Nine hundred and twenty five unread emails. Four missed calls. PTA meeting at 7:30 PM. Soccer practice three times a week. 250 calories more to burn. P450 left in your pocket ‘til payday. 12 people ahead of you in the line to the teller. Our life seems to be dictated by numbers, an overwhelming amount of them. Regain control of your life by reworking the numbers. We’re sharing the equation right here:


Clear the clutter

While creative clutter is a great excuse, too much of it can be overwhelming and stressful. Trash, recycle, organize, clean, and repeat. Practice this regularly, because every day we bring something new into our life. We can’t expect more blessings if we don’t make space for it.

Organize your workplace and clean out drawers and closets. The fridge, pantry, and the medicine cabinet are also calling for you to toss out expired items. Donate stuff you don’t have use for anymore or organize a garage sale to earn a few extra cash. Also try to keep everything out of sight. That’s what drawers and cabinets are for.

Consider the following guidelines while cleaning:

  • If you haven’t used something for over two years, you’ll probably never use it.
  • Have nothing in your house that you don’t know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
  • For every new item you bring into your home, you should get rid of at least two things.
  • There should be a place for everything, and everything in its place.


Streamline online

While you’re clearing out your worktable, streamline your desktop as well. Minimize the icons on your desktop and uninstall apps that you don’t really use. They only slow down your processor and make your screen look cluttered. For your mobile devices, group apps by category and keep the most used ones on your homepage.

You know that you will never be able to read all 925 emails and the numbers will continue to climb if you don’t address it. Make a habit of deleting items from your folders and look at setting up a spam filter. To easily delete by batches, sort emails according to sender. Unsubscribe to email lists that you hardly ever check anyway. The same goes for your phone and other mobile devices: regularly delete messages and clean folders. You’d be surprise how a clean inbox can be so liberating.

There is also a lot of cleaning to do with your browsers. Toolbars can slow down your browsing, so it’s wise to remove the ones you hardly use. Tab organizers like One Tab or Tab Killer can help keep your browser uncluttered. Clean up reading lists, because they take up precious storage realty, too.

Clear up memory space not only in your computer but in all your other devices. Invest on good external storage options so you do not have to saddle your devices with files that you don’t need to have on hand. If you want your data available to you anywhere and anytime, consider free online storage sites like Box, Bitcasa, Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, and Skydrive.

Make sure your hard drive is in tiptop shape. Defragment your computer on a regular basis and check for errors. Of course, all these cleaning will come to nothing if your computer is infected. Regularly update your anti-virus and anti-spyware programs.


Mind your thoughts

Sweep away the cobwebs in your brain as well. You are what you think, so banish the negative thoughts. Practice the law of attraction by embracing goodness, never doubting yourself, and believing that you are a deserving person. Forgiveness is liberating, so learn to let go of your grudges.

Encourage a grateful disposition in life. You can try keeping a daily gratitude journal to help you see the silver lining in every situation. For instance, if you feel overworked, at least be thankful that you have a job.

Practice meditation to rejuvenate your brain. If you don’t believe in the Buddhist way, just find a quiet space to relax your mind, body, and spirit. Sometimes a 15-minute time-out can do wonders. Whenever you are overwhelmed or frazzled, walk away and breathe to clear your head. When you return, you will better be able to overcome your challenges.


Take care of your temple

You can do a regular detoxifying program or make a lifestyle out of it. Detoxifying can be as simple as drinking lots of water and eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. Also, exercise daily to encourage circulation. Studies show that people who exercise regularly retain fewer toxins in their body. Some physicians also recommend sweating it out in a sauna three times a week. Your body deserves a rejuvenating and detoxifying spa and facial treatment at least every other week. If you can’t afford that luxury, at least get a massage and exfoliate regularly.


Stop the press

While it’s great to be informed and updated, information overload can also be poisonous. Never have more than nine browser tabs open on your computer. You won’t be able to process that much information anyway and too many tabs open will slow down your browser.

And before you even think of pressing that key, remember that Internet surfing can be like going down the rabbit hole. One site can lead to the next and before you know it, you have two hours left before the alarm goes off. Limit your TV and online time. Unplug at least an hour before bedtime so your brain is not enlivened just before you go to sleep.


Keep your friends close and your enemies at bay

Life is too short to waste your time around toxic people. Surround yourself with people who uplift and inspire. Online, don’t feel obligated to follow back all 999 people in your friends list. They will only clutter your newsfeed. ManageFlitter (Twitter) and Unfollowgram (Instagram) are great tools to manage your followers. Also, most social media sites have lists you can use to help you organize groups.

Block “friends” who post ridiculous memes and negativity on a regular basis. You don’t want to give strangers access to your personal life, so unfriend people you don’t know personally.


Reorganize your calendar

Learn to say no. You don’t have to attend every single meeting or donate to every charity. If your friend can’t understand why you’re too exhausted to attend her Tupperware party, then she probably isn’t a friend anyway.

Figure out your priorities and base your commitments upon them. Whatever doesn’t bring any value to your life doesn’t deserve a spot in your calendar.


Let technology manage your time

Since you’re already online most of the time anyway, take advantage of technology to save more time. Enroll in online banking and bill payments. Shift some of your shopping online (although beware, window shopping online can also be a time suck). There are also countless apps that can make your life easier. We recommend:

30/30 – a timer that helps you focus on a task for half an hour and stay on track.

Sleep Time – tracks your forty winks and tells you how it will influence your affectivity.

MyFitnessPal – a calorie counter app that features an extensive database for food, giving you the exact fat, carbs, and protein content of the things you eat.

Google Maps – the newly launched version boasts of faster, smoother experience and more navigation options.


Take it outside and offline

Nowadays, we can’t even go to the bathroom without our mobile devices. When we’re too busy getting connected we end up disconnecting ourselves to real life. According to Business Insider, each extra minute spent online is .27 minutes less for work, .12 minutes less for sleep, and .05 minutes less for socializing offline. Don’t miss your baby’s first step because you were busy posting pictures of her first baby tooth. A “how r u” is not enough. If you really want to catch up, go have a cup of coffee with your friend.

Doctors recommend limiting your kid’s TV and tablet time to two hours a day at the most. Once a week, time travel back to 1985. Pretend like there is no such thing as the Internet and play hide and seek with your kids. Temple Run won’t get you anywhere but running—or even just walking—outside will.

About The Author

Candy Lykes
freelance writer/editor/photographer

Candy Villanueva-Lykes is a widely published writer and photographer here and abroad. Candy Villanueva-Lykes is a planet surfer, word weaver, pixel stitcher, light chaser, sun worshipper, and forever shaking off the sand between her toes.