Meditative Monday Series: Mental Clearing for 2019 – Week 5
Reducing any and all paper clutter in your life will ultimately keep you in a relaxed state because you will have organized and fine-tuned your life. In addition to being “Green” and environmentally friendly adapting a paperless lifestyle by having a paperless home or office will reduce paper chaos, lost time searching misplaced or lost documents and information. You’ll also save money by having fewer paper or printing expenses. And, most import for the experiencing a cleanse, you will get your life back in real time to begin and maintain your 2019 mental cleansing activities!
You can be more productive and benefit from the convenience of going paperless. While challenging and multifaceted at first the road to paperless is worth the effort in giving you back not only your living space but your mind space as well.
Clutter, to include paper clutter disrupts concentration, is distracting, can become an irritant, increases anxiety, and zaps mental energy. Relaxation can be extremely challenging for most people when your environment is a constant reminder of chaos and what should be on your to-do list. Your self-esteem may even suffer from disempowering labels that you may impose on yourself by characterizing yourself as lazy, sloppy, or being a procrastinator. On your journey in 2019, being more positive will play an integral role in your life. “Stinkin Thinkin” and self-deprecating labels are counterproductive to your intended goals going forward into this new year. To date, your focus challenge is full of intent on developing new healthy habits for personal growth and development to be in line with your life’s purpose, which I have pre-affirmed for you to be able to #liveyourtruth, your dreams, and show up being the best of yourself. Given that those objectives are the premise of your commitment to yourself neither toxic thought nor nagging negativity has a place in your mental clearing journey. Let’s start by beginning from the top.
Looking What You Have, And Where It Comes From
Separate your mail and sort it into categories, while you may have more, two such categories may likely be 1) important original, legal, or other documents to scan and keep, and 2) miscellaneous advertising marketing circulars, credit offers, catalogs, magazines, newsletters that you don’t read, and other unimportant junk mail that you don’t need that can simply be thrown away. Now, if you are still receiving paper statements by mail, or if that vendor doesn’t offer an electronic paperless version of their statements, scan, and file them. However, if your already receiving electronic statements, save them in a PDF format, don’t print it out rather instead file it in it’s an appropriate electronic file folder.
Digital Filing System
Begin thinking about creating a Digital Filing System. Challenge yourself. Choose a place to store your files by using a cloud storage system. I use Google Drive, which gives you the most free storage, but other options exist to choose from are Microsoft OneDrive, Dropbox, or Box. Another huge advantage is you’ll always have a back-up and you won’t lose your files. In most cases should you have a hard drive failure or you upgrade your cloud-based account, you have the convenience of not having to transfer old files because those files will be restored to your new system. Additionally, you can have your files access readily in this format by having your files synced to your mobile phone. However, if your thoughts about “the elusive cloud” were “ole skool” like mine until I “got out of my own way” a few years ago. Or, the idea of storing things in the cloud still makes you uncomfortable, you can instead opt for an external drive or network-attached storage (NAS) drive which plugs into your Wi-Fi router.
Some of you may already have a folder system on your PC or laptop where all your files are kept and have labeled them already– great! However, make sure you additionally have important file label specific and unique for categories will include your receipts (business & personal), Medical, and Financial Record-Keeping, e.g. Tax W-2s, 1099s, Returns, or Bank Statements, etc. Once your digital filing system is set up, going forward began asking your utility companies, bill collectors, and other business that you get information or statements from to only give you digital versions of any physical documents that they want you to have.
Speaking of Digitizing
Consider saving a digitized image of your signature on your computer, with encrypted limited privacy access of course. How? Just, sign a piece of paper with a felt-tip pen, scan the paper, and save your signature. This is really useful when you get an email with an attached document that you need to electronically sign, return to your sender instead of printing the document. Other electronic options include the free PowerPad Lite downloadable app which allows you to sign PDFs with your finger, then submit them electronically. Also, additional options are available, which will be discussed in a future publication.
Purge and Recycle
While it would be smart to just throw most of your mail simply in the trash can, you can’t because of identity fraud. And, most people don’t live in communities that allow you to burn your trash, nor would the majority of you have the time or the desire to have bonfires “Sans Smores” just to get rid of your ever-increasing mounds of paper– shredding likely will be the best option for most to dispose of paper. As a rule of thumb, shred all sensitive documents with personal information, health, codes, social security numbers, and other identifiers on them that you want to dispose of. I recommend purchasing a quiet machine (emphasis on quiet) with a level 3 security rating, and/or one that does Micro-Cut or Cross-Cut versus a Strip type shredder. Consider also getting a shredder that is more durable than a lower end model, and one capable of cutting through staples, credit cards, and CDs/DVDs. However, if you’d rather not buy a personal shredder at all, many communities offer special days for recycling or shredding for free. Check with your City Hall or local community paper.
