As a business student, I learned that productivity and efficiency equals profitability. Of course this is just a broad idea since there are many factors to consider in this statement, but the bottom-line is in business productivity = profits.
In calculus for example we learn to “optimize”, or to find a quantity of product to produce in order to maximize our profits.
In economics we learn about “equilibriums” in order to find the most ideal quantity of product to supply at a set price that the buyers are willing to pay and consume.
The ideas that I learned in business school works in the business world. Why then wont it work in our daily lives?
The definition of steamling in business is:
“To improve the efficiency of a process, business or organization by simplifying or eliminating unnecessary steps, using modernizing techniques, or taking other approaches.”
As full-time student working a part-time job, while trying to be active in extra-curricular activities, I learned that if there’s a will there’s a way. Time is valuable, we only get 24 hours a day, factor in 8 hours of sleep, 2 hours of commuting, 3 hours we spend on taking care of ourselves(shower/eat/etc…), 4-8 hours of school, and 2+ hours of hw, you get the point. Basically, time is limited so I’ve learned to adapt. Here are a few ideas that I’ve implemented in my routine.
- Brisk walking and taking the stairs whenever possible, I have a very limited time to workout lately so I figured I’d burn a few extra calories while I do my daily routine.
- I prepare school reading material so I could make use of my commuting time to get some reading done.
- I prepare everything that I need at night including my backpack, lunch, and the cloths that I want to wear for the next day. This saves me alot of time in the morning when my brain is not fully awake yet.
- I do my best to not study when I’m tired, this saves me the hassle of restudying the material, because I did not understand it the first time.
There are many other ways that we can streamline our daily lives. Can you think of any others?
Stayed home from school. I didn’t go back to sleep but made some wonderful coffee. It’s jesse’s birthday today, and if you follow sarah
then you know who jesse is, probably. i texted him, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! SWEET SIXTEEN!!!!! I HOPE YOUR DAY IS FILLED WITH MAGIC AND SPARKLES AND LOVE AND HAPPINESS!!!!!
and i thought about jesse for a little while.
AND THEN i made some AWESOME coffee, and took an AWESOME shower, in which i exfoliated and scrubbed and shaved and it was AWESOME, and then I made some MORE coffee because my mom drank the rest of my first … batch. Batch?
AND I PUT IT IN MY PIGGY CUP.
All while singing “Could You Use Me?” by Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney REALLY LOUDLY.
AND NOW, I’m going to continue singing Judy Garland songs, and PURIFYING MY ROOM, by taking shit out and streamlining, HOORAY :)
And maybe I’ll go to rehearsal tonight.
Living Minimally (Part 1)
Few people would call me a minimalist. Actually, no one would call me a minimalist. When I mention it to friends and family, I inevitably get the eye roll. So, I admit it…I’m not! I love stuff. I love designer shoes, bags, fabulously tailored clothes and luscious fabrics and accentuate my best features (and hide the not so fabulous.) But, I roll my eyes right back at the naysayer’s, because I believe there is something everyone can learn from the minimalist approach to living.
To begin this exploration, I started reading blogs and books about transitioning to a more minimalist lifestyle.
Much of my inspiration came from Francine Jay, author of the Miss Minimalist blog and book “Miss Minimalist: Inspiration to Downsize, Declutter and Simplify.” (You can purchase the book for your Kindle for $.99—such a deal!) The book is a collection of her blogs and articles, and provides useful tips on how to live with less and enjoy the benefits. Growing more and more intrigued with the notion of living well with less, I began my journey.
I started going through the house room by room, cabinet by cabinet and drawer by drawer, sorting and reorganizing the things I had—and forgot that I owned. After all was said and done, I felt a big weight lifted from my shoulder and was reacquainted with items of the past (that I really like.) The process was a learning experience and is still helpful when faced with a purchasing decision.
Here are some guidelines I followed during my first attempt at minimalizing, and that successfully got me started on this lighter way of living:
- Go through everything you own- Pick a room, then an area focus and empty it. I mean take everything out of the cabinet, closet or drawer. Have three containers prepared for sorting items. Have one container marked for charity, one for items of no value that go in the garbage, and a final one for the more valuable items that can be put on consignment or sold on an auction site.
One thing to note about selling vs. donating. It may be possible to donate and make the same amount in tax deductions as you would selling the items. My husband and I maintain very hectic schedules and hardly have time to eat dinner, let alone find time to post items to be sold online. Captain Buzz-kill (my hubby and a financial guru) wasn’t such a “buzz kill” when he said that it makes more sense to donate everything, rater than sell. Otherwise, by the time it would all be said and done, we’d make the same amount in selling as we will from tax deductions.
Now, everyone’s financial scenario is different and I don’t recommend this approach for everyone. However, I definitely recommend exploring the possibility to see if it makes sense for your scenario. It may be a less time-intensive approach to saving money. Plus minimalist living is not just about saving money, but also saving time.
- Sort quickly- Don’t ponder the items, or you’ll never finish. If you haven’t used it in a year- get rid of it. If it doesn’t fit- get rid of it. I found hard and fast rules made the process much easier and took the emotion out of minimalizing. If it’s something sentimental, you can make a rare exception.
I found this sorting especially difficult when sorting through my wardrobe. My specific guiding principles were for the wardrobe were:
1. If I haven’t worn it in a year- get ride of it.
2. If it doesn’t fit- get rid of it.
3. If I don’t like it- get rid of it.
4. Does it fit my wardrobes color palette?
I developed a palette for my wardrobe, so everything can be interchangeable. I have grey, black and blue pants and slacks. Tops range in color, but most are white, black, burgundy, and a taupe/ mushroom color. This makes it easy when shopping for new clothes and when getting dressed in the morning. I’d hate to be stuck with a brown top and black pants (fashion faux pas, if I’ve ever seen one!)
- Compartmentalize- When getting ready to put items back into their place, create compartments, or modules. These compartments should be big enough to hold the items you’re storing and once you fill it up, you know it’s time to start tossing things.
For example, let’s say you like to craft. Dedicate a shelf , box or area that is only for craft items. Once it’s over flowing, you’ll know that it’s time to re- evaluate what’s in there. It will help you manage the amount of stuff you acquire.
4. One item and day, keeps the clutter away- Make it a point to throw out one item a day. This can be from any area in the house. It can be an old kitchen gadget, broken DVD, wrapping paper tube, etc, etc. There is always something to toss and it’s really a great feeling to purge those items you really don’t need.
It may take a couple of days to a couple of months to declutter and reorganize, depending on how much stuff you have. No worries, there’s no pressure. Enjoy the journey and maintain the work you put into it.
So, get started and thank me later!
What happened to Google?
Earlier today it was normal. I’m not one to whine about change, things change and sometimes you just need to get used to a new tumblr dashboard layout and realize it isn’t as serious as if bears suddenly learned how to use firearms.
But I can’t help but feel like a scared old person attempting to navigate a smartphone when Google is suddenly streamlined and newfangled, if only for the first few seconds.