete the folders of the stuff I did have.
So now, when I need a five minute breather, I browse my folders just like I used to browse the internet. I pick a folder and then a document and start reading. It’s lovely with a cup of tea or coffee. I can read the article and think ‘well, I’ve read it now, it was ok but it’s not a keeper’ and I can delete the file. Sometimes I can be one paragraph into a file and see that it’s not me anymore or way too basic and I already do this stuff. I flick through the rest to confirm that, delete the file and move onto another one.
Here’s the first exciting bit: the gems really stand out. These files sparkle and fill me with such delight and joy and I feel the ‘love at first sight’ feeling I felt way back in the beginning when I first discovered the world of French Chic, Anne Barone and this magical and fun new way to look at and live my life. These are the keepers for now, and I look forward to re-reading in the future.
And the second exciting bit is that by doing this I realised I am decluttering one of the last few places in my home that is untouched – my laptop. Because my folders were so full, I didn’t often go there. But now I look forward to a tea break so I can peruse the goldfield that is my hard drive. It is a great way to see how far I have come, both in the information I have saved, plus items I wrote myself long ago.
Combining decluttering with inspiration, what could be better?
I am also now looking around at other ways I can switch a habit I want to reduce or eliminate with something I want to do more of. What other things (adding one good, eliminating one bad) can I stick together that achieves both goals?
Habit switching - I like it! What habit would you like to change, and what could you substitute for it?