Scanning Existing Paper
When you get your filing system in place it’s time to prioritize the existing paper or documents that you are currently have been holding onto and scan them. However, after you scan official certified documents and all your documents with a raised seal (e.g. wills, trust, birth/death certificates, notarized documents, insurance policies, other non-replaceable legal papers, and any other “no-brainer” documents) begin tossing junk papers, flyers, catalogs, magazines, and other non-legal paperwork you’ve been collecting or holding on to, etc. Use the “haven’t touched it, toss it” system of purging clutter.
However, for legal documents affixed with original signatures that you really should hold onto in hard copy format, such social security cards, birth certificates, licenses, financial instruments, insurance documents, other vital records, adoption papers, passports, citizenship papers (such as a “green card” or naturalization documents,) marriage license, divorce decrees, child custody papers, current military ID, military discharge (DD Form 214), medical and vaccination records, including pets records, etc. Purchase if you don’t already have one a fireproof personal safe. Select one that has been independently rated to last longer against fires at higher temperatures, and/or depending on where you live one that is additionally air and watertight.
Think about “Opting Out”
This would be a good time to “opt out” of mailing list as well. To cut down how much mail comes to your mailbox at all you can register to use an online tool to help manage your mail at The Data and Marketing Association (DMA) consumer website: https://dmachoice.thedma.org/index.php for a processing fee of $2 for a period of ten years, or $3 for mail-in registration.
You can also stop the flow of catalogs and magazine offers by contacting Abacus, but if you want to be extra thorough, you can also send an email to the parent company of Abacus at firstname.lastname@example.org by putting “remove” in the subject line and your name and address in the body of the email. Make sure you include your name as it appears on the bulk mail you receive, including any initials or misspelled names that your mail comes in and if you’ve moved over the last six months your previous address. And similarly, to be more selective in the type of catalogs, or coupons you do want, or to get rid of credit card and insurance offers another option is Catalog Choice at https://www.catalogchoice.org/.
I am so sold out on taking notes in my smartphone! No more little scraps of paper, for me. Electronically now I take notes on everything from the ideas or musings I don’t want to forget, my grocery and shopping list, music or book titles that I want to remember, and whole expository writing pieces. I even get to use hands-free and dictate into the phone enabling it to be typed out really fast. The mental clarity I get from using this method of notating without paper not only gives me a feeling of freedom and efficiency, but also a good feeling about being so organized. Your choice in electronic notating devices ranges from tablets, Blackberries, smartphones, and other options that reduce wasted paper printing by saving the trees, stave off global warming, doesn’t contribute to landfill pollution, and allow you to recycle.
- Make sure everyone in your household is on the same page. If you are married, have a live-in-partner, or other significant paper collecting human in the house that you can share a filing system with inside the home, ensure that you have buy-in, commitment, and you are on the same page to make sure your paperless efforts in the household is seamless. Collaboration will be key. Start by obtaining and using some type of labeled inbox sorting system where everyone can deposit paper that either need to be scanned, filed electronically, shredded, and tossed. If you don’t have any, buy some sorting trays from your local office supply, or discount general retail store.
- Monthly maintain your system by downloading your bill statements, going through the papers in your inbox tray to further organize and scan them into the appropriate electronic folder in your PC, Laptop, Table, External Hard Drive, Cloud, or Portable Travel Drive in order to stay on top of your recordkeeping.
Lastly, mental cleansing by going paperless makes us feel less stressed and can help ease the anxiety of any that annoying “to-do” paper clutter. Benefiting your overall health and wellness, by employing the habits outlined here you will additionally find more time for yourself once you are all set up as a result of having put into place a lifestyle of organizational efficiency. With this new found time you will feel freer, less constrained in your own personal space, and begin to feel the calm and mental clearing that comes with suddenly realizing that you now have gained more time to engage in mindfulness practices that will help you center yourself and better focus on your intentions.
#meditativemonday #mindsetshift #mindsetisseverything #lifepurpose #purposefulliving #balance #worklifebalance #workhardplayhard #liveyourdreams #livingthedream #selfcare #selflove #loveyourself #mindfulness #guidedmeditation #bethebestyou #transformational #transform #transformative #transformationalcoaching #wellnesscoaching #wellness #wellnesslifestyle #mindsetcoaching #telebehavioralwellness #clutter #declutter #goingpaperless #paperless #bhfyp
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